Letter to the editor: published memes

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Dear Editor,

As I sat down Sunday to read the latest issue of The Lumberjack, I was dismayed at the end of the paper. The meme on page 11 of the Wednesday March 22 print was demoralizing. It serves as an excellent example of reinforcing negative racial stereotypes. A meme image was printed with a stereotyping context giving a drug dealer type feel with a caption of broken grammar. It read, “Yall got any more of that Spring Break?” as an attempt at humor. It’s bad enough that this made it to print at all. It’s worse that it appears right next to an article titled Act Like a Man: Reinforcing Negative Gender Roles by Dominique Crawford directly on the previous page!

I hope I was not the only person to spot this obvious disgrace. The meme promotes the same type of demeaning stereotype thinking that is discussed in Crawford’s article, the only differences being that it involves race rather than gender roles and it uses a light hearted meme setting rather than common verbal expressions. I feel disgusted as this paper is a representation of Humboldt State University, the school I attend and have a strong connection to, and the editors allowed this to be printed. This simply promotes racial labelling that goes back through this country’s long history, a complex history inarguably tainted throughout with many past and present examples of discrimination and propagation of racial hierarchical structures.

Please work more diligently in the future to prevent such content from getting to print. I write this not seeking to patronize, condescend, or humiliate those involved. I hope this letter may open people to a new perspective on the fine line that, unfortunately but so often, exists between humor and offensiveness.

Sincerely,

Ian Osipowitsch

HSU Junior

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