This letter is in regards to la Rotonde’s recent article “Nouveau logo pour la FÉUO: Un visual désuet à réinventer.”
I was talking with a friend this morning while she was skimming la Rotonde. Both of us were unprepared to feel the horror and disgust at our student paper for publishing a racist, sexist, and homophobic cartoon in their article making suggestions for a new SFUO logo.
For readers who haven’t seen the article, the cartoon is a female of colour, presented as a fairy, waving a magic wand to make money appear. The fairy has unshaven legs, an LGBTQ+ rainbow on her dress, and natural hair. This cartoon is clearly mocking women of colour with natural hair who do not conform to sexist body standards, and are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Regardless of la Rotonde‘s intentions, this cartoon is discriminatory. It harkens back to an era of minstrel shows and blackface, when people of colour were mocked and degraded. It is especially nauseating that they included this horribly racist comic in an issue of their paper that also includes an editorial, written by editor-in-chief Fredérique Mazerolle, touting the influence and importance of student journalism.
Maybe before they pat themselves on the back for working long hours and writing controversial stories, la Rotonde should focus on being a more inclusive paper that represents students of all races, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
I have never been so ashamed of my student paper. I believe that la Rotonde should take serious sanctions against staff who illustrated this comic. It is also reprehensible that the editorial staff allowed such a degrading illustration to be published, and they should also take full responsibility for this action. La Rotonde should issue an official apology, or retraction of this comic from their paper.
—Juliana McLaren, third-year linguistics and psychology student at the U of O.