Oct

15

Bwog Editorializes: PrezBo, Stop Being a Pussy

Written by

Disclaimer: The following post was written by Taylor Walsh and Avi Zenilman, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Bwog editorial staff. We also apologize to any readers upset at us for taking ourselves too seriously, and promise at least three fart jokes by Monday evening. 

bwog adIt’s been an intense week and a half around here. As Bwog sifts through the fallout from October 4th , the endless debate over whether it was right or wrong (we think it was wrong, if anyone is still counting) for students to go on stage has crowded out two important, unanswered questions: Why won’t President Bollinger stand up for his students, and when will he speak out against the Minutemen?

Bollinger’s first statement in response to the brawl—nearly two days after the fact—placed blame squarely on the shoulders of students who stormed the stage. But the release of new Univision footage last Sunday changed the terms of the debate: video evidence showed a Minuteman kicking a student in the face, most definitely not in self-defense. Students may have disrupted a speech, but violence belonged to the outsiders.

And yet, faced with an attack on one of our own, the administration said nothing. At a Tuesday meeting with student leaders, Bollinger did not acknowledge that Columbia students should be able to protest without getting kicked in the face. Instead, he launched into an academic discussion of a university’s “core value,” free speech.

Free speech may be the most important value of a university—and Bollinger has exercised it poorly. In last Thursday’s second statement, he buried a mention of the assault on Columbia students at the end, saying only that those outsiders found to be violent wouldn’t be allowed back on campus.

When the College Republicans announced that they had scheduled the founder of the Minutemen—a nativist fringe group that President Bush has decried as “vigilantes”—to speak on campus, we wondered, “why are those wackos coming?” and went on with our lives. Bollinger defended their right to speak, and said nothing more.

But Jim Gilchrist’s presence would affect Chicano students in a way similar to the way a visit by Iranian president and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have affected Jewish students. Driven by a real fear that an Ivy League stage would grant legitimacy to the Minuteman style and worldview, activists deluged inboxes with calls for protest, and an anti-Minutemen facebook group garnered over 600 members.

Yet the administration failed to take its students’ anger seriously, providing only a handful of public safety officers despite the presence of several members of the Minutemen’s local chapter and a protest swollen by outsiders.

Bollinger has followed up this miscalculation by failing to admit error, stand up for his students, or call out the Minutemen—unlike three weeks ago, when he called Ahmadinejad’s views “repugnant.” Bollinger has also not chosen to take a milder stance, like when he told New York magazine in January 2005, “I want to completely disassociate myself from those ideas,” in response to the writings of MEALAC Professor Hamid Dabashi. 

Bollinger should defend free speech, but he should also defend his students. And it is possible to do both at the same time.

Avi Zenilman
Editor-in-Chief, The Blue and White

Taylor Walsh

Managing Editor, Bwog

P.S. If anyone has a better name than “October 4th” (10-4! 10-4!) for the Minutemen events, please email us. Any proposal that uses the word “gate” will be immediately disqualified.

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68 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I would like to thank Mr. Zenilman and Mr. Walsh for putting their left-wing biases out for all to see.

    A number of the statements beg response.
    " Students may have disrupted a speech, but violence belonged to the outsiders. "
    By any rational definition storming and occupying a stage is violence, and coersion based on the implicit threat of bodily harm.
    Communists have no respect for free speech and use violence all the time. For them to play victim is ridiculous. For you to continue to defend them reminds me why liberals are in so much need of historical education. They so quickly become "useful idiots" despite the failures of prior generations.

    "When the College Republicans announced that they had scheduled the founder of the Minutemen—a nativist fringe group that President Bush has decried as "vigilantes"—"

    Were you to escape a liberal echo chamber, it might occur to you that Bush is a liberal on many issues. He is no nationalist and no conservative. He wishes to remake America and to change the population, despite the consistant wishes of a majority of citizens.

    The MMP are a radical group in so far as they are activist.
    Are they nativist racists? Had you not been prevented from hearing Mr. Gilchrist, you would here otherwise. Were you aware that Mr. Gilchrist's son-in-law is an American of Mexican descent you supports him? Were you aware that almost 1/4 members of the MMP are minorities?
    Of course, those who consider nationalism evil and exclusionary will always call us racist. They believe that all nation-states are racist, including America.

    "But Jim Gilchrist's presence would affect Chicano students in a way similar to the way a visit by Iranian president and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have affected Jewish students."


    Has Gilchrist called for genocide of Mexicans? No. Has he called from the destruction of Mexico? No.
    This comment is a non-sequitor.
    Activists who seek to destroy the US may go apoplectic, but that does not make their FEELINGS justifiable.
    The current system or legal and illegtal immigraiton leads to the creation of a new underclass and drives down wages for Latino Americans. It ensures that those born in the US find it difficult to assimilate. It also allows Mexican corruption to continue and be supported by remittances.
    Of course that the creation of a new underclass at the expense of poor Americans and is creating racial tensions is ignored by good liberals. They feel bad for the people comming accross the borders.
    For the communists this creates a new radical proletariate with which to destroy America and steal wealth from the benighted liberal students, who will one day have real jobs.
    The Chicano activists have the most to gain from the suffering of the immigrants. It provides them numbers, propoganda, and victimhood status.
    But those of us who want to see an economically viable Latin America and the continuation of cultures are racists.

    It is too bad that we can't have real dialogue or express minority viewpoints without fear of violence, which will be applauded by "liberals".

    Not that I expect the good liberals at the BWOG to give any thought to what I have written.

    Ron

    • who the fuck  

      is ron lewenberg?

    • Thoughts  

      1. "you would here otherwise"
      2. "this comment is a non-sequitor"
      3. "an American of Mexican descent you supports him"
      4. "illegtal immigraiton"

      ...and you're lucky, I was going to include 5. "proletariate" but apparently including the 'e' on the end is an accepted archaic spelling of the word. According to OED, "Orig. and now usually spelt -at, as in Fr. The spelling with the Eng. -ate was common c 1858-1920.]"

      Ron, you are living in the past.

    • uh....  

      I think that the American political system is in a great place where whenever someone expresses their viewpoint it becomes a "left-wing bias" or when they try to enact legislation in concordance with their beliefs it is a "right-wing conspiracy" or they have an "agenda."

      The way I see it, the extreme polarization of American politics (both liberals and conservatives are to blame) is marginalizing the majority of the nation: the moderates.

      In order for any real progress to be made, the debaters must realize that their opponent usually still has the peoples' best interests in mind, but merely believes that a different set of conditions and policies are required for the ultimate betterment of society.

      Also, #6, really? Really? You couldn't find other issues with his argument than his spelling? Well I'm glad that I'm not the only one who's going to be voting for the Grammarian candidate this year. Pointing out spelling errors does nothing to further intellectual debate. It only serves to show that you have at least a 4th grade education and know that "hear" is not spelled "here!" (That one is tricky! It's a homophone!)

      On a completely unrelated note, I believe it was political scholar Missy Elliot who's writings best capture the feelings of the protesters who stormed the stage:
      "Break me off, show me whatcha got, cause I don't want no... MinuteM[e]n"

      And lastly, for the new name of the events that transpired on October 4th, I personally nominate, in the style of Don King, "The Burner in Lerner: Gilchrist v. Socialists." I'm personally looking forward to the rematch: "Quid Pro Quo in Low" (this time with an exchange of ideas).

      • Well Done  

        Poster 8, great post all around. I liked the dulcet voice of moderation, the condemnation of spelling fascism, and the proposed new name for the scandal. Good show!

      • Oh God  

        Are you kidding me???

        Are people on this blog really so caught up in themselves that they completely miss humor when it's staring them in the face? Surely someone citing an obscure line from the OED in reference to the guy's spelling can't be completely serious? And maybe, just maybe, he's trying to point out the absurdity of it all, while poking gentle fun at an argument that comes out incoherently. It's generally a sign of foaming at the mouth rabitity on the part of a poster when they lose the ability to spell correctly.

        But honestly, it's even more unbelieveable that you took it seriously and turned around and criticized poster #6 for juvenile debate. Your argument was perfectly rational, but please, don't lose track of your sense of humor.

    • hmph!  

      isn't it MS. walsh?

    • ugh  

      Anyone who uses either "liberal" or "conservative" as an insult needs to grow up.

    • Anonymous  

      "I would like to thank Mr. Zenilman and Mr. Walsh for putting their left-wing biases out for all to see." It's an editorial piece! What else do you expect? Ron Lewenberg is annoying. He's the extreme of the right wing. He thinks he knows it all and he thinks he's right. Bravo Bwog! I personally liked it.

    • Anonymous

      It would be one thing if you were objective, but you've put your biases in pretty clear light.

      And if you read the editorial, it wasn't so much a "leftist" editorial, as it was one that tries to defend the student population of Columbia; rationalizing what happened amongst a huge downpour of people screaming free speech is in jeopardy. Defending Columbia; something which sadly, very few people have done.

    • student?

      Mr. Lewenberg, with all due respect, are you not an adult, theoretically with a job and a life? As such, shouldn't you be doing more important things like saving the world from the fascist liberal anarchists than reading Columbia humor publications and complaining about anyone who expresses an opinion (be it in a sarcastic humorous context or otherwise)? What type of change are you trying to enact? What is your goal?
      I just don't get it.
      I want to protect CU students' right to humor! God Bless America!

  2. founder  

    of C4, the Columbia College Conservative Club. Since graduated.

    Also a founding member of New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement, the group that organizes protests outside the Mexican consulate, because they're about enforcing the law, not hating Mexicans.

    • Anonymous

      Were you to actually pay attention to the issue of illegal immigration, you would be aware that the government of Mexico openly supports illegal immigration. It has gone so far as to print a pamphlet to aid Mexicans crossing the border illegally.
      http://cryptome.quintessenz.org/mirror/mx/mx-migrants.htm


      Mexico gains billions in remittances and uses illegal immigration as a mechanism to reduce social and economic pressure. It has essentially become part of the Mexican political economy.
      http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_4_mexico.html
      Mexico grants illegal the right to continue to vote in Mexico, and does everything in its power to ensure that the US cannot arrest criminal aliens.

      This is not because Mexico believes in open borders. Mexican troops regularly shoot people crossing its southern borders. Mexican sweeps for illegal aliens in Mexico are draconian and violent. Heck, Mexico doesn't even treat legal immigrants well.

      For hypocritically using illegal immigration as government policy, at the expense of Mexican citizens, and in furtherance of a corrupt regime, we chose to protest.

      So my question to you is, do you not care about the continued oppression of Mexicans by their oligarchs, or are you simply ignorant of the situation?

  3. ron is great...  

    but he's no lee kaplan. lee, come back!

  4. an idea  

    since we're so good it, can we violate ron lewenberg's right to free speech (or free bwog-posting)? He's starting to get really annoying.

  5. oops  

    I forgot an "at"

    since we're so good at it, can we violate ron lewenberg's right to free speech (or free bwog-posting)? He's starting to get really annoying.

  6. um...  

    I applaud taylor and avi for taking a stand. And I agree that Bollinger needs to step it up. But I do take offense at comparing Gilchrist to Ahmenijad (forgive my spelling). Gilchrist is not a world leader calling for the destruction of a state and all its people. Not to say he's exactly Chicano friendly either.

  7. Lefty Libertarian  

    "But Jim Gilchrist's presence would affect Chicano students in a way similar to the way a visit by Iranian president and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have affected Jewish students. Driven by a real fear that an Ivy League stage would grant legitimacy to the Minuteman style and worldview, activists deluged inboxes with calls for protest, and an anti-Minutemen facebook group garnered over 600 members."

    How their visits affect Chicano and Jewish students cannot be summed up and generalized over an entire population. While we may not agree with either the Ahmadinejad's or Gilchrist's views, doesn't mean that we should not allow them to speak. Those morons who ran around campus protesting Ahmadinejad's visit were such hypocrite's, how can you chastise a man for preventing freedom of speech in his country, yet attempt to stop him from speaking here. If you have issues with his views, question them in a public forum, and let their own idiocies expose them for the true morons they are. What's the matter? Has the left all of a sudden run out of good questions and ability to dominate intellectually? I personally hate Gilchrist and Ahmadinejad, but I was eager to hear both of them speak so that I could pose questions and take them to task. Those people who attempt to shut things down like this are no better than the people they are trying to shut down. Probably the same people who are pro-choice, and yet they forget that it is about choice, not about shutting people down.

    • Phil Ochs' Liberal  

      It seems that even when they recognize hypocrisy in others, people are often unwilling to see that disagreeing strongly with someone and disallowing them from speaking on campus should be two independent decisions. Ahmadinejad has said some repugnant stuff, but his racism towards Jews is roughly similar to Gilchrist's distaste for Latinos. The bottom line is that there's nothing inherently wrong with racists being allowed to speak on campus.

      Because he's a head of government, Ahmadinejad's words have real influence -- that's simply a matter of fact. It's absurd to disallow such an influential man from speaking and putting his views up for public debate just because he doesn't like Jews. Here's another excerpt from the New York magazine article: "At this moment, in fact, Columbia is planning a huge capital drive, and some of its donors are active in national and international Jewish causes—a fact that can’t be entirely lost on Bollinger."

      P.S. I'm really sick of people harping on this line about wiping Israel off the map. You know, I know, and Ahmadinejad knows that if some day Iran actually moved to destroy Israel, Iran would be a parking lot by the end of the day, especially given the asymmetry between the two countries' ability to wage war against a state they don't border. Wiping Israel off the map was a propaganda line and little more. Declaring it representative of his true plan of action would be like thinking that George Bush's main job is clearing brush.

      • to 30

        Ahmadinejad is an anti-Semite, Gilchrist is not, neither is Gilchrist a racist. He has no "distate for Latinos." And how can he if Latinos work for his organization and are a part of his family.

        But, you know, I'm "really sick of people" who blame people like Gilchrist for wanting to defend America and downplay the threat of someone like Ahmadinejad, as if to say there is nothing worse than America.

  8. suggestion

    A better name for "October 4th" would be the October Revolution.

  9. im with 18  

    also, "Gilchrist is not a world leader calling for the destruction of a state and all its people."

    Neither is Ahmadinejad. He didn't say the famous "wiped off the map" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel#Translation_of_phrase_.22wiped_off_the_map.22 - and he's said repeatedly that he's not calling for aggressive war with anybody. He's a Holocaust denier, but that's not the same thing as an imminent genocide risk.

    • Question for 20

      Although genocidal intent does not yet constitute genocide, are you willing to find out if it does in the particular case of Ahmadinejad? Can we afford that?

      • craziness  

        re Ahmadinejad and genocidal intent - what genocidal intent? Denying past genocides is bad but not the same as planning new ones. Right now a war on Iran is a helluva lot more of a threat than Iran doing anything to Israel.

        To go back to the topic, though... "knocks over tables,"
        didn't happen that I can see on any video
        "rips the mics out of their holders and off their wires,"
        didn't happen that I can see on any video

        The Daily Show showed a guy punching the air, nowhere near a Minuteman. You people are absurd.

  10. another name  

    How about"Anarchy in the C.U."
    I just like the Sex Pistols.

  11. thank you  

    avi and taylor for attempting to push this ongoing mess towards something constructive. Why does Bollinger seem to care more about the University's public image than for the safety of his students. Whatever your political persuasion, you should be outraged that nonviolent direct action met with violence. Agree or disagree, we should be concerned. Does this school put its bottom line before the safety of its students?

    I hope Bollinger reads your editorial and stops being a pussy.

  12. to 24

    *You* are the pussy -- "nonviolent direct action"? I'm sorry "direct action" is "violence" by another name, you little hair-splitter you. There is no such thing as "nonviolent direct action" because if it is "direct" it is bound to become "violent." You stupid little postmodernist twit. Even five-year-olds know there is no such thing. Do you stand up to a bully with "nonviolent direct action"? Moron.

  13. Even  

    the Daily Show knocked that "non violent" protest BS. Anyone who runs on stage, knocks over tables, rips the mics out of their holders and off their wires, screaming and flailing - is not peaceful. Standing and turning is peaceful.

    Yes, this was an editorial, I understand that - but with such overt leanings, can you tell me with 100% certainty that all their 10000 other posts were fact based and objective? No way in hell

  14. Lerner Hall Putsch!

    Yes, when those chicano brown shirts and their socialist comrades forcibly took the stage! Lerner Hall Putsch is brilliant.

  15. Lerner Hall Putsch  

    is possibly the most brilliant name possible for 10/4. but bwog will never accept or condone it. because they are biased against the minutemen and for the socialists. if they do accept it, ill eat my hat.

  16. MLK Re: 25  

    I think the words of MLK jr might be fitting for a discussion of non violent direct action:

    "We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

    That the minutemen reacted with violence to a peaceful demonstration reveals something about them, not about the protesters.

    • Hey moron,  

      this is not about "civil rights," it is about the illegal immigration crisis. The minutemen are not opposed to immigration as such, provided that it is *legal.* What is so hard to understand about this? That you must invoke the words of Martin Luther King, jr. to justify your violence against the Minutemen says a lot about your commitments.

    • Southerner  

      I don't much care for Martin Luther King, Jr. There are those of us from the South who still believe we should have won the Civil War. The country would have been better for it, and you liberals would not be hating yourselves for who you are. Martin Luther King Jr was wrong for the same reason that the French Revolution was wrong: You don't do away with long-standing institutions like monarchy or slavery. Look at the result: You liberals have made yourselves slaves to the blacks in the name of political correctness and affirmative action. You can't even think a thought that's not politically correct. A sad state of affairs.

  17. wait

    when are these people going to realize that trolling on bwog is kind of silly. i mean, does a website that covers "thursday room hopping" really that important to your LEFT VERSUS RIGHT(OMGZ!) debate?

  18. the south  

    will rise again! Restore monarchy! Re-enslave black people! This is all getting to be too much. I hope Chris and the CRs are enjoying all this eloquent support they're getting.



    How I miss the days when the good old bwog wasn't dominated by white supremecists and neo-nazis.

  19. so?  

    your memory is better than video?

    You and marvin stewart should hang out. You two could really get down to the facts, you know?

    • the videos  

      were taken from different angles and showed, at best, only part of what happened. moreover, administrators saw people kicking over tables and ripping out mikes as well. in this respect, yes, my memory is better than the video.

      do you have anything to say to that, or just more ad hominems?

  20. Applaud  

    Bollinger has been acting like a sell out as of late. There are a few incidents that demonstrate this that I've pushed to the back of my mind, but this one takes the take. It's possible to condemn what the students did while speaking out about the minutemen and what some of their members did within the walls of our very university.

  21. rjt  

    I don't disagree that the Minutemen are a pretty crappy organization. But does anyone else think that making a blanket decision about their 10-4 actions based on one idiot who kicked somebody is kind of like...oh...making a blanket decision about an entire college campus based on 15 idiots who disrupted a speaker?

    Really, the Univision footage does not change much about this situation.

  22. Lerner Hall Putsch!  

    Lerner Hall Putsch!

  23. Anonymous  

    Bwog, to get rid of the duplicate-posts problem, why don't you do this?

    1. Assign a unique session ID to each post.
    2. If the user reloads, check the session ID with whatever's in your SQL db. If it exists, reload the page without reposting.

    • Zach vS  

      We're pretty happy with our current solution, which has prevented 100% of duplicates since we started using it. Adding extra SQL calls to every pageload strains our already-burdened server.

  24. Edd  

    Interesting points, but I kind of don't get it. You say the protestors were wrong, and then criticize Bollinger for not defending the students who committed those wrong actions? Should he stand up for them just because they go to school here even when you, I, and he agree that what they did was wrong? If I were the kid who got kicked in the head, I would press charges. But PrezBo isn't the police, and other than excluding them from campus, there really isn't much action Columbia can take against the outside protestors. I know blaming the administration is the reflexive response whenever things are not well at Columbia--I do it plenty myself--but whether you're Bloomberg, O'Reilly, or Bwog, saying that Bollinger or the administration are culpable for any of this stuff is a pretty tough case to make.

  25. watcher  

    How about "Red October" since the stage was taken by the ISO?

    Or we could go with Oktoberfest because it's the closest that Columbia students have gotten to a party in a while.

  26. rjt  

    Oh, also, count one vote in support of "Lerner Hall Putch."

  27. yow

    if you really want to make the nazi analogy, the obvious one is Gilchristal-nacht.

    • to 54  

      Gilchristal-nacht wouldn't work. It was Gilchrist who was attacked, so you can throw that idea out the window.

      Oktober Blitz might be better. The socialists and chicanos made a little Blitzkrieg on Gilchrist and company. Note that I spelled October with a "k" -- that's what the Left likes. They typically harden names by turning c's into k's, like Amerika.

  28. i'm starting a fund

    to buy ron lewenberg some primo weed.

    anyone in?

    think how awesome his diatribes would be then..

  29. primo weed?

    you're such a lewser.

  30. Some levity.  

    The Fed got it right weeks before the Lerner Hall Pustch...

    Just so we're all on the same page: The Fed is satire, folks. This is not an actual news article.

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/thefed/v3/volume22/1/speech.shtml

  31. Gilkrist  

    Responding to their claim that racists and fascists are among the most disenfranchised groups on campus, a Columbia spokesperson recently said in an interview, “Yes, it simply wouldn’t be fair of us not to give these people a forum in which to share and discuss their beliefs. Accordingly, we surrender the wall of Ruggles Hall. The university will make no attempt to erase any views expressed there. We know that particular wall already has a history with the Nazi party, and we do not wish to upset that. We ask that those skinheads would kindly accept the terms of this arrangement and confine their evil ways to that wall. Columbia would like to reiterate that we are always eager to reach out to those without a voice. Thank you.”

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