April 5, 2012

Letter to the Editor: WRC Apologizes for Poster Controversy

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Re: “Students Deface Posters They Call Racist Against Asians” News, March 26.

Dear Members of the Cornell Community,

As many of you may know, the upcoming event “An Evening with Margaret Cho,” for which the Cornell Women’s Resource Center is a sponsoring organization, has been the center of a much-publicized controversy concerning the font used in the original event advertisement. The font that was used is called Chop Suey, and it has a history of being used to represent Western orientalist ideas of Chinese culture and identity.The WRC would like to extend a sincere apology for our oversight in the production and distribution of the poster. The font choice of the original poster is racist, and we wholeheartedly apologize for offending anyone in the Cornell community. By allowing actions like this to occur on our campus, we perpetuate an environment and culture that condones and trivializes racism. While the WRC did not design or approve this poster, as a sponsor of the event, we accept responsibility for the content of any materials used to promote it.We acknowledge that many people had various responses to this font, and within the WRC, we have used this as a learning experience to better serve the Cornell community. We hope that everyone involved and affected by this controversy will use it as a productive means for respectful dialogue around issues of race, identity and intersectionality in the Cornell community.We stand in solidarity with all those who work for social justice and for the full and authentic expression of every individual’s complex identity.

Sincerely,The Cornell Women’s Resource Center Advisory Board

Rachael Blumenthal ’13Jessie Bonney-Burrill ’12Margo Cohen Ristorucci ’13Emily Coon ’12Eva Drago ’12Rhea Fernandes ’12Julianne Freeman ’12Ashley Harrington ’13Rebecca John ’14David Murdter ’12Hillary Orzick ’13Samantha Pedreiro ’12Deanna Ping ’12Narda Terrones ’14Dominique Thomas ’13