Volume 90, Issue 95

Tuesday, March 25, 1997



Ethical entegrity questioned

Re: Meet me in the UCC for a free lei, March 18

To the Editor:

The Gazette has done it again.

Almost unbelievably, The Gazette has once again insulted and trivialized the visible minorities of Western. Last month I watched as The Gazette completely mishandled Black History Month. I then watched as The Gazette officially apologized and stated that it would strive to do right. Finally, on Tuesday I watched as The Gazette printed a picture of a Hawaiian dancer performing in the Cultural Caravan with the caption "Meet me in the UCC for a free lei."

Now I can watch no longer.

At a time when we all hoped this newspaper had learned its lesson, once again it has exhibited the extremely poor judgment and pathetically bad taste that have become characteristic of The Gazette. Is the pun used on the word "lei" honestly meant to be humourous? That was certainly The Gazette's intention, which simply displays some of the worst taste in journalism I have ever encountered. The caption given to this photograph is not only incredibly demeaning to the dancer herself, but it is also an insult to her fellow dancers, to all those involved in the Cultural Caravan and to Polynesian culture itself. The caption trivializes the Hawaiian dance and the entire Cultural Caravan. The Gazette made a conscious decision to publicize the Cultural Caravan as a joke, rather than as a place where all of us could have learned something important about our fellow students. Once again, The Gazette has made it perfectly clear that the visible minorities of Western and the events in which they participate, are insignificant and can be laughed at, regardless of whether or not they involve something as dear as one's own culture.

Despite its commitment to change, The Gazette has obviously learned nothing from its mistakes. Although I feel that a number of individuals deserve an apology in this case, I will not ask for one – the time has come for empty, apologetic words to cease and for action to commence. There is a fine line between humour and insult; when the option to cross it next arises, I ask you to please try to show some good taste and do not take a running leap over the line.

Jakeet Singh
Scholar's Elective I

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997