As a George Washington University student for four years, I have never experienced overt racism at this campus. However, on April 21, I had the rude awakening in the form of the April edition of the campus publication Protest THIS!
On page seven of the issue, a fictitious ad coined after MasterCard appeared in the form of “MastaCard.” The ad cited three stereotypes as the root of African-American male oppression. These stereotypes portrayed the African-American male as a chicken-eating, alcohol-drinking womanizer of white women. The ultimate insult of the ad is the caption above the picture of an enslaved African-American stating, “Masta treat us real good.”
Upon viewing this ad, my impression of the University as an open-minded institution that embraced diversity was shaken. Although the ad was intended to promote comedy, the GW community must view this act for what it really is – pure, unadulterated racism.
Yes I believe in freedom of the press, but there is an ethical responsibility involved. With an April publication laced with racial connotations, the publishers of Protest THIS! demonstrate that they are incapable of handling that responsibility. For the sake of righteousness, the University must take corrective actions to prevent future weakening of their diverse structure.
-James Allen Jr.president, Black People’s Union