Letter: A greater problem

By The Daily Illini

On Nov. 5, The Daily Illini published a comic strip that denigrated Jewish people. Subsequently, The Daily Illini issued an apology, and many letters to the editor from various stakeholders in the University were published. However, we are concerned that this incident is indicative of a greater problem. For example, on Nov. 12, the paper ran another comic strip denigrating women of Japanese descent.

We, all members of the College of Business, write to express our indignation at these divisive attempts at humor. Moreover, we are dismayed at an apparent procedural oversight at the Daily Illini. We strongly support freedom of the press, but with this right comes the burden and responsibility of judgment.

Those with the “power of the pen” must recognize the implications of their actions and accept the responsibility to ensure that no individual or group is singled-out for disparagement based on stereotypes of any kind. The University community is made up of diverse students, faculty, staff and alumni; a microcosm of society as a whole. The offensiveness of these cartoons reaches beyond arguments of religious tolerance or morality and strikes to the core of understanding that we live in a culturally diverse environment. Our lives are increasingly intertwined with men and women of all races, religions and cultural beliefs, and we are better for it.

We think the editorial staff and writers need to examine how such episodes occur. We believe that the editorial staff needs to ensure that material not suitable or intended for publications does not get published and that racism in any form does not appear. We trust they will focus on improving internal policies that result in less oversight and a more effective publication process.

Avijit Ghosh

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David Ikenberry

chair, department of finance

Mary Miller

associate dean, MBA program

Ira Solomon

head, department of accountancy

Greg Oldham

associate dean, faculty

Huseyin Leblecbici

head, department of business administration

Lawrence DeBrock

associate dean, graduate and professional programs

Sandra Carroll

special assistant to the dean