Letter from SAF to the Editors of The Hill: · 17 November 2003

In Jonathan Kaplan's article "Kingston Backs Academic Diversity Measure (10/22)" the author seriously mischaracterizes several facts regarding the censorship of Roger Williams student Jason Mattera and his conservative campus newspaper The Hawk's Right Eye.

Kaplan states that according to Roger Williams University Provost Ed Kavanagh the newspaper ran "a mock version of the school's newspaper with swastikas over faces of prominent African-Americans and another issue depicted a lewd act of child molestation."

In fact, the issue in question depicted a swastika over the face of only one individual, Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for his extreme anti-Semitism. The "lewd act of child mutilation" was a quoted description from mainstream news site World Net Daily of the sexual assault and murder of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising by two homosexual men, which the editors brought up to demonstrate the disparity between the national headlines made by Matthew Shepherd's graphic murder and the media silence regarding Dirkhising's ordeal.

Furthermore, despite quoting Kavanagh as stating that "we want to encourage freedom of expression," the article makes no mention of the $2700 in funding allocated to The Hawk's Right Eye to publish nine issues that was "frozen" by the administration until "community standards" could be addressed. It is no wonder that the illustrious "Jedediah Jones" who co-authored Mattera's piece for Frontpage Magazine continues to write under a nom de plume.

For a complete account of the censorship of The Hawk's Right Eye, we invite you to visit our website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org .

Sara Russo
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom