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:
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":
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