A challenge to our Antifa critics
February 7, 2020
The Minnesota Republic has always provided a positive space for our writers to openly and freely share their opinions and ideas, regardless if they were deemed controversial by the university community. Here are some of the things we do for our students:
- Fight for free and equal speech on campus, with a focus on conservative views.
- Provide an alternative commentary on campus, state, and national issues.
- Allow for free debates of ideas and ideologies to take place within our pages, including a focus on pro-con issues that divide conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and America at large.
- Allow a place for conservative journalists to explore longer pieces that wouldn’t be published elsewhere by the University of Minnesota, and balancing these pieces with other alternative views that are suppressed on campus.
- Serve as a conservative cultural center, acting as a repository for conservative resources and ambassadors to the university community by conveying alternative philosophies regarding issues relevant to students.
Our publication has received local media attention from the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune, as well as national media attention from Townhall, the Independent Journal Review, Fox News, the Washington Post, and others. This is a positive experience for blossoming conservative and/or libertarian journalists.
However, like most political organizations we have our critics. These critics can hurt the mindsets of the organization’s leaders and often bring out the worst in individuals – but most importantly, these critics often make false claims about our organization and expect it to be taken in truth.
This is a perpetual pattern of mass media – an individual hastily makes a false accusation, and that accusation automatically resonates as truth for large swaths of people.
As a journalist myself, I thought it would be useful to provide some information to our critics – they can choose to view it, or not – but at least this is a stand-in truth.
The Minnesota Republic is written by a student group called Students for a Conservative Voice. We are a student group of the University of Minnesota, funded almost in full by Student Service Fees. For those of you who do not attend UMN, Student Service Fees are a portion of the tuition each student pays. Nearly every student group, especially media student groups, receive funds from SSF.
Other student media organizations that receive funds include The Minnesota Daily, Radio K, and The Wake. The other large-scale newspaper, one better known than The Minnesota Republic, is The Minnesota Daily – which receives substantially more funds from the University of Minnesota than The Minnesota Republic does.
Since the University of Minnesota is publicly funded, all of this information is published online. All applications for funds and grants are public.
Something else worth noting is the fact that Students for a Conservative Voice only costs each individual student $1.36, whereas The Minnesota Daily costs each student $6.44. This is not a slash at MN Daily, rather something notable to add since our considerably smaller staff is repeatedly pitted against theirs. This information can be found here. An example of the rift in funding is accessible here.
Students for a Conservative Voice – The Minnesota Republic does not receive benefits from any other group. Income is narrowed to ad revenue – which is noted in our application for funds. We are not affiliated with Koch, Exxon, homophobic groups, xenophobic groups, racist groups – none. As of 2018, our writers are contractually hired to write with integrity and are barred from sharing hateful views – they can have opinions, but cannot write unprotected hate speech.
We have historically hosted events alongside Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, Minnesota Students for Liberty, and The College Republicans, among other student groups. The Minnesota Republic is a part of The Collegiate Network but receives no grants. The only benefits we receive are from the university.
Furthermore, our constitution (which can be found at the bottom of that link) bans us from campaigning, donating, or receiving funds from a political figure or campaign. Although we are dominantly Republican, we have no political ties – and never will as long as our constitution is in existence.
So – my challenge to our Antifa critics. I have presented you with all the facts and public knowledge that has always been readily available at your fingertips. Your comments are welcome as yes, we do welcome free speech. But make these comments worthwhile. When we receive hundreds of comments in binary code such as, “01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101” we will flag them as spam. When we receive hate speech, directly in violation of the Hate Speech Doctrine, we will flag it – because that is not free speech protected by the First Amendment.
I challenge you to attempt to educate us, rather than belittle us. Present facts with sources. Utilize the information that I have given you – because you, as well as I, are entitled to our opinions. But neither of us are exempt from presenting facts, and both of us should stay within our Constitutional rights.
I challenge you to write a worthwhile, educated, facts-based comment, without making stabs or slurs at my staff.