Friday, March 12, 2010

By Badger Herald Board of Directors

An open letter to the UW campus

By Badger Herald Board of Directors

Friday, March 12, 2010 1:03 a.m.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve wrestled both ethically and emotionally with our decision not to remove Bradley Smith’s Holocaust denial advertisement on our website. The advertisement, as this paper has stated repeatedly, is an affront to history, an insult to this campus’ intelligence and a veiled attack on the Jewish students who attend the University of Wisconsin. Given the nature of Smith’s website and its borderline content, we’ve debated in meeting after meeting whether to take the advertisement down.

We have decided to leave the advertisement up for the duration of its term, which will end on March 17. This paper defended the continued run of this advertisement on the grounds that this campus was strong enough and educated enough to expose such lies and do more damage to them than they could do to us. And this campus proved us right. The Holocaust deniers certainly made their presence obvious on our comment boards, but the student body was ready to combat their message and use the tools Chancellor Biddy Martin and the UW community has armed them with: The truth. To that degree, UW students proved us right — our community was rational enough to rebuke this alternative reality as it crept out of its extremist corners and into the light of day.

However, as this ordeal comes to an end, we want to make a few things clear.

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