We get it. Max Karson, the author of “If it’s war the Asians want . it’s war they’ll get,” fancies himself among the likes of Jonathan Swift.
He and the Campus Press, CU-Boulder’s online student newspaper, defend the hate-filled rant as “satire” protected as free speech. But don’t be fooled. This is nothing more than a piss-poor attempt at humor that only perpetuates racism and further marginalizes an entire community of Asian-Americans.
Now, as zealots of free speech —- we think we’ve established that —- we completely understand the protections of the First Amendment, especially with context to college newspapers. He’s free to say whatever he wishes, and it’s a beautiful thing.
But there’s an undeniable and important distinction between hate speech and political speech. The ability to criticize the government without fear of charges of libelous sedition or death is the very foundation upon which a free press thrives.
And those who solicit unpopular view, however hateful, should absolutely be protected from prosecution. But call it what it is. It’s not satire. It’s hate speech.
Notable satirists became such for their ability to persuade, affect change and improve the human condition through their writing. In our time, even pretending to encourage the capture of Asian students to deride, humiliate and “break the Asian spirit” is far from progressive.
This editorial was written because the author thought it would be funny to attack an ethnic group in the guise of “just kidding.” This stunt was nothing more than a lengthy racist joke designed to incite public outcry and media attention.