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COMMENTARY: Koala at CSUSM rings in Domestic Violence Awareness Month touting rape, racism, homophobia

Warning: Adult content

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a designation first recognized in 1989. And it is still relevant. Despite the 1994 passage of the Violence Against Women Act. Despite the growing understanding that battering one’s partner is a crime, not spousal privilege. Despite the vast number of people who think they don’t know anyone who has been harmed by an intimate partner.

Because they are wrong. National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is still relevant because at least one in four women in the United States — LBTQ or straight — will be assaulted some time in her life.

Name four women you know. One of them likely was, is being, or will be punched, kicked, strangled, burned, stabbed, raped — physically harmed by an intimate.

That’s startling, isn’t it. That’s why this month is a welcome opportunity to focus on raising awareness of the ongoing severity of the problem and on educating people to help prevent domestic violence.

And how did The Koala welcome the month? Tabloid owner George Lee Liddle III, of San Diego, released the latest issue of The Koala at Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM), bearing the message that rape, violence, racism, homophobia, sodomy of minors and forced pornography are laughable entertainment.

Liddle and the students he manages at the three San Diego County public universities where The Koala is distributed call the tabloid satire, but their content makes clear that the publisher, writers and editors of The Koala don’t know satire from scripture. What they are doing is not funny; it fails as satire; it has no redeeming features. What they are doing is purveying violence, prejudice and hate. These predominantly white heterosexual men use these forms of violence to attract attention to The Koala and then giggle at the fear and outrage, the humiliation and damage that it causes. And they elicit these reactions from their victims with such content as the following (with The Koala‘s errors intact):

Top Five Phrases Never Heard at CSUSM 4. I’ve never been raped before

Women secretly want to be raped

Why do Mexicans classify themselves as people? THEY ARE A F**ING SWARM OF BROWN S**T.

Dear koala, Does drugging and raping my roommate make me gay?

Top Ten Advantages To Dating An Underage Girl: 4. They don’t know yet that ass to mouth isn’t acceptable; 6. If you knock her teeth out, they grow back

Top Five Signs Your Girlfriend is Dead: 2. She stopped struggling under the rope

… [W]hen you’re done appeasing our each and every obnoxious and whimsical demand, we’re still gonna f**k the old broad sweeping the stairs.

I couldn’t tell if the fishy smell was escaping fromt the fridge or if all these beautiful azian women had some of the stankiest pu**ys ever

To black guys: make your cocks smaller please.

To all the fat bitches out there: Suck a f*rt out of my ass, choke on it and die.

Dilcie, go to the top of the parking structure and jump…

And, in the recent CSUSM issue, Liddle published an image of a female student leader who was running for Homecoming King, Photoshopped into a pornographic scene, with the following headline and copy:

Please ask and do tell … and take pictures

Images intentionally obscured

Remember those fantasies of Homecoming you had back in high school? Imagining what it would be like to have a “lezzed-out” homecoming court. Wishing that the Jock who won the title of King were actually an exotic and stunning babe that could scissor the s**t out of the queen?

In our rapidly changing times this dream has now become a reality. Thanks to the courageous and open-minded women who are running to be the Queen of King [student’s name redacted], we can all look forward to a Royal Fisting. The question remains, which princess will become the lucky Queen?

This is the product Liddle publishes and promotes on public university campuses, a product funded by commercial advertisers — and supported as a sanctioned student organization at University of California San Diego (UCSD).

And this is, statistics being what they are, what the 1,500 female students at CSUSM, the 3,675 at UCSD, and the 4,350 at SDSU who have been, are, or will be victims of domestic violence are subjected to each time The Koala is distributed.

Outrageous, eh? Are you outraged enough to do something about it?

Many of us at CSUSM are, and we are planning some actions that will protect First Amendment rights while attempting to protect students, faculty and staff from The Koala’s hate.

If you’d like to join us, visit www.CallOutTheKoala.com and subscribe to receive our updates or click the Call Out The Koala Facebook page Like button.

In the meantime, call The Koala advertisers and encourage them to stop funding hate. If you live in the same legislative district as UCSD, call your state legislators and ask them to help UCSD find a way to stop lending public support to a hate tabloid passing as a student organization.

Whatever you do…

Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance — by the perpetrators, the public and, worse, the victims. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.

Southern Poverty Law Center



Kit-Bacon Gressitt's commentary and political fiction can be read on her blog Excuse Me, I'm Writing and is republished by SDGLN, The Ocean Beach Rag and The Progressive Post. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while working for the North County Times. She is also host of Fallbrook's monthly Writers Read open mic and can be reached at kbgressitt@gmail.com.