Star is being used as group’s scapegoat

During the course of the last week, the name of this paper has been dragged through the mud. It’s time to set the record straight.

The Star has not done anything wrong—it has simply reported the news.

The Star’s job is to report the events which take place on this campus. As such, we covered the Alfonso Knight stabbing and then its many facets.

The fact is, the Star did not commit the stabbing. It only reported the incident. Most major media outlets in the Chicagoland area covered the story. Are these other newspapers and television stations, who also mentioned that Knight was coming from a fraternity dance, also racist? This newspaper didn’t tell anyone else to cover the story. In fact, it was the NIU administration that sent out a press release which detailed the stabbing.

In addition, the malcontents have accused the Star of factual errors within stories. However, these accusers have yet to name even one specific error.

The Star has also been accused of ignoring minority stories. However, the Star has a minority affairs beat which covered the events of Black Heritage Month. Minority events certainly have their place in the paper, but they are only a part of what’s going on at NIU. We’re a newspaper, not a public relations tool for any one group.

There also have been some complaints about mentioning the fact that the individuals involved in the attack came from an afterset. But there has been a long history of violence and other crimes, at NIU and elsewhere, after these types of events. Regardless, this was an essential part of the story, especially when one considers the fact that the following weekend was the biggest Black Greek weekend of the year. By the way, Omega Psi Phi proved they are a responsible group by making sure no fights took place last weekend.

But the simple truth of the matter is that The Northern Star, as a highly visible part of the campus, is being used as a scapegoat for a group of malcontents who are dissatisfied with the way things are at NIU. The Star has done nothing wrong—it has merely reported the news.

This whole uprising is part of the larger problem of racism and racial tension which the NIU administration has ignored. The Star is taking the heat for a problem it has not caused.

However, the protesters don’t want to listen to reason. A few ringleaders are whipping up racial tension to their advantage. Not so coincidentally, this unrest comes at a time when the Black Student Union elections will be taking place. What easier way to rise to a position of power within the black community than to use the popular plank of racism, even when it is unfounded?

In closing, I want to mention that I recently read a speech by Abraham Lincoln. In the 1837 address, Lincoln mentioned how scary it was that journalists were being lynched by mob rule for publishing antislavery papers. It is truly ironic that mob rule has turned against one of the instruments which helped end slavery in this country—newspapers.

All of this talk of investigating the Star is ludicrous. No wrongs have been committed. The protesters should stick to the real issue which is a blight to all of us—the real racism which permeates NIU.