Friday, October 8, 2010

Ironic Racism at Eastern Michigan University

The following is simply described at cartoon # 14.

 It appeared in The Eastern Echo, the school newspaper for the Eastern Michigan University.  Sp much for liberal colleges brainwashing the young. After the predictable set of complaints the editors released an explanation that was anything but apologetic.
 We understand the “You Are Here” cartoon may have offended some readers. We apologize for the lack of sensitivity some felt we showed for publishing the piece. The cartoon points out the hypocrisy of hate-filled people. Its intent was to ask how can someone show affection for one person while at the same time hating someone else enough to commit such a heinous act as hanging. We wish to remind readers that they are free to express their opinion on our discussion boards and we hope to continue to foster free thought and open discussion on campus and in the community. – The Eastern Echo
Yeah for free thought and open discussion, and as for those people of colour who are triggered by the sight of White people, in white sheets, with a noose hanging from the tree -- oh well.  Think of the grand narrative; that's what really counts.   There are many ways in which the newspaper could have gotten its point across and the use of clearly historcially triggering imagery was not sensitive.  There is always some larger reason why it seems acceptable to the majority to terrorize a margialized community.  Claiming that it is being done for the purposes of a larger good, as PeTA did last year, does not address the ongoing evil that such action perpetuates.

 I am also disturbed by the fact that once again the words, "I'm sorry, I messed up" seem to be so difficult to say.  Apologizing for "the lack of sensitivity that some readers felt they displayed," is a far cry from admitting that ones actions were racist. Even my four year old has no problem apologizing when he has hurt someone, but it seems the more power that you have, the less likely you are to completely own your mistakes.  An explanation is not an apology and intent does not remove the offense.  

What are your thoughts on this image?