An Inclusive Litany

9/17/01

A bill under consideration by the student government of the University of California at Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement during the 1960s:
Whereas: On Monday, Sept. 17, 12,000 members of the Cal community came together in peace and solidarity to mourn the loss of almost 6,000 human lives when planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, rural Pennsylvania and the Pentagon,

Whereas: Despite the possibility of hate and hasty actions across the nation, we stood united behind our values of truth and healing that day, and

Whereas: Leaders that day remarked on our shared value of Berkeley as a place of light where the rights of individuals with difference are appreciated and honest, probing inquiry is encouraged, and

Whereas: The Cal community and the nation as a whole has been deeply hurt by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and

Whereas: Berkeley remains one of the few places in the world where a thoughtful, critical exchange can occur from people across a spectrum of backgrounds and races, without fear of reprisal or hatred, and

Whereas: The Daily Californian's editorial cartoon of two Muslims in the hand of the devil printed on Tuesday, Sept. 18 shows a complete disregard for the value of dynamic intellectual community and a desire to understand rather than condemn, and

Whereas: The cartoon promotes the kind of harmful stereotyping that has led to the murder of Sikhs and Muslims across the country, and the terrorization of many more, and

Whereas: The cartoon may fall within the realm of fair comment and free speech, but falls outside of the realm of human decency, sensitivity, responsibility and respect, and

Whereas: The ASUC values free speech, but not hate speech, and

Whereas: The ASUC should grant office space to groups consistent with the shared mission of community and service, as well as the University's dedication to truth and light, and

Whereas: The Daily Californian occupies an entire upper floor of an ASUC-run building at significantly below market rents,

Whereas: The Daily Californian's actions on this and possibly other occasions calls into question their own commitment to the student body's shared values, and

Whereas: The Daily Californian has not printed an apology, and might in the future continue to act against ASUC values of community and inquiry by perpetuating harmful stereotypes; and

Whereas: The Daily Californian will soon be renegotiating its contract for use of the sixth floor of Eshelman Hall; therefore, let it be

Resolved: That the ASUC Senate, on behalf of the Associated Students and the Cal community, strongly condemn the Daily Californian's Editorial cartoon on Sept. 18, and call for a printed apology for using bad judgement during volatile times on its front page, and be it further

Resolved: That the ASUC Senate recommend to the Store Operations Board that it base the continued occupation of the sixth floor of Eshelman and rent rates in future contracts on the Daily Californian's actions to rectify its complete insensitivity to the needs of its campus and its values; and be it further

Resolved: That voluntary diversity training, a printed apology, and a new record of dedication to truth in editorial and news content be considered steps toward such a rectification.

[Ed.: Darrin Bell was one of several editorial cartoonist who used the same idea, that martyred terrorists expecting a blissful afterlife amidst numerous virgins would instead find themselves in hell. Immediately after the Californian published his cartoon, over 100 protestors occupied its offices.]

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