Sound Familiar?

“Columbia University’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, yesterday condemned a series of race-related incidents on campus, including the publication of a racially offensive cartoon in an alternative student newspaper last Friday.

In a message sent to the Columbia community, he said several statements and events that demeaned blacks and other minorities “have proved unusually offensive to members of the Columbia University community, including me.”

Mr. Bollinger, the former president of the University of Michigan, who is widely known for his defense of affirmative action in two lawsuits that went up to the United States Supreme Court, said in an interview that he hoped to find ways to make Columbia a more comfortable place for minority students. His comments followed a meeting that he and other Columbia administrators had with black student leaders on Friday. […]

Protesters also criticized an “affirmative action bake sale” this month by the Columbia College Conservative Club, which sold doughnuts and cookies at higher prices to white and Jewish students and at lower prices to black, Hispanic and female students. (Such bake sales have been staged on other college campuses.) […]

The cartoon published in The Fed last Friday was titled “Blacky Fun Whitey” and purported to be a brief history of black Americans in honor of Black History Month. The newspaper, published about nine times a year, calls itself “Columbia’s subversive newspaper” and says it has no particular political leaning.

One panel of the cartoon declared, “Black people were invented in the 1700’s as a form of cheap labor.” Another said: “A little later, it was found that these noble brothers were super athletes! They were soon set free to follow their hoop dreams!”

It was drawn by a Columbia alumnus, Ben Schwartz, whose cartoons have appeared in both The Fed and The Columbia Daily Spectator. Some of the Fed editors opposed running the cartoon, but were overruled by others on their board. A note printed above the cartoon said that The Fed was a forum and that “a lot of us didn’t really want to print this cartoon, ’cause it’s kinda offensive.”

Mr. Schwartz and the Fed’s editors apologized for their insensitivity this week. The leaders of the conservative student group also apologized. But some students said the cartoon and other recent incidents constituted attacks on minority students. … “

> NYTimes: “Columbia Leader Condemns Racial Incidents on Campus

Author: Rob