Sara Eddy: Offensive cartoon

Published: 7/8/2021 9:32:29 AM

On June 23, the Gazette ran a political cartoon that relied on offensive racist stereotypes. The cartoon in question showed what appeared to be a Japanese man in highly stereotyped garb, including a “coolie” hat, constructing a topiary of the Olympic rings out of COVID virus particles.

The caricature used here of the “oriental gardener” was clearly meant to convey Japan’s lack of preparation for a COVID-era Olympics — and the use of racist stereotype made the cartoon seem to condemn Japan in general as foolish and incompetent.

We live in an era when right-wing extremist speech has put Asian and Pacific Island Americans at risk: there has been a significant uptick in violent attacks in the past months of this year. Running a cartoon such as this, which is not only offensive but also just plain stupid, adds fuel to that fire.

I think the Gazette owes an apology to their Asian and Pacific Island readers. Please refrain from publishing racist images in the future.

Sara Eddy

Amherst




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