Jay Parsons, Editor-in-Chief
March 20, 2003
On March 18, 2003, the University of Maryland student newspaper, the Diamondback, published an editorial cartoon that pictured Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old Evergreen State College student who was killed by the Israeli army while engaged in nonviolent protest of the demolition of the home of a Palestinian physician in Gaza. The cartoon depicted Corrie seated in front of a bulldozer with a caption of the definition for the word "stupid".
The cartoon defining Rachel Corrie as "stupid" was tasteless, wrong, pointless, insensitive, inappropriate, disrespectful, incorrect, dishonorable, and cheap.
Editorial cartooning, at its best, should make people think. Sometimes it should make people uncomfortable. Sometimes it should make people upset. Sometimes it should be funny. It should always be clever. Daniel Friedman's cartoon demonstrates the worst in editorial cartooning.
Your decision to publish it demonstrates exceedingly poor judgment. Just because the Bill of Rights gives you the right to publish something does not mean that it is right to publish it.
The damage is done. You cannot "unpublish" the cartoon. What you can do is reflect on your decision and perhaps give birth to your own head. Perhaps in doing so, you can open yourself up to the idea that some people are actually interested in doing something to help their fellow human beings, instead of simply tearing people down.
It is far more difficult to build than to destroy. You took the easy way. Your paper chose to destroy.
Page created 3/17/03.
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