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Cornell newspaper editors accuse YAF of racism because it criticized calling on white people last

Ignored its own coverage of the controversy over disarming police

Editors at the campus paper The Cornell Daily Sun responded to social media videos posted by Young America’s Foundation by accusing the conservative activist group of racism. YAF posted footage from a recent student government meeting at which student government members called on minority students before white students.

YAF had posted audio of a recent student government meeting debate over a resolution to call on the university to disarm campus police. The first resolution failed but then a new resolution passed this week.

The audio included Cat Huang, the student body president, calling on “marginalized folks” over white students. This is referred to as “progressive stacking” and involves giving preference to the voices of non-white students over white students in classroom discussions or other settings.

“The inaccurate shpiel of the YAF disseminated this morning is nothing more than a diatribe that attacked young adults with marginalized identities for having the gall to think differently,” the paper’s editors wrote.

The paper continued:

For all the hoopla attributed to members of the S.A. [student assembly] for their admittedly unconventional approaches to student governance, the power structures at play in this moment are clear: Students of color attempted to make change in the sphere of their own University, with democratic support of their community, following the institutional procedures that permit accountability. Rules were not broken. Policies were followed. There were certainly, as even the President of the S.A. noted, times of pettiness, but that is indubitably a hallmark of all governance.

Now, these students have been spotlighted in racist, misogynistic and targeted machines that are oiled to pluck “controversial” incidents on campuses, decontextualize and dehumanize them to national audiences. These outlets then can move on, unaffected or unperturbed by the harm caused to, and division sown between, real people.

Absent from the op-ed is a direct mention of the removal of four student government members from committees, after those members did not support the disarmament resolution. At least the paper’s own reporter covered the controversy.

The opinion piece from the editors ends with another accusation of racism and unethical behavior by YAF.

The YAF doesn’t engage with any of this substance. Instead, they chose to use their national platform in a manner that most students on this campus — conservative and liberal — should dub racist and reckless.

The role of a campus newspaper is often bizarre; we highlight our student leaders’ roles and responsibilities and attempt to hold the University and our peers accountable for their actions, while also recognizing and fearing that larger publications can strip and mine our pages injudiciously. In this moment, we hope to make clear the objective inaccuracy of the YAF piece, as well as its clearly unethical approach.

YAF responded to the accusations through Twitter, including mocking the paper for getting its name wrong (the paper originally called it “Young American Foundation” and then changed it in the article to “Young Americas Foundation” before finally getting it right).

Read YAF’s blog post and the student paper op-ed.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and a M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.