Further Michigan Daily Reading

Dumi has some coverage of the Daily scandal over at the Blackblog, and I trust I’ll follow it more closely than I can. Here he is making an excellent point on a Daily story that put boycott in the title although nobody is considering one this time around:

Why does this matter, you ask? And you should. Because the past Daily Boycott left a bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths. The boycott was poorly planned and executed, but I think it did have some positive results (if you want more commentary on what the boycotts did in my eyes, I’ll post it later). Since its planning and execution failed a couple of years ago, people are apprehensive to endorse another boycott. So how do you address concerns of a group critiquing you while delegitmizing their claim? Give them a headline with a strong amount of stigma attached. So throughout the day, numerous students will glance the cover of the Daily as they usually do and think, “Oh no, another boycott, I’m against that” and continue on with their day. Consider me a conspiracy theorist or a political strategist, but do send congrats to the Daily, even Sun-tzu would be proud.

Also, David Boyle’s post on Arborupdate has a few people talking.

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. Rob, don’t you think Boyle’s comparison of Michelle Bien’s artwork to the truly racist work by Griffith in 1915 (Birth of a Nation) is an exaggeration? Come on? Now, of course, the second cartoon is offensive, but it appears unsigned, and I’m guessing was a Daily attempt (poor and disgusting) to offer an opposite viewpoint.

  2. And, yes, I know Boyle used the rhetorical trick of mentioning the Birth of Nation and saying Bien wasn’t as bad, but mentioning the two together is off-base.

  3. Ah Return of the Zark.
    2nd cartoon is by Alexander Honkala, I think, as the print version of Daily clearly noted.
    Everyone loves Chet Z., but I must disagree with you; the Bien cartoon does indeed riff off of the disreputable ol’ “those hordes of threatening black folks surrounding poor whitey, and having A LEG UP ON poor ol’ whitey” that “Birth of a Nation” helped pioneer. The film is way worse, but the iconography and sentiment in the cartoon is somewhat reminiscent. Is MCRI planning to use the Bien cartoon?

  4. Sorry, nothing wrong with the info here. I just tried to comment a second ago I it got lost somewhere in cyberspace. So anyway, I’ll try again. I’m just curious about what Dumi has to say on the subject. There is the possibility that he has a perspective on it that I’ve never heard before. No offense to you, I’ve actually been a fan of the site for at least a year or so. Keep up the good work.

  5. David (Boyle), I doubt that MCRI has even considered the Bien cartoon in any “official” way, let alone to “use it”, although I don’t know for sure.

    You really have to stretch to link Bien to Birth of the Nation. If you’re argument were true, anyone who opposes preferences can be painted into that box. And that’s the problem with the NAACP criticism — and they admitted, directly, that the cartoon could be interpreted in “so many ways,” but chose to criticize the worst possible interpretation they could assign to it and labelled it as a priori racist. That’s an internal contradiction — if it could be interpreted in many ways, then why impose a racist interpretation (unless all the ways are racist, and I don’t believe that is the case here).

    Bottom line is that, in labelling the art racist (or like “BoN”), you are attempting to impose your view of the art – art which is supposed to spark multiple views – on everyone else.

  6. Did not label it racist, although others may have.
    It was an insensitive and underinformative cartoon, though. And it has some resemblances to Birth of a Nation, although that film was far worse, as I noted.

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