Movement begins in reply to column

By Peter Kim

Thousands of Asian American students attending Colorado University logged onto, one of the school’s student-run news publications, last February expecting the usual local news and sports updates. Instead, they found a column accusing them of being hateful and emotionless and called for all Asians to be tortured until they are “reformed.”

Cultural organizations all over the University campus are supporting a national rally to fight racial injustice in response to the controversial column published on

On Feb. 18, the Web site published in its opinions section a column written by University of Colorado student Max Karson titled “If it’s war the Asians want … It’s war they’ll get.” The column detailed a massive plan to kidnap Asian students and subject them to humiliating acts often involving racial stereotypes such as being “dragged and hog-tied,” “forced to eat bad sushi” and to learn to display emotion.

The opinion piece caused an uproar amongst the students of the University of Colorado and prompted a movement called the “In Solidarity” campaign to fight racial injustices on college campuses.

“I don’t think the article was well written,” said Lee Cheung, sophomore in Engineering. “It was just offensive.”

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According to the Web site, the article was meant to be satirical.

“At first I thought it was just satirical. Then, I realized. If it were about black people or Latino people, it wouldn’t have been published,” said Ryan Sumait, sophomore in LAS.

However, Karson is no stranger to controversy.

According to, Karson was arrested last April for an article he wrote just days after the Virginia Tech shootings in which he wrote about how he could understand someone killing 32 people and that he was also “angry about a lot things … angry enough to kill people.”

While many were offended by Karson’s statements, some believed Karson is protected by the First Amendment.

“I think the article was too ridiculous to be taken seriously,” said Edmond Helaire, freshman in Engineering. “I could see how it could be seen as offensive, but he has First Amendment rights and should be allowed to say it.”

In support of the “In Solidarity” campaign, the Asian Pacific American Coalition, the group which organizes all Asian-American clubs at the University, has been planning the sale of the campaign’s T-shirts.

On May 2, the Asian Pacific American Coalition will be holding a photo shoot of all of the “In Solidarity” supporters wearing their campaign T-shirts in a big group on the uad.

“The participants will be holding large pieces of paper with poems or slogans that will help with the efforts of acceptance of differences,” said Trixie Layhadi, co-director of the Asian Pacific American Coalition.

Layhadi added that pictures from the photo-shoot and similar events held at universities all over the nation will be collected by the “In Solidarity” group and made into a scrapbook.

The photo-shoot will be followed by a group discussion.

“I believe that students have so much to say but don’t have the space to discuss these important topics,” Layhadi said. “Hopefully, the May 2 event will relieve that problem.”