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Letter from the Assistant Managing Editor

Kara King | Monday, January 18, 2010

Editor’s Note: The Observer Editorial Board has accepted the resignation of Assistant Managing Editor Kara King. We greatly respect King’s courage in writing a letter to our community and appreciate her service to The Observer.

To The Observer community,

I am writing to apologize for my actions, which led to the inexcusable publication of a “Mobile Party” comic strip on Jan. 13. This strip was offensive and inappropriate beyond measure, and printing it perpetuated a message of intolerance, discrimination and hate.

A miscommunication between another editor and myself led to the comic running without me first reading and approving the material. Regardless, no excuse can justify the comic even being considered for publication, and the duty to censor it fell to me. I failed to do so, and am solely responsible for providing a forum for this message of hate. I was the final one to check the paper that night, and am accountable for all of its content. I regret nothing more than the oversight that led to it and apologize for disgracing the paper with its printing. The comic does not reflect my views or those of The Observer in any way, and I cannot begin to quantify the humiliation in knowing that it is, ultimately, my fault.

To those whom my actions have offended, I’m sorry. I failed as both an editor and member of the Notre Dame community by allowing this strip to print. I cannot take my inaction back, but I can hope that some good will come from this. More than ever, we as a University need to fight against stereotypes and for the equal rights of all who consider our campus and community home. If nothing else, the administration needs to use this instance to acknowledge that discrimination against the LGBT community is a very real problem, and one that should not be tolerated. Adding sexuality to the non-discrimination clause and recognizing student groups who fight for these equal rights is overdue, and excuses for not doing so have been used for too long. This is not a problem that can be solved overnight, but the University can join The Observer in taking the first steps towards remedying it.

I have worked for The Observer for my entire undergraduate career and nothing embarrasses me more than to be the cause of such a negative spotlight for a product that I take great pride in helping produce. A daily paper requires the dedication of its staff and the competency of its editors. Everyone who works there understands the pressures, and has sacrificed schoolwork, sleep and sanity to ensure a paper is delivered every day.

Those with final say on what is printed need to be held accountable for their actions. As Assistant Managing Editor, I have failed in my duties to protect the quality and uphold the standards of The Observer, and because of this I am resigning the position, effective immediately. I understand the severity of my actions, and need to take responsibility for them. I would like to thank Shirley Grauel, our office manager, for preventing the paper from imploding and wish her the best of luck in her retirement, and the entire Editorial Board for allowing me the experience thus far. It has been an honor working with you and you have all taught me more in my four years than I ever could have learned in a classroom. I wish everyone on staff the best of luck in regaining the readers’ trust that I have violated.

Kara King
Jan. 17