Boulder Up A Hill

I’m sure many of you already know about the controversy behind the opinion piece that ran in the CU Boulder student paper that called for an assault on all Asian American students unless they assimilated. It was authored by a student named Max Karson. If you are curious, here is a link to the article.

But what I found more disturbing was that after a little googling, I came across the below article. It sounds like that despite being arrested for threatening language to fellow classmates last year, the same guy a year later was allowed to write an angry anti-Asian essay for the school paper. Sounds like echoes of Kenneth Eng, the Asian Supremacist. I don’t see how the school paper feels it can defend itself in the matter.

At right is a picture of Max Karson being bailed out by his dad last year for the incident.

From the Daily Camera:

Students return to class after Max Karson’s arrest
Officer in class to answer questions
By Vanessa Miller
Friday, April 20, 2007

Most of Max Karson’s classmates in a women’s-studies course at the
University of Colorado reconvened Thursday, two days after the junior
was jailed for comments about being “angry enough to kill.”

But where Karson would have sat, there was an empty seat. And there was an officer in the room, police said.

“One detective was there in case there were questions,” CU police
Cmdr. Brad Wiesley said. “They had a brief discussion, and that was
helpful for everyone.”

Karson was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of “interference with
staff, faculty and students of an educational institution” after he
commented during a heated classroom discussion about the Virginia Tech
massacre that he was “angry enough to kill his classmates,” a police
report said.

He left the Boulder County Jail on a personal-recognizance bond
Wednesday, and he’s been suspended from the university until a
judicial-affairs review of his case is complete.

Karson’s father said his son — who circulates an underground
publication called The Yeti on the campus — never directly threatened
any students and wouldn’t harm anyone. But Wiesley said Karson’s
intentions don’t matter because students felt threatened and said they
were afraid to come to class.

“His words were taken as a threat of force or violence, and people
said, ‘I’m not coming to class. I’m scared,'” Wiesley said. “So that
impeded their education.”

Among Karson’s controversial comments Tuesday, Wiesley said, was one
that directly answered another student’s question of, “Are you going to
do something Thursday?”

“He said, ‘Well, not necessarily this Thursday,'” Wiesley said. “Do you take a chance on coming back to class?”

With Karson banned from the campus, most of the students were back
in their seats Thursday, and a class field trip in Denver this weekend
should happen as planned, Wiesley said.

“We went from most people not coming to most people showing up,” he
said. “Now they can get the education they came here for, and that’s a
good thing.”

Students have been debating Karson’s punishment on the social-networking site Facebook.com.

“A national tragedy shouldn’t take away anyone’s rights,” one person wrote.

CNN television personality Nancy Grace weighed in on the Karson case Thursday night.

After introducing Karson as a CU student who “says he sympathized
with the V-Tech killer,” Grace asked a woman whose daughter attends the
Virginia school what she thought about Karson’s statements.

“Let’s take him 100-percent seriously and give him zero tolerance,”
the woman said. “We cannot afford another tragedy like this.”

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One thought on “

  1. You missed linking to the “AA” viewpoint that ran concurrently with Karson’s piece.  Interesting note: The AA editorial was supposed to be linked to the other and vice versa.  It was not and it flew under the radar until the editors mentioned it in their explanation on 2/26 (which you did link).  They STILL haven’t linked any of the three articles to each other.  They need a new webmaster.Interesting observation: Karson and the editors justified his piece as satire with the stated goal of starting dialog on the subject of race relations.  However it mostly just stirred up comments regarding 1st Amendment rights (which I’m an adamant supporter of) as noted by the explanation piece’s comment section.  I honestly believe Max intended to write a satire piece, but it was so clumsily executed that the intended effect fell completely flat.  I attribute this to (mostly male) student writers watching too many episodes of South Park and Family Guy.  They believe that they can pull off the ol’ shock ‘n awe satire – something that even the pros fail on time to time.  Big yawns all around.On the other side of this, Im’s piece actually did start up dialog on race relations (see the comments section, something Karson’s OpEd is curiously missing).  I won’t say this one was written perfectly, but it was less cluttered than Karson’s and did without the god awful failed attempts at cleverness.  One thing that did bother me was the “murder” remark.  That merely sounds brutal without any lightness.  Otherwise the piece doesn’t feel too forced or contrived.The net results over this incident will remain a big fat zero, which honestly, offends me more than anything else.   Another minor spat where people merely reinforce their already cemented opinions.  After all this expended energy with nothing to show for.

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