To the Georgetown community

To the Georgetown community,

Earlier this week, the Georgetown Voice printed a cartoon depicting two GUSA executive candidates in a horse costume being beaten by two other GUSA executive candidates. The persons in the suit were a black man and a white woman. The persons on the attack were both white men.

The Georgetown Voice would like to issue an official apology for the cartoon. Choosing to publish Page 13 as printed was a major oversight by the editorial staff. Disregarding the racial, gendered, and violent context was a fault. We fully understand the severity of our actions and hope to amend our relationship with all who have raised a discussion about Page 13.

Our intentions were not malicious. The cartoon was intended to satirize the quantity of criticism the Wadibia-Cheney ticket received during the campaign. The issue of our intent is not the problem, however. Rather, the issue is the history belying the image. In the coming weeks, we intend to take serious measures to improve our treatment of race and gender. We invite anyone to submit opinion pieces critical of our actions for print or webbing. We sincerely hope that we can make amends with those who we have wronged during this process. We have officially retracted the cartoon.

We have made a mistake. We know that an apology cannot take back what we printed but we hope that we can work on our relationship with minority communities in the future. Moving forward, the Voice will more proactively seek to engage a wider group of people in order to better our understanding of the issues at stake.

Sincerely,

The Georgetown Voice

10 Comments on “To the Georgetown community

  1. In all honesty, I’m very confused about the issue with this cartoon. Yes, the cartoon was definitely tasteless, needless, and violent, but I cannot see how it is racist or misogynist. Meredith is portrayed as the ass of the horse because she ran for Vice President, second in line. It makes sense to have Chris first. Furthermore, the fact is that the Heckler candidates are white and Chris is black. There is also a common phrase called “beating a dead horse.” While a cartoon of two white men beating a black man is definitely racially charged, I cannot see how that makes the cartoon itself racist. Again, I would love to hear from someone else how this specific cartoon is racist, because I don’t think I get it. I don’t think it should have been published, but I definitely don’t think it was a pointed attack in any way.

  2. A cartoon about race isn’t inherently racist, just as The Producers isn’t an anti-Semitic film. It’s about execution. Your apology should have recanted your poor execution, not trying to address the idea in the first place.

    On the bright side, it’s actually good the Improv candidates won this year. Maybe they’ll be able to teach Georgetown students a thing or two about satire

  3. This is absolutely ridiculous. The point of the cartoon was that the two candidates had been disproportionately attacked by The Heckler; the fact that they were African American and a woman is incidental and had nothing to do with the message of the cartoon. Yes, I agree the violence of the carton was in bad taste, but it takes a huge leap of logic to argue that it is in anyway misogynistic or racist. Honestly, both candidates choose to run for office, and they opened themselves up to lampooning because of this decision. You don’t get a “get out of satire” free pass just because of the color of your skin or your gender; you run, you get lampooned; end of story.

    This entire decision reeks of censorship. You should not have backed down, but rather condemned those who started this manufactoversy. We live in a free country, and you don’t get to censor things just because you inexplicably find them offensive. The loudest and most obnoxious voices should not control the public discourse, and I can assure you that the overwhelming majority of the student body stands with me when I ask you to please give your cartoonists the right to free artistic expression and to stand up to these controversy mongers. Freedom of expression is on the line.

  4. This word “censorship” it does not mean what you think it means.

    “Censorship” likewise typically means the government choosing which opinions to permit public presence, not an individual, private group or publication deciding to recant something they have previously stated or published.

    “Freedom of speech” means the government not being able to do something to you (i.e. imprison, fine, etc.) for what you express.

    It does NOT mean freedom from criticism, or freedom from boycott, or freedom from response.

    Get a fucking dictionary.

  5. (Also, unlike the above commenter, I have no qualms about my name appearing next to my comments. You want to talk about public opinion and freedom of expression from behind an alias? Look at that [in]consistency right there. You don’t even have the guts to put your name next to a comment claiming that most of the student body agrees with you.

    Which, BTW, check out the turnout at today’s public town hall in St. William’s on this issue. There were so many people they had to relocate to a bigger space.

    So next time you want to claim the majority of campus supports your opinion, do it with your name and do it with some fucking citations.)

  6. Personally, I believe that it was inappropriate and a major lapse of judgment for the Voice to depict two Georgetown students being beaten to death, and I think that the comic should have been altered (say by showing a literal dead horse being beaten while the two candidates watch in horror). However, I recognize that satire is, by its very definition, controversial and that satirists have the right to spread a message, no matter how strongly I disagree with it.

    What we witnessed was not criticism or dialogue; it was the active attempt by a group of people to restrict what can be communicated in Voice cartoons. From here on out, Voice cartoonists are going to have much less freedom to satirize, and I think that this is wrong. You claim that this is perfectly acceptable since it wasn’t done by the government. I believe that it is irrelevant, since the marketplace of ideas has been restricted nonetheless and we will now be getting a much more sanitized satire section less capable of critiquing and communicating ideas. In many ways, I think that this self-censorship is worse than government censorship, since it is much more encompassing than what the government is allowed to do.

  7. I’m glad to see commenters on this site agreeing with my general sentiment, which is that this has been blown way, way out of proportion. Yes, the cartoon carried some uncomfortable racial undertones, but it’s clear that the artist and editors of the Voice did not intend for it to be racial. This apology is more than sufficient for the crime, which was not being sensitive enough to how it might look taken out of context.

    There are some people who just like getting offended, and some people who like for people to realize how holier-than-thou they are.

    There are real issues about race, gender, class, and privilege at Georgetown. This isn’t one of them. Stop diverting attention from those just because you want some for yourself.

  8. I appreciate the thoughtful dialogue about this cartoon, including the views of those who are upset & those who believe the issue has been blown out of proportion. As an alum, I am pleased to see this dialogue happening at Georgetown.

    I want to make one contribution, building on the previous poster. He/She wrote, “…but it’s clear that the artist and editors of the Voice did not intend for it to be racial.”

    That, in many ways, goes to the heart of the problem here – and the heart of racist behavior, in general. It doesn’t make it better that they didn’t mean to be racist, and it may actually be worse – or more telling – that they didn’t realize the deeply racist undertones of the cartoon. That racism was not their intent does not excuse the act.

    The Voice should be commended for doing the right thing and issuing an apology, and Georgetown students should be commended for the thoughtful, respectful dialogue that this is sure to bring to campus.

  9. Hoya Alum says it best: “There are some people who just like getting offended, and some people who like for people to realize how holier-than-thou they are.”

    Let’s hope Lydia Brown never makes it into government. She clearly has no problem being a totalitarian. She also seems very angry and filled with hate.

    Lydia, darling, the majority of campus believes in free speech, and unlike you they’re not a members of good standing the Society of the Perpetually Aggrieved, so they agree with me and all the others who posted here and elsewhere that this nothing more than some race hustling, though it appears to be race hustling to get a diversity course requirement. After all, if you can get people to think a hostile environment exists for non-whites on campus and that the student need to be reeducated, you can foist that requirement on students.

    BTW: you should Wikipedia “The Federalist Papers.” Those guys used anonymity, and they also happened to be great men who played leading roles in the American Revolution. One even happened to play a major role in writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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