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As we approach Saturday let us take into account that Halloween has been a historically bad day for Eugene. Riots in the early 2000’s and late 90’s on Halloween night have been a catastrophe–just wait until you mix in a night game at Autzen coupled with the emotional high/low of the potential outcomes. The Commentator is no stranger to the riots. A former unnamed staffer is on the front cover of a late-90’s Daily Emerald ripping up a stop sign. It’s fun for the whole family.

It doesn’t help that, according to today’s front page article in the Emerald, the Bias Response Team was called when a student organized a “blackout Autzen” facebook group. Reactionists and non-sports fans alike came together to question the student’s motivation for the event and its “racial implications”.

Apparently some kids at Oregon State came to a “blackout” at Reeser in 2007 with afros, gold chains and blackface paint. Aside for some racists in Corvallis, I don’t think many sports fans think about a “blackout” in racial terms (As a sports fan myself, and as I am sure many of you are, I don’t associate “blackout” with racial implications. I think more of Louisville getting it handed to them by Rutgers in 2007). Did the Bias Response Team have a problem with “Lightining Strikes” in 2003 for the Michigan game too?

All ridiculous, overuse of the word “racist” aside, the important thing to think about on Halloween night is unity. Dressing in the same color is a great way to enjoy comraderie with your fellow Duck fan Saturday night. Hey, you may even find someone to set a car on fire with once you’ve left the game.

Oh, and don’t forget the punch.

riot punch

Mix equal parts grain alcohol and “blue drink” for your very own “Riot Punch”.

  1. Paul says:

    @Danimal- It’s important to remember that when I wrote “allowed the event to go forward” I also included the words “without much more upheaval.” I only meant that maybe instead of this becoming a huge “the event is racist” vs. “you’re crushing my 1st Amendment rights” type of debate (as happens a lot on the UO campus, at least it did when I was there i.e. the Diversity Plan debates.) I never implied that the BRT could have stopped an event. Instead of “edict” I should have used the word “statement.” That was just bad word choice.

    I do agree with you that the BRT as a campus agency does carry an implied threat, and I know I would have felt a little intimidated getting that call from the director of the BRT. But a government agency having a discussion with a private citizen is not unheard of. It happens all the time. The OC does this whenever the periodic “let’s defund the OC” idea gets a little bit of steam. The OC, like a private citizen, doesn’t have enforcement power, but it does have rights and time and time again defends those rights. We can go ’round and ’round about government questioning a private citizen but I think that’s an entirely different discussion.

    For the record, (and to save someone an additional blog comment) I do not believe the OC should be defunded for it’s content. I didn’t believe it should have been defunded when I worked for the BRT and I still believe it should keep its funding. Back to the topic at hand.

    Berry could have kept the event with the same name. That’s his 1st Amendment right and there’s nothing anyone could do about it except not participate. But he decided to change the name somewhat. Maybe he did it just to end the whole issue or maybe he decided that the original wording would have made it easier for the idiots to break out their afros and gold chains. I don’t know what his reason was. I do agree that he is a class act.

  2. Vincent says:

    “White Chicks” was the worst movie I ever saw on an aircraft, after “Garfield: The Movie”.

  3. papa smurf says:

    In summary: BRT wants a pat on the head pissing out the fire it started.

    Also: White Chicks was racist.

  4. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “They had discussions and like adults, they were able to find a compromise. By having reasoned discussion we avoid flaming accusations of

  5. Danimal says:

    The BRT’s logic seems to have been “if you do this it will encourage racists to do something racist.” Which … it’s a pretty shitty standard. Especially in dealing with somebody like Berry. I mean, he’s bi-racial! Dude can’t help but encourage racists of all stripes* to be racist at him just by walking down the street!

    But Berry is a class act for deciding the game was more important than making a fuss here. If it was me I’da told them to go back to their BRT house** and diddle themselves blind. Paul, sure they “had discussions and like adults, they were able to find a compromise.” But the problem with this kind of soft-pressure thought policing is the implied threat. I’m fine with private parties on an equal footing having discussions and finding a compromise. I’m not fine with an organ of a public body having discussions with a student about something he’s organized on Facebook that boils down to an exercise of his expressive and associational freedom. And your take on this is that the discussions “allowed the event to go forward,” and no “edict was handed down.” I take it, then, the BRT could have stopped the event and handed down an edict? Therein lies…

    *Whoops, is “stripes” racist?
    **I picture something like a firehouse. Alarms, brass pole, the works.

  6. Paul says:

    Full disclosure: When I was a student I used to work for the BRT.

    After I read the ODE article, it appears that the actions of the Bias Response Team were advisory only. It also appears that the BRT and the Diversity Education and Support office were willing to talk to the student and the parties were able to find a way that allowed the event to go forward without much more upheaval. It’s also important to note that no edict was handed down from the BRT.

    The BRT and the Diversity Education and Support Office could have issued a statement or set up a table etc… but they didn’t. Austin could have made a post to his Facebook group to fire people up to battle the BRT and he Diversity office, but he didn’t. They had discussions and like adults, they were able to find a compromise. By having reasoned discussion we avoid flaming accusations of “racism” or “censorship.”

    The event goes on with full support and through a few changed words maybe the University community avoids some idiot showing up in blackface, afro, and chain.

  7. nike urbanism duk says:

    Oh no…you are bringing back memories of the infamous Northwest Christian College slave auction. And the special “black on track” training at UO before the oly trials.

  8. Betz says:

    I don’t think that the bias response team or the PC-police have gotten out of hand with their actions in this event. I don’t think that the organizer’s name was “Austin”, or that “black” was in the name. If that was the case, then the bias response team would be all over Taco Bell for their new “Black Taco” commercials…

    The real reason … Similar “blackout” events have been held at other universities across the country – the last and most memorable being from OSU, where white students dressed up in black face paint and wore afro wigs. Was it just an innocent expression of team pride, ignorant and unconcerned of the racial undertones in which someone could interpret the scene as “blackface”? Possibly … although, how could you prove it?

    I just think, to avoid similar backlashes and curfluffles that followed those other “blackout” events, that the bias response team just wanted to cover their asses, and avoid any image issues that might follow. According to the article, the team just presented them with information about these events, and suggested that they change the name – most likely painfully aware that they could really do nothing to stop anything.

    The responsibility is really in the hands of the students now.

  9. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I just got my costume for Saturday I think. Now, where to find a taser and riot gear.

  10. JMB says:

    Every time I read the term “Bias Response Team” I picture Diego Hernandez and a bunch of kids from the MCC crowd going around in SWAT gear and haz-mat suits to subdue and quarantine “minority offenders”.

  11. C.T. Behemoth says:

    They seem to follow a Rumsfeldian logic when it comes to racism…just because we haven’t found something doesn’t mean it’s not there. Then again, maybe it’s more Carl Sagan and the 4th dimension (of racism) in that we can’t see the racism itself because it’s in another dimension…BUT we CAN see what looks like a shadow of racism, and it keeps changing shape and appearing out of nowhere…and we can’t quite wrap our minds around it in our 3D world, but it’s really most likely there.

  12. Vincent says:

    Yeah, the whole incident smacks of the usual race-obsessed, presumption-of-victimhood mentality we’ve all become painfully accustomed to at the U of O. Once can only wonder what’s going through the minds of people who, whenever they happen to see the word “black”, immediately think of the words “racism” and “offensive”.

    The answer your question of what they would’ve done if Austin hadn’t inconveniently turned out to be African-American is pretty obvious. In this case, they were hoist, as it were, by their own petard. One of the very people who they claim to be protecting and in whose name they claim to speak turned out to be the “racially insensitive” culprit.

    No doubt they took one look at the fact that someone named “Austin” was organizing an event with the name “black” in the name and basically filled in the rest of the story on their own. So decided to contact him and “recommend” he take down the Facebook page because of the “racial implications” that existed only in their paranoid minds. It’s interesting that the Emerald article blames Austin for “[opening] a can of worms full of racially charged subject matter” when it was rather clearly an organ of the University that made this an issue of race.

    On a personal note, I worked with Austin a few years ago and can assure the Bias Response Team that he’s a good guy who, at least when I knew him, didn’t have anything against black people.

  13. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I am SO glad that my OC conscience is on track. The minute I started reading this, I thought, “please, let the OC jump on this”. Thank you for meeting my admittedly low expectations.

    Anyway, if this isn’t a sign of the PC dogma run amok…I don’t know what is.

    I wonder what would have happened if Austin wasn’t, as he put it in the RG’s article on this, “bi-racial”.

    Personally, I find the change to “Lights-Out Autzen” to be promoting violence since all I can think of is Blount hitting that Boise State kid over and over and over again. In fact, given our past with tumultuous eves of Hallow…I’m surprised that “Lights-Out” is the message that is magically acceptable since it has been ethnically cleansed. Any ESPN employee worth his or her salt will pick up on this. Well, that or anyone who can creatively clip video together with some graphics.

    Of course, all of this will be forgotten once the riots start.

  14. Jack says:

    I thoroughly appreciate the reference to “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”. It would be a joy to have some Riot Punch before the game.

  15. Carly says:

    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!! I’ll be there in my blackout gear.

  16. de lancie says:

    not to mention that the team does have in their wardrobe full black jerseys (including helmets which were sported last year at the arizona game and called “lights-out” jerseys) AND it is halloween where the color black (and dare i even say these two things together, orange) is the main color.

    we all might also be blacked out drunk…just saying


  17. JMB says:

    “It doesn

  18. Betz says:

    I thought “Blackout” was a perfectly appropriate name for the event … I mean, ESPN starts gameday taping at 6 AM, and kick off isn’t until 5 PM … not to mention Halloween shenanigans afterwards … yea, I think the “Blackout” plan is going to be on everybody’s agenda.

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