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
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy takes advantage of Cold War jitters and builds a tidy little fiefdom for himself on Capitol Hill. It's all good, but pride goes before you know darn well what. The junior senator is damaged going down.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in control of the Soviet Union; in 1970, Oregon DOT tries to dynamite a dead whale off a beach with a rather shocking result.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Southern Airways Flight 49 is hijacked, the crew and passengers held for ransom. The hijackers want $10 million and passage to Cuba. In 2007, in Santiago, Chile, King Juan Carlos of Spain loses patience with Hugo Chavez.