Another Adventure in Advertising: The Pepperdine Graphic

Kevin MacDonald


Our ad company submitted an ad to the student newspaper at Pepperdine University, the Graphic, and, lo and behold, it was approved and published. Now that in itself is a major accomplishment, although I can’t say that I noticed an uptick in subscriptions for TOQ or traffic to TOO. But it was nice to see that it was actually published.

But then it turns out that it was only published because of an oversight — an accident if you will. The head of the Advertising Department, Falon Opsahl, didn’t perform due diligence on the content: “Accidents are not excuses.”

My stomach churned as I scrolled through headline after headline bashing Jews, Blacks and immigrants. The only exceptions were articles that were too busy praising Anglo-Saxon superiority. I felt sick. …

The senior leaders and I made a serious mistake. We don’t advertise anything that propagates racism, sexism or dehumanization. We regret that we failed our own standards.

Pepperdine Graphic Media is a place of representation, where we strive to make all students voices heard and valued, such as in the Race, Faith and Sex special editions.

We must all remember that racism — virulent, active racism — is alive and well. It is heartbreaking and life-destroying. The Graphic staff and I are deeply apologetic and we have learned from our mistake.

Given this, I thought it might be a good opportunity to write a letter to the editor explaining our position further:

Falon Opsahl’s apology is a good example of what publications like The Occidental Quarterly and The Occidental Observer are up against when trying to communicate with college students. The tone of  Ms. Opsahl’s article conveys a powerful sense of moral superiority, with no need to examine what the data and evidence show. It’s a great example of the consequences of what Jonathan Haidt, discussing attitudes in the social sciences, calls “tribal moral communities.” He points out that when scholarly articles that contravene the sacred values of the tribe are submitted to academic journals, reviewers and editors suddenly become super rigorous — far more rigorous than when articles support the current orthodoxies.

The same apparently goes for ads in college newspapers, but in this case there is no need to even examine the actual articles or try to evaluate the evidence.

At TOO and TOQ we try our best to publish articles that are well-based on science and evidence. We have never published articles “praising Anglo-Saxon superiority,” but we have plenty of articles on the weaknesses of Anglo-Saxons and other Whites who are so prone to appeals to higher morality and forming moral communities (e.g., here and here) —  as Ms. Opsahl exhibits here. Unfortunately, for her it’s enough to glance at some headlines to infer malicious intent and lack of intellectual honesty. A simple moral judgment suffices.

When I entered graduate school, I still had the belief that universities were all about free inquiry and challenging orthodoxies, and that students were eager to learn all sides of important issues. Unfortunately there is a medieval pall of political correctness that has descended upon universities, so that it’s now all about safe spaces and trigger warnings — a sad commentary indeed on the state of American universities.

Kevin MacDonald
Professor of Psychology Emeritus
California State University-Long Beach
Long Beach, CA 90840

We were then informed that the Graphic would not post the letter, even when the advertising company offered them $200 to do so: “The Graphic does not accept outside articles as advertisements. We will not publish the letter.”

So the students at Pepperdine have been spared having to deal with articles that make them feel uncomfortable and conflict with what their professors are saying. I am sure that all those involved have a great future in store for them as journalists upholding our corrupt establishment. The anti-White revolution is nothing if not massively incentivized.

And then, the final indignity:

To help remedy [their mistake], we are donating the money we received from this ad to Southern Poverty Law Center. Though this doesn’t undo the mistake or take the ad out of circulation, we hope it contributes toward the positive, inclusive and unifying work this organization puts forth.

It’s unlikely that the SPLC  will even notice this small pittance amidst the hundreds of millions of dollars they have stashed away in their coffers. But I am sure it will make them feel good to realize that the Graphic thought of them. After all, the SPLC has certainly earned its stripes in the war against free speech.

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