There has been an update to this story -- click here to read more from the editor and the campus reaction.
''A miscommunication between another editor and myself led to the comic running without me first reading and approving the material. Regardless, no excuse can justify the comic even being considered for publication, and the duty to censor it fell to me.... If nothing else, the administration needs to use this instance to acknowledge that discrimination against the LGBT community is a very real problem, and one that should not be tolerated. Adding sexuality to the non-discrimination clause and recognizing student groups who fight for these equal rights is overdue, and excuses for not doing so have been used for too long.... As Assistant Managing Editor, I have failed in my duties to protect the quality and uphold the standards of The Observer, and because of this I am resigning the position, effective immediately.''
Kara King, the Assistant Managing Editor of The Observer, a daily newspaper that serves the campus of Notre Dame University and Saint Mary's. Her strongly worded, public letter or resignation calls the riddle in a recent comic strip a "message of hate.'' The 3-panel, black-and-white illustration had a "tool" telling a joke that a "baseball bat" could turn a "fruit into a vegetable." In earlier reports, King's Managing Editor said that she was away when the decision to run the cartoon was made. As for the three people who created the piece, they apologized and seemed to state that it was "provocative" by design and that it was aimed at drawing attention to clueless persons not being able to understand the ridiculousness of the "tool's" mindset. Most viewers of the cartoon have said that explanation is baloney, but whatever the reason -- poor decision, poor execution, or poor proofreading -- one thing is certain, cartoons continue to be the most touchy form of editorial content that newspapers can carry. The remaining Editor of the Observer says now that the strip, called "The Mobile Party," will no longer be carried, at least in part, because it is property of the newspaper and that one of the creators had reposted it on his own blog. Another version of it, according to GLAAD, was posted on that blog (now offline) that said "AIDS" instead of "baseball bat" as an alternate but equally horrible punchline. (The Observer)
''It is hard for many of our students (and many of us) to comprehend the harm felt when discriminated against, because many of us have not really experienced discrimination. So what is important for all of us to learn about and remember is that these acts, intended or not, do cause harm.''
Letter to the Editor of the Observer from David Hachen, Associate Professor of Sociology. He's responding to the comic strip that caused a storm of controversy by relaying an anti-gay riddle in the University's of Notre Dame's daily newspaper. The student-run publication ran several letters from alumni who are gay and were appalled at the appearance of the seemingly simple cartoon's display of insensitivity. (The Observer)
''This is not a question of free speech. If the editors weren't concerned with community standards, they wouldn't have rejected the first version of the cartoon. No, the decision to publish it demonstrates a serious lack of judgment and lack of commitment to the Catholic belief in human dignity and stance against violence. We know that the cartoon does not reflect the feelings of a majority of the people on the ND campus; and we have been heartened by many of the responses appearing in the Observer....The publication of the cartoon is a prime example of why Notre Dame ranks first in The Princeton Review's list of the most unwelcoming campuses for gay and lesbian students. The noise being generated by this will drown out any good news about the work being done by the students, faculty and Core Council.''
Press release from officers of GALA ND/SMC, a pro-gay alumni group for Notre Dame university and Saint Mary's College, responding to the publication of a cartoon in the student newspaper that seemed to promote violence against gay people. Controversy over the drawing erupted both on campus and across the internet's gay communities, because of the way it made "gay bashing" into a joke and because it appeared in a Catholic school's student paper. The Catholic Church has come under fire for a wave of anti-gay statements by Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope, and also for political maneuverings and contributions from clergy to stop gay marriage equality in many locations in America this past year. (EnewsPF)