The UC Berkeley student newspaper rejected an anti-DACA op-ed submission last week partially on the basis of its negative portrayal of “non-Western nations.”
UC Berkeley student and Vice President of the Berkeley College Republicans Naweed Tahmas was shocked when he learned last week that the Daily Californian, the university’s independent newspaper, had rejected his op-ed submission. Isn’t this the same paper that published a series of columns on why violence is necessary to prevent allegedly offensive speakers?
Tahmas’ column, entitled “The Founding Fathers Would Have Abhorred DACA,” was an argumentative essay in which Tahmas laid out why he is wary of immigration. “The Oxford English Dictionary defines a nation as ‘a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.’ The campus left, it appears, would remove everything but the last six words of this definition,” Tahmas wrote in the column, which was provided to Breitbart News and published on our site.
“Many of our Founding Fathers were extremely wary about immigrants who did not share their values coming to the United State. Hamilton on Broadway might be best-known for such zingers as “Immigrants… we get the job done!” but if the campus left knew Alexander Hamilton’s real views on immigration, they might not be so quick to sing his praises,” Tahmas continued.
“Foreigners,” Hamilton wrote in 1802, “will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners,” and that this “has often been likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another.”
Text screenshots provided to Breitbart News reveal that editors from the Daily Californian told Tahmas that his submission would be fact-checked and then edited only for minor grammar or style issues.
“Will let you know when it goes up!” Assistant Opinion Editor Nicole Kim told Tahmas after he submitted it, referring to the op-ed’s publication in the paper.
A day later Kim texted Tahmas again, informing him that the Daily Californian would not publish his column as a result of several factors, including the way in which Tahmas described “non-Western nations.”
We appreciate you submitting an op-ed but after reading it, the points such as “immigrants have the power to subvert a nation to the interests of their own home country. Do you doubt it? Just look at how often certain Hispanic student groups wave the Mexican flag on our campus.” and “we should do everything we can to prevent the sort of poverty and violence characteristic of most of the world outside the West from being transplanted here.” Takes the assumption that a) waving the Mexican ﬂag is a problem and b) non-Western nations are in poverty and are violent (not all of them are). In terms of fact-checking, waving the Mexican flag is not illegal here, and the newspaper cannot claim that non-Western parts of the world/non-Western parts of the community are violent/in poverty.
“This is absurd and I don’t believe op-eds are meant to be influenced in this manner by the newspaper,” Tahmas replied.
In an email exchange with Breitbart News, Karim Doumar, the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Californian, provided a link to the paper’s “op-ed submission guidelines,” which explain that the paper reserves the right to not publish “libelous, racist, sexist, homophobic or highly offensive” content.
“Not every submission is guaranteed to be published,” the guidelines read. “Op-eds that are deemed libelous, racist, sexist, homophobic or highly offensive in any other manner will not print. Content that does not meet our fact-checking standards will also not print. All content publishes at the discretion of the opinion editor. We reserve the right to edit all material in accordance with our editorial standards.”
The Daily Californian nor its editorial staff have clarified how Tahmas’ op-ed violates their standards.