A 100-person rally was recently held at the University of California – Los Angeles to show support for the Vietnamese Student Union, whose sign was recently vandalized with racial and sexist slurs.
Despite the the fact that the university’s students stood clearly behind the targeted group and the incident is currently under investigation by the campus police, it was still not enough for another minority student organization.
The Daily Bruin was compelled to offer the following introduction to an editorial piece, because a specific coalition could not agree to use the standard spelling of “women” instead of “womyn” as used in the submission.
In recent weeks, campus groups have spoken out after racial and sexist slurs against Asian American women were found written on a Vietnamese Student Union sign in Kerckhoff Hall and on a stall in a restroom in Powell Library.
About a week ago, the Daily Bruin received an opinion submission from the Asian Pacific Coalition that addressed these slurs. A group of editors made the decision not to run the submission because the student group did not want to change the word “womyn” to “women” in its submission. On Dec. 3, the Daily Bruin ran an editor’s note explaining our decision, which stated that the use of the word “womyn” in our newspaper would represent a social and political stance that we, as a news organization, should remain neutral on.
After further consideration and input on the subject, The Bruin has decided to run the submission in its original format, keeping the spelling of the word “womyn.” The use of the word “womyn” in this submission represents an identity that members of the Asian Pacific Coalition says is essential to the message they want to convey. Though the term can represent a social and political stance, the submission represents the stance of its authors, and not the stance of the Daily Bruin. Our Opinion page is a forum for the community to express a variety of viewpoints that are thoughtful and generate discussion.
As a community newspaper, we invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct, and encourage the public to voice concerns about our editorial decisions. In this instance, we did not make the correct decision. Today, we are running the Asian Pacific Coalition submission in full. Below is the full text of the submission.
Given today’s problems, hyperventilating over the word “women” takes away from the seriousness of the matter. It also smacks a lack of respect for both “diversity” and “tolerance” that such minority student groups are supposedly promoting.
Submission: Offensive comments reflect unsafe campus climate (The Daily Bruin)