Since publishing Wednesday's joke issue, we have learned that some of our readers were offended by a column satirizing Asian stereotypes. The response surprised us: We did not seek to offend, and we sincerely regret having upset some of our readers.
Many criticisms of the column, however, do not recognize its purpose. Using hyperbole and an unbelievable string of stereotypes, we hoped to lampoon racism by showing it at its most outrageous. We embraced racist language in order to strangle it. At its worst, the column was a bad joke; at its best, it provoked serious thought about issues of race, fairness and diversity.
The column in question was penned by a diverse group of students — including several Asians on our senior editorial staff — who had no malicious intent. Given our purpose, we are deeply troubled by and reject the allegation of racism.
There are honest differences in opinion on what is humorous and what is not, and it was a regrettable mistake on our part to think that everyone would see the column the way we do. We welcome debate about the piece, especially in the pages of this newspaper. We hope the opportunity presented now for a constructive debate on race and race-related issues will not be lost.
Chanakya Sethi '07, editor-in-chief
Christian Burset '07, Neir Eshel '07, Anna Huang '07, Nancy Khov '07, Alex Maugeri '07, Tom Senn '07 and Ellen Young '07, Editors, 130th Managing Board