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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Rumors Of My Multiple Amputations Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

After the jump, I’m going to flog this dead horse a little more.

The Commentator has repeatedly singled out local individuals with threats of physical, verbal and sexual violence. They printed ableist, racist and homophobic slurs on a campus that is so hostile to students with disabilities, students of color and queer students that even minimalist and inadequate administrative attention to campus climate requires massive protest.

Bryan and Tim have already dealt with this one admirably, but it wasn’t until just now that I noticed the “ableist” charge. This deserves explanation.

I don’t recall how Ian Crosswhite came to be adopted as some sort of mascot by the publication; I remember the notion that his height fluctuated unpredictably came from an ODE column in which someone was using rather inexact language to say that Crosswhite could guard various different types of player, and instead gave the impression that Crosswhite could actually grow or shrink depending on the gameplan. Anyway, the Ian Crosswhite Heightwatch was an absurdist little running feature we had for a while. He formed into a giant robot with the rest of the basketball team; he got mixed up with Jarrett White of the College Republicans; he was proclaimed “tall enough to go on this ride.” At one point, the way in which he altered his height was by amputating his own legs in a desperate attempt to put an end to the Heightwatch feature. It wasn’t exactly Woody Allen, but it passed the time.

During that year’s slapstick attempt to defund us, we were mystified by claims that we had printed “hateful material” concerning a disabled student athlete. Eventually, we realized that Pira Kelly and then-Senator Toby Hill-Meyer were – or were claiming to be; I still can’t quite believe this – under the impression that Crosswhite had actually lost both of his legs in a tragic accident, and that we were making fun of him for it. The fact that he was the starting power forward on a Pac-10 basketball team apparently didn’t enter into this calculation. (And presumably they also believe that the Ducks’ starting five are capable of forming into a giant robot, since, you know, it was right there in black and white.) Needless to say, their characterization of the Commentator and its staff as racist and homophobic – one which I see Pira is going to keep bitterly repeating no matter what – made no more sense.

And that, in a nutshell, is another important reason why the Pira Kellys of the world shouldn’t be allowed veto power over public speech. All too often, they profess themselves incapable of understanding the very speech that they’re trying to restrict.

  1. stan says:

    Olly! E-mail me. I can’t seem to contact you via any other way that doesn’t involve sacraficing an ocelot, and I’m frankly not entirely sure whan an ocelot *is*.

    Uh, sorry to threadjack. Go ducks!

  2. Timothy says:

    His vertical just hasn’t been the same since the accident, I’m afraid.

  3. Tyler says:

    Man, I totally forgot about the Crosswhite-amputation charge. Brings back memories it does. So how is ol’ legless doing in the Australian League? Is he still playing?

  4. bryan says:

    Well played, Dr. Ruff.

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