As UCLA students, we look to the Daily Bruin for honest news coverage. Unfortunately, it is now more evident than ever that the Daily Bruin has abandoned journalistic integrity and that the impetus is on us to provide the truth.
Students have surely read about our event titled “Sabine Durden: An Illegal Immigrant Killed My Child.” We feel that our organization has been portrayed inaccurately and we write this article to help set the record straight. We will first address a news report published on the Daily Bruin’s website, then address the incredibly ironic editorial from the Daily Bruin’s editorial board.
Some of the flaws we noticed in the news report include the author’s assertion that Durden’s son was “allegedly” killed. If even a modicum of research was done or if the author’s political dispositions didn’t cloud the content of her piece, it would be clear that Durden’s son was actually killed.
Another inaccuracy that was conveniently ignored was the assertion that Durden “claimed” her son’s killer was deported. Contrary to what some may believe, it actually happened. Durden’s statement was stated as a fact, not as a hypothetical or a suggestion.
A third inaccuracy is the claim that a “Bruin Republicans member shouted ‘Deport him!’ at the humming student.” While someone did shout “Deport him!” it was not one of our members; rather, it was a general audience member.
A fourth inaccuracy is the claim that one of the panelists, Haley Nieves, said “We need to start criminalizing illegal aliens and change their influence in society because as of now, people are not upholding the law.” She never said this. We wonder if the individuals who wrote about our event even attended our event.
Lastly, we would like to address the claim that we used one’s suffering to “promote bigotry.” Before we dispel the notion that we’re “bigots,” let’s consider the definition of bigotry. Correct us if we’re wrong, but the only people who were showing “stubborn and complete intolerance … of differing views” were the protesters who attended our event. We opened our event to the public and attempted to engage in a discussion with those who respectfully asked us questions. Unfortunately, we were shouted down by the bigots who were intolerant of the viewpoint Durden was expressing.
We only wish that this article would be the end of the lies propagated about the Daily Bruin, but the publication has taken it a step further by publishing its own editorial calling us liars.
But before we address the falsehoods of the editorial, it’s worth reminding readers that the crime statistics cited in that article fail to take into consideration that the rates of crimes among illegal aliens would be zero if our laws were enforced. That is, while those statistics may be true, the point of our event was not to dispute statistics; rather it was to say that there would be no use for such statistics if our immigration laws were enforced. Although it was repeated multiple times during our event, we will say it once more with one of the statistics that the Daily Bruin has cited because we believe this to be one of the key messages of our event. The editorial says, “In addition, while a U.S. Interior Immigration Enforcement report found that in 2010, undocumented immigrants comprised 22.7 percent of the federal prison population.” Illegal aliens would compromise 0 percent of the federal prison population if we chose to enforce our immigration laws.
We also appreciate the Daily Bruin’s usage of statistics to refute claims we never made. At no point did we make the claims that the Daily Bruin “debunked.” Our event consisted of Durden speaking about her son, a set of questions from a panel, and an open-floor Q&A. Durden expressed support for Trump’s immigration policies, but did not make the claims that the Daily Bruin article “refutes.”
To those who argue “undocumented immigrants” should not be referred to as “undocumented,” we ask: why? They are undocumented for a reason. Let’s get past the euphemisms and understand that, by virtue of entering the country illegally, “undocumented immigrants” have broken the law. This is not to say that illegal aliens are all bad people because they certainly are not, but it is to say that we must not forget that laws have been broken and that our government is not enforcing them.
Finally, we would like to address the notable omissions both articles have conveniently made.
While there are mentions of snapping, humming and cultural songs, these publications fail to mention inappropriate belching, arm farts and disruptive shouting that spoiled the Q&A portion of our event.
One particular individual was so disruptive that a representative from the Campus Events Commission had to intervene. The event was meant to facilitate organized and intelligent discussion; however, due to the various interruptions by protesters, very little discussion between the audience and Durden actually took place.
Before we are condemned for hosting an event meant to provoke respectful discussion, we believe the protesters should be condemned for their blatant violation of the True Bruin Values of Integrity and Respect. The protesters did not conduct themselves with integrity in their dealings at the event nor did they respect Durden’s right to freedom of speech. Upon sharing her views, Durden was disrespected and interrupted, almost to the point of breaking down in tears. Pushing a grieving mother to the brink of tears is not what being a True Bruin means.
Articles such as these evince that the leftist agenda as a whole is not only tolerated but promoted at UCLA, while the conservative agenda is marginalized and attacked. Bruin Republicans has experienced biased reporting and targeting on more than one occasion. In addition, we have been the target of countless protests. Just because our views are not agreed with does not mean that they shouldn’t be tolerated.
We ask that the Daily Bruin make the appropriate changes to reflect the truth and we dispiritedly ask that the Daily Bruin write unbiased pieces hereafter.