Ignorant viewpoints shouldn’t be ignored
By The Highland Cavalier
Today we published a potentially controversial advertisement. The ad, on page 5, says simply, “Is diversity a strength? We think not. For an alternative view: www.AmRen.com.”
The ad was paid for by the New Century Foundation, a nonprofit organization that publishes the monthly magazine American Renaissance. The website mentioned in the ad is for the magazine.
Both the organization and publication are, by any objective standard, representative of a white supremacist viewpoint.
As an editorial board, we debated whether or not to accept and publish New Century’s ad. The content of the ad is not inappropriate itself, we thought. And we do have advertising guidelines that clearly say we reserve the right to refuse any ad.
But should we?
We vehemently disagree with New Century’s cause. Diversity is a strength. Our nation, our community and our college are all built on it. We believe the organization’s beliefs are incorrect and even crude. They are, and certainly should be, unpopular.
The question we asked ourselves, then, was: Should opinions be rejected merely because they’re unpopular? If we brush ugly views to the side and don’t discuss what makes them wrong, how do we learn from them?
In the end, most of us felt that hiding New Century’s ad because it espouses white supremacist views doesn’t serve our purpose, which is in part to serve as a conduit for discussion of issues that affect us as a college community.
We’re not sure we have the right answer, and we didn’t all agree with the decision to publish the ad and write this editorial. We could have just as easily rejected New Century’s advertisement and moved on. The $80 and change we charged for the ad is not essential to our budget.
Ultimately we published the advertisement, but decided to donate the money New Century will pay us to the Virginia chapter of the NAACP.
We encourage you to visit amren.com and read what the group has to say. Discuss it with your peers, professors and others in the community. Talk about how it makes you feel and think about why diversity is a strength.
As always, feel free to contact us or write a letter to the editor with your comments and critiques of our decision. Maybe we weren’t right, but hopefully we got people thinking.