On Anonymous Fliers, Critics Attack Cornell Sun Columnist as ‘Racist Rape Apologist’
When is a kiss considered to be sexual assault? Is the tide turning against Affirmative Action? Does free speech include the right to offend? And is rape so widespread on campuses as to be an epidemic?
Kairey is the lone conservative voice regularly featured in the Sun’s opinion section. His column title: “Always Right.”
But apparently not always loved. Late last week, Kairey was the target of some anonymous haterade. Several fliers were found on Cornell’s campus sporting his headshot, name and the description “Daily Sun Columnist and Racist Rape Apologist.”
According to the Cornell Review, a conservative pub at the Ivy League school unaffiliated with the Sun or Kairey, “The fliers’ description is most likely a reference to common criticism of Kairey’s recent articles, notably ‘The Truth About ‘Rape Culture’,’ ‘Islamophobia and Racism’ and most recently ‘Should California Redefine Campus Sexual Assault?’ Kairey’s articles are often met with calls for his … removal from the Sun’s staff.”
In the immediate aftermath of flier-gate, the Sun’s top three editors composed and signed a letter to readers criticizing the attack without mentioning it outright. They also signaled their support for voices that on a liberal college campus may be considered somewhat offensive or in the minority.
“In terms of our opinion section, we aim to create an environment where a whole host of opinions from students, faculty, alumni and other members of our community can be heard. We as a staff try and facilitate conversation, while ensuring that these pieces that run in the Sun are based on researched facts and the individual or group’s own opinion. Amidst criticism from others, we have and will continue to allow our columnists and our guests to express their opinions and to share said opinions in a safe space. We support others who have differing views from those presented, but insist that these conversations occur through the appropriate and proper channels.”
A separate Sun columnist, Deon Thomas, more directly calls out the Kairey critics — deeming them ill-informed and “unfairly malicious.”
As Thomas contends, “I know someone might think that throwing a few fliers on campus attacking a figure they deem offensive to be a form of activism; however, I will take the time now to tell you that it’s actually far from it. You have resorted to sending yourself back to elementary school where one-word insults were the end-all, be-all. You are not adding to the conversation; you are not creating effective change; you are, however, refusing to respect a fellow student, which, in fact, is exactly what you seem to be accusing him of doing in the first place!”
Another April Fools Controversy: Cornell Employee Steals, Hides Copies of Cornell Daily Sun Spoof Section