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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    EIC did not ‘deliberately’ print Knight’s comic,but it was not a mistake
    I feel it is very unprofessional to hide behind free speech in an effort to distract us from mistakes you made. I cannot be angered at a reporter simply attempting to do his job, but to continue to print stories regarding the comic and paint Associated Students of the University of Arizona as a biased organization is ridiculous. I am not accusing you of deliberately printing the comic, I would just like to notify you that you are without a doubt the only editor in chief of any newspaper – much less a respected university publication such as the one you are in charge of – who did not read every inch of your paper the day after a major presidential election.

    Do you really expect me to believe this? To chalk it up to a mistake is very convenient, and to suggest that the response has been anti-free speech is ludicrous. The comic and apology were printed way in advance of when the Wildcat published it, and for some reason you still attempt to hide behind Knight and the fact that he is black. It is a shame you will not take personal responsibility for what is undoubtedly a rare phenomenon in the profession of journalism.

    Lauren LePage, your readers are not dumb, and to print that comic in the name of diversity is silly. The joke is funny if it reaches an intended audience, but when black students are only 3 percent of the student population, I cannot fathom how you anticipated another reaction besides the one you received. I love the provocative nature of the content in the paper, and I cannot deny that the Wildcat has been helpful in changing my life, but I know the dangers that come with having the very important power of controlling how news is diffused throughout campus and controlling how students are exposed to the news. You hold this power, and I hope you can demonstrate the responsibility that must come with such power.

    Miguel Rubio
    ASUA senator
    political science junior

    Goal of diversity training intended to educate, not alienate Wildcat
    There are four things I would like to address with the readers and the Arizona Daily Wildcat: 1. The Wildcat claims that it was a mistake that the comic was printed on Nov. 5. It is only natural that mistakes are made sometimes in a publication; however, this is not the first time this type of mistake was made by the Wildcat.

    According to my research, I find it hard to believe that the repeated bigoted and anti-Semitic comics that ran in last year’s “”No Relation”” series, in which the author declared “”Gay is the new Black,”” accused the Jewish community of being cheap, as well as poked fun at the Mormon community, were all mistakes. Not to mention the Sept. 2, 1998 comic “”Looking for Billy”” where two male bugs were hugging, and then later shot by a third bug who screamed “”homos”” at them. It seems as though the Wildcat finds that mistakes that offend or degrade a sector of their readership are OK, as long as they are followed up with an apology.

    2. The Wildcat argues that since no one in Tucson drew the comic, then obviously it was not meant to offend us or play the role as a representation of what the paper or community thinks.

    However, on the front page of every issue, the Wildcat states that they are the “”Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Arizona,”” which, to me, indicates that they represent the university as their first round constituents.

    The New York Times’ statement (from their Web site) on diversity states, “”Great organizations thrive and grow on a diversity of thought and ideas. … Our company’s statement of values, call for us to embrace diversity and inclusion. These factors require that we report on our diverse cities, nation and world, with perception and insight. Only by having a staff as wide as it is deep, broad in perspective, backgrounds and experiences are we able to capture the multitude of voices of America and the world, with true fidelity.””

    The “”mandatory”” diversity training that was mentioned in the goals of the “”Don’t Hate: Celebrate”” event was to inspire the Wildcat staff to achieve this. The goals were unfortunately not worded in the most welcoming way; however, from attending the meetings that preceded the press release, I know that the intentions of the goals were to educate and open up communication between the Wildcat and some of their constituents in hopes to avoid this “”mistake”” in the future.

    3. The Wildcat believes that our refusal to accept any further mistakes was “”a threat.”” At no point were any of the people in the room advocating anything that could “”threaten”” the Wildcat. We do not want you to censor yourselves, nor do we want to dictate any policies for you to follow. We simply hope that you would be willing to continue to broaden your education and bring even more skills to your editorial work.

    4. Lastly, I would offer a simple suggestion that might have mitigated this situation. When publishing an editorial comic, put it on the editorials page and have a contextual piece. When publishing an editorial comic, having some sort of explanation is important. Because it is not the word itself that evoked this outrage; it is the timing, the lack of contextualization and lost opportunity to educate your readership about some of the deeper, more complex, implications of this electoral outcome.

    The issue of the comic strip is over. The celebration that occurred on Nov. 12 was not meant to attack the Wildcat; rather, it was meant to take back the day we should have had on Nov. 5 when our country rose above so many past hatreds and elected an African-American man president. We should all be proud of how we lived up to the very best of our country’s ideals.

    Maudree J. Callahan
    Africana studies senior

    Obama won presidency because of his qualities, not his skin color
    I read Bethany Fourmy’s letter to the editor with great interest (“”President-elect Obama should embrace his ‘white’ heritage,”” Nov. 13, 2008), not because it was particularly well written, but because it was an excellent example of the “”disenfranchisement”” which white, conservative Americans believe they are currently experiencing. Referencing her black friends (thus proving unimpeachably that she is no racist) she states that many voted for Obama simply because he identifies as a black man. Never mind that vast swaths of Appalachia voted for Sen. John McCain simply because he was white – this is not at issue!

    It is important to note, of course, that Obama didn’t run on a “”blackness”” platform. Had he, he would never have been elected – there are plenty of failed presidential bids to serve as testament to that. Rather, he presented himself not as simply a black man, but an intelligent, (relatively) young man with some fresh ideas for the country. These were the qualities which distinguished him from his rival candidates.

    It is true that Obama, genetically, is “”white”” as he is “”black”” – insofar as these words have any real meaning. So why does he self-identify as black? Fourmy seems to think this is evidence of a vast, afro-fascist conspiracy. But this phenomenon is simply a relic of white America’s slave-owning past, a holdover from the one-drop rule, which understood genetics not as a matter of percentages, but a matter of pure lineage, and whether or not it was sullied by just one drop of “”inferior”” blood. This notion has informed not just the concept of blackness but the way our culture understands racial minorities generally and, as one might guess, was neither instituted by nor beneficial to black society.

    Fourmy asks, “”Do we now live in such a condescending society that a man may lose a presidential election for identifying with his white heritage?”” Never mind that she apparently doesn’t know what the word condescending means – or worse – believes that the American people could only elect a black man because, being inferior, he requires our patronizing “”charity.”” If she believes that electing our first black president, the only of 44, is evidence of virulent, anti-white sentiment, she needs her head examined.

    Ben Harper
    philosophy junior

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