Letter from the opinions editors: Our editorial values

June 29, 2020, 7:52 p.m.

Last month, we wrote that the point of The Daily’s opinions section is to provide a forum for Stanford community members to discuss what matters and why. As we expressed then, we are committed to publishing a range of opinions, and we never decline an article only because we disagree with its position. But our editorial standards also encompass a commitment to considering and honoring the dignity and humanity of individuals and groups that make up the Stanford community. 

On June 19, we received an op-ed that did not meet these standards. This op-ed, submitted by the Stanford College Republicans and subsequently published in revised form in The Stanford Review, advanced racist claims and contradicted the values that our opinions section and our paper are committed to upholding. As a result, we ultimately declined to publish their submission. 

The op-ed in question repeated misinformation about antifa and levied unsubstantiated allegations of terrorism against protesters. It misrepresented violent riots and looting, advancing a racist narrative of widespread and unprompted protester violence without any mention of police brutality. It privileged police accounts of controversial legal cases without qualification at a time when police testimony is being revealed as unreliable and discriminatory.

We are writing this to make a clear statement to the Stanford community that the opinions section will not be used to promote disinformation and discriminatory messaging. We will publish debates and viewpoints that we disagree with. We will seek to foster discourse not just across party lines but, more importantly, across communities and ideologies. But we will not platform anti-Blackness. We will not publish racism. 

Both this section and the paper as a whole have made mistakes in the voices we have and have not amplified and the stories to which we have and have not paid adequate attention. This statement expresses our commitment to grow and improve. We will work to maintain and reaffirm the basic dignity of every member of our campus community. And this begins with what we will and will not publish. 

Claire Dinshaw and Adrian Liu, Volume 257 Opinions Editors
Layo Laniyan and Megha Parwani, Volume 258 Opinions Editors

A previous version of this article erroneously included a redundant paragraph from an earlier draft. The Daily regrets this error.

Contact the opinions editors at opinions ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

Claire Dinshaw is a rising senior majoring in economics and minoring in political science and feminism, gender and sexuality studies. She is originally from Connecticut. In her free time she enjoys attempting to cook and playing Tetris. Contact at [email protected]Adrian Liu '20 was Editor of Opinions in Volumes 257 and 259.Layo Laniyan ’22 is the former Executive Editor for Vol. 259 and former editor of Opinions for Vol. 258. He is a senior from Houston, Texas, majoring in English with a focus in black studies and the history of medicine.Megha Parwani '22 was the Managing Editor of Opinions for Volumes 258 and 259. She designed Frankly Speaking, a crowd-sourced opinion column, and served on the Editorial Board for Volumes 259, 258, and 256. She is double majoring in Philosophy and Political Science. Contact her at mparwani 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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