letter to the editor

On April 18, 2001, the Vanguard once again successfully defamed and continued its legacy of complete ignorance and lack of sensitivity towards Africans and African Americans.

An article titled “Cell phone users: me love you long time,” (Andrew Cattle, Tribune Media Services), includes the phrase ” … your cell phone bill totals more than the gross domestic product of the entire continent of Africa.” What kind of idiot thinks like this?

When we (members of the African Association Students) spoke to someone at the Vanguard, she did not understand the problem. This proves just how buried in ignorance the Vanguard staff is.

In a tragically weak apology that the editorial board put out on April 19, 2001, the newspaper says it has a “checkered past” and hides the truth of how many “offensive” things have been approved by the editors and put in the paper in the past two years.

In the winter term of 1999, the Vanguard ran a swastika made out of handguns on the front page. There was also the issue of the police racial profiling cartoon that ran summer term 2000, which used the word darkie in it. (For those of you on the Vanguard staff darkie is a racist name for black people). This cartoon got a horrible response from not only the campus community but also the Portland community as a whole.

There was also the issue which ran a political cartoon depicting Adolf Hitler wearing another swastika (I guess the editors of the Vanguard did not learn the first time), and now this latest incident of ignorance and insensitivity.

It is a shame that a newspaper that is supported by student money continues to slander certain populations on this campus. The editors of the Vanguard have failed completely in putting out a newspaper that promotes community and a celebration of diversity but rather has achieved its goal of perpetuating racism and creating a hostile campus environment.

My question is, when is the Vanguard going to stop giving empty apologies and simply correct the problem by learning from the past. Your apologies mean nothing to the students of this campus, to the people of this community because the damage has already been done.