A classified ad in the Wright State University student newspaper recruiting students to sell a "rebel tabloid" published by an Aryan separatist that represents "straight whites" is causing controversy on campus.
Student journalists with The Guardian newspaper are defending their decision to publish the ad purchased by the Silverhill, Ala.-based "The First Freedom" and its companion website operated by the the Nation of Aryans Against Commie Putrefaction. The group's acronym is identical to that of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Brandon Semler, Guardian editor-in-chief, said staff members debated publishing the ad. "We were trying to make sure that we kept the Guardian an open forum - a public forum - where opinion was not necessarily rejected," he said. "It's solely a paid advertisement. The Guardian doesn't endorse it at all whatsoever."
University spokesman Seth Bauguess said the university declined comment on the matter.
Olaf Childress, editor of First Freedom, told the newspaper he does not consider himself a "supremacist," but a "separatist."
"Some people think only their point of view has a right to be published," he said. "As soon as we talk about real diversity, they get into stuff they don't want to talk about."
Semler said he knew the ad would offend some people.
"Where do we draw the line with these sorts of opinions? Where do we say what people can and cannot say and how they can advertise in our paper?" he said. "Those were the things that we discussed, so we decided ultimately to run it in that situation."
Business manager Jared Halloway said a Guardian ad representative was approached about the ad "a couple days" before the newspaper was set to publish. He said the paper offers classified ads at prices ranging from $9 to $20.
Some Wright State students questioned the decision.
Senior Roseline Rodriguez said the ad made her "uncomfortable."
Alec Carnell, a freshman, said, "If I was in charge, I don't think I would have let it slide."