College newspaper in hot water over racist advertisement

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY (FOX19)  - An advertisement in Northern Kentucky University's newspaper "The Northerner" is sparking outrage.

Students claim it directs readers to a white supremacist Website.
The ad contains about two dozens words in black and white that has some NKU students seeing red. For the past two weeks, The Northerner has published the ad.
The bottom of the ad directs readers to an online store for music made by neo-Nazi artists and white supremacist musicians.
"Yeah, this ad isn't offensive, but I know the Website would be," NKU freshman William Christopher said. "And it shouldn't be in a college newsletter."
NKU freshman Danielle Spears agreed with him.
"Especially if they're promoting diversity in our school," Spears said.
Northerner Editor in Chief Tim Owens said he spent Tuesday responding to a storm of comments and questions about the advertisement. Owens said it was an honest mistake.
"The ad is very vague," Owens said. "All it says is we sell this kind of music, this kind of music, this kind of music, and has a link to the Website. We thought nothing of it."
Owens spent most of Tuesday evening preparing his paper for print. This week's issue will hit stands on Wednesday. The issue will include an apology and a hole where the ad once was. That's a decision some students told us might be step back for first amendment rights.
"They have the right to free speech," NKU senior Nicole Petrelli said."But at the same time, whether or not people agree with it is another story. I don't personally agree with it, but they have the right to purchase a page just like any other group I guess."
Owens disagreed.
"For us, it goes entirely against what we're about," Owens said."We don't want to be associated with them or promote their business based on those ethical standards."
Owens says the man who paid a $120 for the first ad still owes the paper for the second one. Owens said the Northerner will not accept his money.
FOX19 tried logging on to the Website on Tuesday, but could not. We were able to find archived sites listed to the same domain name.


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