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Charles Gilford III, a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, speaks to the crowd during a rally in response to Max Karson's column Feb. 28 at the University Memorial Center in Boulder.

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CU-Boulder students rally against hate

Speakers condemn Karson's piece, urge students to stand united


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BOULDER – Students and community members gathered to denounce Max Karson’s column as well as all hate speech during a rally held Feb. 28 at the University Memorial Center south terrace on the CU-Boulder campus.


Approximately 250 people, many clad in red while others held signs, turned out for the event. Andy Nguyen, a junior at CU-Boulder, said that the rally was to show administrators that minority students have a voice.


“All these demographics go through this every single year,” Nguyen said, “and nothing gets fixed.”


Student Union Diversity Director John Ali Sharza agreed.


“It seems like every spring or every fall, there’s some kind of incident that goes on campus,” he said. “Whether it be racial or homophobic, toward women – there’s something every year.”


Karson was in attendance along with several editors from The Campus Press, but they kept their distance from the crowd. Karson declined to give any comment.


Sharza said that Karson’s piece, along with another piece titled, “No hablo ingles,” were blatantly racist.


“That s--- was not satire, by all means,” Sharza said. “That was a form of hate speech that marginalizes a community who they thought would not be as responsive as we had been together with other marginalized groups.”


UCSU Tri-Executive Charles Gilford III urged the students to stand united, and said that freedom of speech comes with the responsibility that it doesn’t infringe on other people’s freedoms.


“I think we can all attest that his (Karson’s) satire skills need to be worked on,” said Gilford, a junior. “ … You (Karson) have no right to attack a member of our family.”


Amie Ha, a representative from the Vietnamese Student Association at Boulder, blasted the publication for running the piece and questioned their lack of coverage on minority-related events on campus.


“Do not tell me you are trying to write about our people when you do not even show up to any of the opportunities that our school provides for you,” Ha said.


The rally concluded with students holding hands and singing “We Shall Overcome.”


“We stand here united, but I urge you all to maintain the strength and courage in your heart,” Gilford said.


“ … And when somebody says something that is ignorant, although it’s not your job to do it, have the courage to say, ‘That was wrong.’”

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