Town Hall meeting discusses “Beating the Dead Horse” cartoon and race relations at Georgetown

On Sunday afternoon, nearly 100 students gathered in St. William’s Chapel in Copley Hall in response to a satirical cartoon published in the Voice’s print edition on Page 13 titled “Beating the Dead Horse.”

The cartoon depicts former GUSA candidates Chris Wadibia (COL ’16) and Meredith Cheney (COL ’16) in a horse costume being beaten by fellow candidates Joe Luther (COL ’16) and Connor Rohan (COL ’16), the cartoon triggered a massive response from students who deemed the cartoon not only unnecessarily violent, but also insensitive given the current political climate concerning race and police brutality in the U.S.

As the opener of the town hall meeting, moderator and senior Javan Robinson emphasized the universality of the issue. “It didn’t have to be Chris or Meredith, it could have been you,” he said.

This sentiment was later echoed by another student in the meeting who said that irrelevant of race, “Hoyas shouldn’t be depicted beating other Hoyas.” Nevertheless, both Robinson and other student speakers stressed the importance of honesty and trust during the discussion in order to create room for communication as well as a comfortable environment for all.

A wider issue brought up during the meeting was the lack of awareness and education regarding race relations within the Georgetown community.

Co-chair of United Feminists Kimberly Blair (COL ’15) discussed the lack of available resources in Georgetown’s curriculum itself. “We need to make [this issue] an educational requirement, because how are we going to be men and women for others when we don’t know who the others are?” she said.

Dylan Cutler (COL’16), artist of the cartoon, was also present at the meeting to issue a formal apology to students. Saying that he failed to look outside of himself to perceive issues concerning racism and inequality, Cutler stated:

“I’m sorry. I stand with you, and I ask to be your ally. I ask to stand up against messages like the one I myself created… And it is apparent that I still have a lot to learn in order to do so. So I invite you to please come up, introduce yourself to me… [and] teach me.”

After receiving a standing ovation from the room, Cutler was thanked by several students for his remarks.

The meeting closed with students discussing the future of the Georgetown community regarding educational initiatives on diversity and race, including the possibility of integrating a diversity requirement into the curriculum. Also addressed was the need to create a safe and secure environment for students not only after such controversies occur, but from the very beginning of their time at the university.

Photo: Lara Fishbane/The Georgetown Voice

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