In the past two weeks, we’ve seen some pretty horrific things printed in the Emerald. It’s not that we weren’t aware of them–far from it. We were just too busy trying to get our papers finished, what with being students and all.
Of course, what we’re talking about here is the two gems printed on Mar. 2nd and Mar. 8th, respectively. Tyree Harris’ “Western perspective is not culture” was an article that did not have a high enough word count to fully address the issues concerned. Trying to make the plea that “white, western culture” was something that disconnected people of color, Harris inevitably made the mistake of being racist, “Caucasians can go their whole lives being ignorant of minority struggles and live happily ever after.” This was responded to in a letter by UO student David Delmar on Mar.5th:
“What is a “Caucasian perspective?” Is the author truly asserting that by virtue of a shared skin color, the University student born and raised in Oregon shares a common, inherent “perspective” with the University student born and raised in South Chicago? Is this not a racist assertion?”
Indeed, Delmar pointed out the logical fallacy in Harris’ argument–that he was himself grouping the experience of individuals by race. Oops.
Mohamed Jemmali’s guest commentary “Food, water should be free for all” was patently absurd, with Jemmali lending us insight into the world of farming, “With hydroponic technology, we can now grow anything with just water and electricity, and we do!”
Obviously privy to some kind of wizardry unknown to the general populace, Jemmali went on to explain that, “Like air, water, food and electricity can now be free.” The very next day, concerned citizen Nick Stachelrodt sent an e-mail to the Commentator (as did another graduate student) with the fitting subject line “Unicorns, sunshine and rainbows and shit” in response to Jemmali’s commentary.
“Now I’ve only done hundreds of hours of organic farming and I’m not terribly acquainted with hydroponic farming but I’m pretty sure it takes a little more than water and electricity (fuck it plants don’t need nutrients).
Also concerning his “every vegetable and fruit would become equally available everywhere” hypothesis, I’m pretty sure that there are these things called climates and these things called seasons which might require Mohamed to have to consult the great gaia and captain planet in order to fix.
He goes on to explain how water will be free via desalination (which is of course is a completely inexpensive uncomplicated process) and how electricity will be free (because those windmills maintain themselves).
So in short he is absolutely bat shit crazy which is fine in its own right, but the fact the the Emerald actually published this garbage is asinine.”
On Mar. 15th, UO Political Science undergraduate Ben Rudin took an economics-based approach to tearing down Jemmali’s commentary.
“If we force people to produce and serve food for nothing, have we made the cost of food any lower? No, we’ve merely shifted the buyers’ current share of the cost to the suppliers.
The very technology Jemmali refers to (desalination and hydroponic technology) was not developed due to generosity; it was developed due to the profit motive.”
Not only was Jemmali’s grasp of the science behind hydroponics at fault, so too was his basic understanding of its role in the free market economy (as a side note, it sounds like Mr. Rudin should turn in a staff application. I’ll be expecting it.)
My advice to the Emerald editorial staff? Say “no” a little more often.
Now that D’Andrea is a student again, can someone please save that place? Tomcat is only one man.
(Also, we scooped the Emerald. Twice.)