The Iowa State Daily’s “Just Sayin” section was the one section of the newspaper that everybody made sure to read everyday. Sure, some people also checked out sports, or the opinion section, but “Just Sayin” and the police blotter were the two common denominators that virtually everyone who read the Daily made sure to find.
It was a place that we could confess our secret admiration for a classmate, complain about our roommates, and share our deep dark secrets.
However, after a comment in the “Just Sayin” section of the February 21st, 2012 edition mentioning “squinties” on campus (a nickname for ground squirrels in some parts of the Midwest), some Asian members of the Iowa State student base saw it as an offensive, racist remark. In response, the Iowa State Daily killed the section altogether.
For those that had heard of the “squinty” nickname for squirrelys before, the comment was obviously talking about the little furry critters and wasn’t used in any sort of derogatory way. However, it’s understandable that those who hadn’t heard the nickname before could see it as offensive.
Whether eliminating the section was the right way to handle the situation is up for debate, but it’s certainly within the realm of reason to say that the editor could have avoided the situation entirely by simply exercising some discretion. Obviously, editors filtering out certain comments based on their own opinion of the comment takes us straight into the heart of the free speech debate, but that’s another conversation for another day (and a different blog).
Instead we’ll celebrate the existence that was. In remembrance of our beloved “Just Sayin” section, below are a few good comments I found on a few archived copies of the Daily (apologies for some of them being a bit blurry). To illustrate how awesome “Just Sayin” was, these comments are all taken from consecutive days I randomly selected in the archives. Meaning, the comments were this good almost every day!
If you remember any great “Just Sayin” comments, please leave them in the comments!