The student-run newspaper at Rice University, the Rice Thresher, ran a satirical “coupon” in preparation for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that mocked white people.
It ran on the “Backpage,” which is dedicated to satire, according to Click2Houston.
The fake ad is labeled “Guilt-free MLK Day Pass” and reads: “Hey there, white people! We know you have the day off to celebrate someone who managed to beat your system.
“Don’t despair – for the low price of eternal shame you can spend these 24 hours doing something productive like beating off in a sock and wondering whatever happened to your 8th-grade girlfriend. You’re disgusting.”
Conservative journalist Clay Travis tweeted about the “Guilt-free MLK Day Pass:”
I’m guessing this was supposed to be funny — maybe? — from Rice University’s student newspaper? But if this is written about any other race the campus is covered with protests. pic.twitter.com/f6edF11TU1
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 12, 2018
After receiving backlash for targeting white people, the editorial staff wrote a response to clarify their racist statements and justify their vulgarity.
“The purpose of the “ad” in the Backpage was to encourage students to reflect on the meaning of the holiday rather than use it simply as another vacation day without classes. The reference to masturbation, of course, is crude, as much of the Backpage’s humor has been in its several decades of existence.
“The final line, ‘You’re disgusting,’ regards the previous sentence’s reference to ‘beating off into a sock.’ It was not meant to address all white people, which we realize may have been unclear.”
The Thresher’s editorial response really wasn’t an apology, either, saying United States’ history justifies racism against white people.
“This ignores the fact that racism exists in a context, and in this country, the context is the generations of oppression and slavery suffered by one minority at the hands of the majority,” the editorial staff wrote. “Given this fact, a satirical jab at the behavior of many white people cannot be compared to a similar jab at those that have suffered from the brutal history of racism in this country.”
As Travis points out, if the ad had targeted another race, the university administration would have taken action and students would have protested.
But the administration completely sidestepped the issue.
“To clarify any confusion, the university does not manage the content in the Thresher but is very disappointed with the failed attempt at satire in this Backpage piece, which is offensive and contrary to the inclusive and tolerant values of the institution,” the administration wrote. “However, we fully support freedom of speech and freedom of the press, even when we don’t agree with what the Thresher prints.
“We hope that the Thresher takes this opportunity to learn from this incident.”
And the student government praised Rice’s commitment to “diversity, tolerance, and inclusion.”
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines)