University of Virginia students are calling on the school’s student newspaper The Cavalier Daily to apologise for a seemingly insensitive April Fool’s Day article.
The Cavalier Daily’s April Fool’s Day front page is dominated by a story with the headline “ABC agents tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels,” which appears to satirize the controversial arrest of UVA student Martese Johnson last month.
The story’s tagline reads, “Students decry ‘Trail of Schmears’ as marginalization of minorities reaches new low,” a reference to the “Trail of Tears” that followed the the US government’s Indian Removal Act of 1830.
20-year-old UVA student Martese Johnson, the vice chair of the the university’s Honour Committee, received national attention after he was arrested by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents in March. Johnson, who is black, was left severely bruised and bloody after his arrest for allegedly having a fake ID.
The Cavalier Daily also satirized Native American names in the April Fool’s article, writing, “Third-year College student Strong Buffalo organised a powwow with Dances with Wolves and the other two Native American students at the University — first-year Rabbit in the Grass and fourth-year Insect Humming, both in the College.”
Both students and outside commentators accused The Cavalier Daily of racism for their article:
The Cavalier Daily is student run, so our peers wrote/edited/published this ignorance, thinking it was “funny”.
— chiq. (@_chelsgabrielle) April 1, 2015
The Cavalier Daily appears to have removed the controversial article from its website. We have reached out to the student newspaper for comment and will update with any statement we receive.
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