College papers face protests, thefts after publishing ad critical of slavery reparations

A controversial advertisement that lists “10 reasons why reparations forblacks is a bad idea for blacks — and racist too” has sparked newspaperthefts and protests by students at college campuses around the country.

Students at Brown University, the University of California at Berkeley,the University of California at Davis and the University of Wisconsin atMadison have protested, and in some cases stolen student newspapers, inresponse to the ad placed by conservative author and columnist David Horowitz.

The ad enumerates 10 reasons why the U.S. should not pay reparationsto the descendants of slaves. These include the idea that reparations wouldbe impractical and that African Americans are economically better off thantheir counterparts in Africa.

The two editors in California ran apologies for printing the ad, whilethe editors at Brown and Wisconsin continue to stand by their decisionto publish it.

Eleeza Agopian, editor of the UC Davis Aggie, said the ad waspublished by mistake. She said it violated the paper’s guidelines and ranwithout editorial approval. Daniel Hernandez, editor of Berkeley’s DailyCalifornian said he apologized for publishing the ad because it offendedreaders, many of whom filled his office the afternoon the ad ran and stolepapers from campus racks.

While it is unclear how many papers were stolen at Wisconsin and Berkeley,4,000 of The Brown Daily Herald’s 5,500-copy press run was stolenby a coalition of student groups Friday. The groups are now demanding afree full-page ad and a $580 donation — the cost of a full-page ad –to a minority student group.

The Brown student coalition, made up of about 15 campus groups includingThird World Action, the Asian American Students Association and Resist,a group that promotes ethnic studies, issued a press release Saturday,saying it would continue to take action against the Herald untileditors give into its demands.

Katherine Boas, one of three editors-in-chief of the Herald,said the paper’s staff will not do what the coalition asks.

“Honestly, I think [the demands] are completely uncalled for,” she said.

For More Information: 

  • A copy of David Horowitz’s anti-reparations ad is available online at:

  • “The (No) Free Speech Movement,” an article by Julie Bosman, the editorof the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Badger Herald, explainingwhy the Herald published the anti-reparations ad is available onlineat:

  • A photo of Brown University students stealing copies of The Brown DailyHerald is available online at: