Vt. newspaper criticized by Asian American groupBy WILSON RING
THE Associated Press | March 09,2013MONTPELIER — A Vermont newspaper is being criticized by the Asian American Journalists Association for publishing a poster using a print type associated with Chinese calligraphy for the words “fry Rice” to urge a local school to beat its opponent — Rice Memorial High School — in a state championship game.
Association president Paul Cheung said in a letter to the publisher of the Caledonian Record in St. Johnsbury that the slogan by itself might be considered clever, but was offensive when written in that particular typeface.
“It became offensive when published in a typeface mimicking Chinese calligraphy,” the letter said. “We’ll assume that your use of that typeface was not meant to offend. But we’ll also assume that if that is the case, the Caledonian Record will publicly acknowledge its lapses in taste and judgment.”
Caledonian Record Publisher Todd Smith said he would address the issue in an editorial today.
St. Johnsbury Academy’s high school basketball team played Rice Memorial, of South Burlington, for the championship Thursday. Rice Memorial won 48-40 in overtime.
The newspaper ran the poster on the back page of Thursday front section. The top of the page read: “Go “Toppers,” referring to the school’s Hilltoppers nickname. Across the bottom of the page were the words “fry Rice” in the style meant to resemble Chinese calligraphy.
St. Johnsbury Academy, a private school, serves local students and also has boarding students from around the world, including Asia. Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett said Friday the school had nothing to do with the poster, its design or its publication.
“We appreciate the Caledonian-Record’s support of our teams, and we know for a fact that its intention was to support our boys in their championship run by using a clever play on the name of our opponent,” Lovett said.
He said none of the school’s Asian students were offended by the poster.
“Overall, our students often see such things as a way to celebrate their culture, not demean it. And in this case, we chose to follow our students’ lead and look at the Caledonian’s intent, not taking offense where none was intended,” Lovett said.
Once Academy officials saw the posters at the game, they did their best to remove them from the cheering section, he said.
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: When all the big mammals are rubbed out and a faint geologic memory, rats the size of human beings will stalk the Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: National survey ranks Vermont kids' well-being in second place, Springfield takes up anti-loitering ordinance, Rutland debate taxis, Fair Haven woman is arrested in Rutland for prostitution.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather and news: Research scientists say schizophrenia and marijuana use linked. Are marijuana smokers schizophrenic or are schizophrenics more disposed toward marijuana use?
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 365 CE, eastern Mediterranean rocked by high magnitude earthquake and tsunami, in 1865, Davis 'Little Dave' Tutt meets Wild Bill Hickock in Springfield, Mo., to settle differences.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Pesticides in soil and ground water are killing not only honey bees and other useful insects, but songbirds as well.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Judge issues deposition order in for city police corporal's lawsuit against the department, market for marijuana-laced edibles en fuego in at least two states, West Rutland truck fire consumes all driver's earthly possessions.