Waymon Hudson

Wow. Apparently Gay Bashing is Funny at Notre Dame

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 15, 2010 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living, Media
Tags: comic strip, gay bashing, hate crimes against LGBT people, newspapers, Notre Dame, pope

What a load of anti-LGBT crap.

This gem of a comic strip got the full print treatment in the Notre Dame Student Paper, The Observer:

The-Observer-Jan-13-20102.jpg

Character 1: "What's the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?"
Character 2: "No idea."
Character 1: "A baseball bat."

Get it? Hate crimes bashing fruity LGBT people with a baseball bat are hilarious!

Excuse me while I throw up. Not only did the creator of the comic strip think this was funny, but the newspaper didn't see an issue with it and saw fit to print it.

The kicker? This version of the cartoon was obviously deemed "less offensive" than the version the artist originally had on his blog:

The cartoonist had posted on his blog - though it's since been removed - his original version of the cartoon. In the original version, it shows that the punchline read, "AIDS" instead of "A baseball bat." The paper, he reported, preferred "not to make light of fatal diseases."

Why is someone who creates this type of comic strip even writing for the student paper anyways? And what was the editorial meeting like when they met with the artist to "tone it down"?

The Observer: "Gee, we think saying that AIDS is a good way to kill people might step over the line a smidge, but we love your way of thinking."

Cartoon Artist: "I could just say to bash fags instead. That's still roll on the floor hilarious!"

The Observer: "Perfect! Hate Crimes, which are on the rise in the country against LGBT people, are a real knee slapper! Let's get the presses rolling"

Maybe that should be their next comic strip...

Of course, the editor and paper are now saying they are sorry and just don't know how the cartoon slipped through the cracks. According to GLAAD, the Observer is expected to issue a "full retraction and apology" today:

GLAAD contacted The Observer immediately upon seeing this cartoon. The Editor in Chief Jenn Metz relayed a tearful and what appeared to be heartfelt apology by phone. She explained that she was not present when the decision to run this cartoon was made, and that she was incredibly upset that others on staff had made that decision.
Metz plans to run what she describes as a "full retraction and apology," in Friday's edition of The Observer. GLAAD will watch for that retraction and apology. Additionally, GLAAD asked Metz to ensure that the staff responsible for running this cartoon -- both the cartoonist and editor who decided it was fit for print -- be reprimanded.

GLAAD also asked the President of the University to issue a statement condemning violence against the LGBT community.

My friend Autumn Sandeen over at Pam's House Blend makes an interesting connection that can't be denied as well. She draws a line between the Pope's increasingly heated anti-LGBT rhetoric and the hate coming out of Notre Dame, a school with historic ties to the Catholic Church. She calls it "hate rolling downhill":

lizardpope.jpg

But, did hate roll downhill? We'll probably never really know the answer to that question. However, I'd argue that anti-LGBT sentiments have been expressed publicly by the Pope and the student newspaper at a historically Catholic university: What I'm sure of is that the Pope's comments about LGBT people certainly aren't driving away any anti-LGBT sentiments in the ranks of the Notre Dame University student university.

She's right, we'll never know. But what I do know is this type of flippant attitude towards an issue that kills our community and makes them live in fear makes me sick to my stomach.

Update

Read the apologies from the newspaper, the editors, Notre Dame's President, and the comic creators (as well as my reaction) here.

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Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | January 15, 2010 2:16 PM

How very Christian of them. I have other reasons to be anti-theist but the "Christians" give me more reasons to be so on a daily basis.

Agreed! Aside having it pushed down my throat 24/7 growing up, I've found some of the most hateful people have been "Christians..." my parents included.

And the best part, their mission statement:

The University seeks to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings, but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice, and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.

This is really unbelieveable. Let's hope that they learn from this incident and start printing more positive GLBT stories in their campus newspaper in spite of the Vatican's midevil thinking. I think they should start with an article discussing hate crimes and hate speech.

Those type of articles would certainly be more in keeping with the Uni's mission statement.

The best response to these fraudulent
"Christians" who know nothing of the Jesus they so presumptuously claim to represent is the words of Jesus himself:

Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.

The bigots and persecutors have no possible answer. They are hopelessly wrong, and have no place in Jesus' kingdom. These iniquitous pseudo-Christians have no salvation and will simply die and rot away in time, unnoticed by God and humankind.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 16, 2010 4:41 AM

I appreciated double clicking on the cartoon itself and getting both the Editor's apology taking full responsibility, an editorial from the St Mary's Gay-Straight alliance head and 31, and counting, supportive comments.

Whoever permitted this mistake has unleashed a "Sturm und Drang" that the clever Notre Dame students will use to good effect.

Wonderful catch Waymon

This comic left me profoundly shaken.. I came out at Notre Dame. It's hard to believe that any place that I still call "home" (And I suspect some part of me will always call Notre Dame as "home") could act in this way. I'm comforted by the knowledge that this was an independent newspaper, and the decision to run this comic was made by independent students. Check back on Monday for a statement from the University by the way of the Core Council (the standing council for the needs of GLBTQ students)

It's my understanding that Notre Dame doesn't allow an actual LGBT group at the University. The Core Council is kind of a catch-all for students. Is that right, Meli?

Kind of- Notre Dame prohibits a gay straight alliance as well other GLBTQ advocacy groups, but the Core Council is a group run through student affairs to examine the needs of GLBTQ students. It sponsors Stand Against Hate Week activities, coffee hours, a GLBTQ retreat, etc. More information about the Core Council can be found here: http://corecouncil.nd.edu/

It's certainly not enough... but it's a start.

If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, organized religion, and the institutions it supports are the original.

Any association with the university and the church proves fatal to the light of Freethought. As soon as we remove the prohibition against indicting the church for it's 2000 year war against reason and the wholesale slaughter of innocents, we may over time revert to a humanist society and remove all justification for the ignorant hateful superstition of this anachronistic, male dominated societal control mechanism.

Now where in the heck is my broom? Gotta go cast a few spells on a certain university...heh, heh...."Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble."

Signed, The Witch of Edgewood

twinkie 1 cat | January 16, 2010 10:51 AM

It's called freedom of speech and press, even if you are wrong! This columnist needs to be monitored for ACTS of hate, however. We now have a federal law against violence towards gays.

If he is consistently anti-GLBT a counter-cartoonist should be employed by the paper just like the Baton Rouge Advocate publishes Doonesberry and Mallard Fillmore right next to each other on the comic page.

Loved the picture of pope as lizard with his red-shoed self and love of priest drag!

I have to agree w/ Twinkie on this one.
Though it wounds me to read things like this, it is a matter of free speech. I am protected by this and can say whatever I want, as long as bigots like this "cartoonist" are protected as well. It's a double-edged sword: we have to accept these words, even if we completely disagree, in order to ensure our own freedom.
Here's one for you- how do you make boring, inept, amateur nobodies really popular?


Colin Taylor Hofman chofman1@nd.edu
1 860 575 3764
130 N Saint Louis Boulevard
South Bend IN 46617-2923

Lauren Elizabeth Rosemeyer rosemeyer.3@nd.edu

Jay Wade is unlisted.

Actually, Red & Twinkie, freedom of speech isn't the issue here. The cartoonists have a blog that they can post this garbage on- which is their right- the newspaper, however, has no obligation or duty to publish the piece.

Freedom of speech and of the press is actually just a rule imposed on the government- they can't sensor what individuals or the media says. Newspapers, as private businesses, can choose whether or not to run trash like this. Just like they can deny ads or stories they deem offensive, they can deny cartoons like this that say violence is okay. The vast majority of the problem with this cartoon falls on the Observer.

And no one is saying that the artists don't have the right to create this cartoon- they certainly do. But we have the right to point it out and point out the danger it represents. We also have the right to hold the editors who ran it accountable.

Free Speech is a two way street.

The authors of the comic strip issued their apology here:

http://www.ndsmcobserver.com/viewpoint/the-mobile-party-apology-1.1011634

Apparently, the cartoon was supposed to ridicule gay intolerance. They went a bit too far with it though...

--"We tried to address it in our comics — using the tool characters to emphasize a mindset that we simply find ridiculous. In our last comic, we had the human character, our voice of reason, not understand the joke because of its absurd nature."--

For those who react to the cartoon and the university as a example of a Christian's behaviour I say look further. That kind of action doesn't reflect Christians at all. Christians are to model the same behaviour of Jesus. Anything different is failure. I am in a people of faith group that stands up for GLBTQ people. We are church pastors and laity that want to get the right message out.
Check us out at:

http://lovewelcomesall.ning.com/

"Gay bashing" is not funny at Notre Dame. Please stop generalizing about the entire student body because two guys came up with this cartoon which somehow got published.

The Observer is run entirely by a small group students and is printed five days a week. Considering all that it takes to run a newspaper like this (in addition to being a full-time student), editors sometimes make mistakes (albeit this is a big mistake). I assure you all, ND students didn't read the comic and think "Oh - what a great idea! Hate crimes are hilarious!" No. Everyone was appalled.

ashley kotzen | April 19, 2010 5:57 PM

you gay haters can all go suck it how wuld u like it if sumone wuld go around the world and start bashing straight people!!! well think about it..it just aint fair!!!its a free country notre dame!!!