Georgetown University Students Censor Political Cartoonist
Add “beat a dead horse” to the growing list of banned phrases on college campuses. Georgetown University inWashington, D.C. erupted in a round of protests and “self-reflection” after an editorial cartoon in a campus newspaper showed the winners of last week’s student government election holding bats while standing over two of the losers dressed in a horse costume.
Over the weekend students organized a rally and a town hall meeting to protest the cartoon, which ran in the Georgetown Voice on February 19. “Hoyas shouldn’t be depicted beating other Hoyas,” said one student at the meeting, according to the Voice.
The cartoon was also denounced as racist and misogynistic because the candidate for president wearing the horse’s head, Chris Wadibia, is black and the vice presidential candidate bringing up the rear, Meredith Cheney, is a woman. Joe Luther, the newly elected president, and Connor Rohan, the new vice president, are white men who head a campus humor publication called the Heckler. They ran a joke-filled campaign, including an unflattering “endorsement” of Wadibia and Cheney in the Heckler. Under the “Beating The Dead Horse” headline, the bats are labeled “heckler” and “satire” while the saddle is labeled “dignity,” which was the losing team’s slogan, along with “we dig.”
Within a day, the Voice had removed the cartoon from its website, issued an apology and vowed to take “serious measures to improve our treatment of race and gender.” In a post to the Georgetown community, the editors invited opinion pieces critical of their decision to run the cartoon, which is still circulating in print. “We sincerely hope that we can make amends with those who we have wronged during this process.”
at the meeting in St. William’s Chapel. “I made a mistake,” the other campus newspaper, the Hoya , reported. “I ignored perspectives outside my own and I tried to spread my own message using imagery that was far too severe. In doing so, I failed to look outside myself. And you know what, that’s the result of my privilege.
“I stand with you, I ask to be your ally,” Cutler added. “I don’t want to contribute to racism and I don’t want to make anyone feel afraid. It is not my intention to spread a message of hate. I want to help silence the message of hate and it is apparent that I still have a lot to learn in order to do so. So I invite you, please come up, introduce yourself to me and I invite you to teach me. I promise I’m really not as bad as that cartoon may have led you to believe.”