a, Opinion

A microlesson in microaggression: clarifying a misinterpretation

On Dec. 5, the SSMU Legislative Council met and decided that a listserv sent by the SSMU VP Internal Brian Farnan containing a GIF image of Barack Obama kicking down a door served to reinforce the negative stereotypical image of the hyper-masculine aggressive black man. They decided that the Equity Complaint Investigation Committee’s recommendation of a public apology was both necessary and beneficial to the entirety of the student body. It was not. Instead, this apology has made a farce of McGill and, even worse, trivialized the issue of racism.

The Equity Complaints Investigation Committee’s recommendation was made in response to an equity complaint filed on Oct. 30 in response to the Obama GIF. The complaint was filed, unbeknownst to many, for two reasons and not just one. The first was because the complainant felt that the image of Obama reinforced a negative stereotype. The second reason was because Farnan had not responded to the complainant’s initial email; as a result, the student filed an official equity complaint. Once the recommendation was drafted, it was sent to the SSMU Legislative Council to make the decision of approval or rejection.

When presented at Council, we were given an explanation of the situation by the equity commissioner. After our initial questions were answered, we opened debate on the recommendation. As the lone black voice in the room, I felt the unfair pressure of having to speak on behalf of our black community. However, I also hoped that my perspective as a black male could shed valuable insight onto the situation.

I spoke against the approval of the public apology. Although it is true that we should recognize the concerns of the complainant, such response could be best communicated to the student directly. Public apologies to the entirety of the student body should only be sent if there is a breach of trust against all students and the mandates of the society. In this case, a public apology would surely backfire.

Although black masculinity is often portrayed negatively by the media through violent and hyper-masculinized representations, the Obama image was not a good example of the reinforcement of this stereotype. Its central feature was not of a black man violently attacking a door, but rather of a public political figure being humorously discomposed. As it was mentioned during Council, this would not have been an issue had it been Stephen Harper or Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama.

Despite this, arguments were brought up as to why the recommendation should be approved. A majority of councillors felt that, beyond validating the complainant’s thoughts, the image was indeed reinforcing the violent black male narrative and that by speaking against this, we could educate our student body on racism and microaggressions. They felt that this was a good opportunity to promote a safe space, and that sending out a public apology would be beneficial.  To these councillors, my arguments that the apology would politicize a non-political issue and that this politicization would only hurt the genuine concerns of the black community were not valid enough reasons to vote against the apology.  One councillor even told me, the lone black student in the room, to “recognize my privilege” and that my opinion could not represent that of all black students. (He didn’t seem to have a problem with not recognizing his own privilege.) They believed that by approving the recommendation they were promoting equity.

I was troubled by their comments. These councillors wanted to educate students on an issue that they themselves misunderstood. We were robbing Barack Obama of his individuality by fitting him into a stereotype. We were taking a notable and respected figure of the black community and reducing him to being a violent black male—all of this in the name of education.

The recommendation was approved: nine for, five against, five abstaining.

As the session ended and a motion to adjourn was made, councillors began gathering their belongings, eager to go home. I had to remind the councillors that we were supposed to take a minute of silence to mourn of the death of Nelson Mandela. Embarrassed, everyone sat back down. I sat there baffled by the irony that these councillors believed they were helping the black community, unaware that they had silenced and ignored a black student on the night that one of humanity’s greatest activists died after a long life of battling for the equality of all races.

I felt that SSMU Equity was misrepresenting the needs of visible minorities. Throughout the process itself there was minimal consultation with members of the affected group, and the lone black student who spoke—me—was ignored. The recommendation was made by the four members of the Equity Complaints Investigation Committee. They were trying to speak for the black community without asking for its opinions. Ultimately, this apology has misrepresented the struggles that I encounter on a daily basis. By presenting a poor example of black stereotypes, they have confused, instead of educating, our student body about the issue of racism.

People often think that racism involves malicious actions of ill intent, but this is false. Racism often involves a set of implicit attitudes held even by well-meaning people. Racism is pervasive and it has been vastly studied in psychology. Columbia professor Derald Sue defines microaggressions as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of colour.” These are everyday actions that range from racial slurs to cultural appropriation, and collectively they help construct the exclusion that marginalizes minorities. A microaggression is when you censor someone from using the word “black” while not censoring the word “white.”  Acts such as telling a black person that they don’t “act black” because they do not appear “ghetto,” saying that a black person is “lucky” to be in university, misappropriating “ratchet” culture, or dismissing allegations of racism as “pulling the black card” are microaggressions.

By being overly politically correct while misidentifying what microaggressions are, we took away  Obama’s character and replaced it with a stereotype. Under the pretense that “education is good,” the nine councillors attempted to teach our community about a topic that they had gotten wrong. In doing so, we drew the attention of our community into making fun of the apology, and consequently trivializing the issue of racism, instead of teaching them about it. Racism is real, microaggressions do exist, and equity plays a large role in minimizing the struggles of visible minorities.

I am for equity, I want equity, I need equity. But I neither want nor need this equity. I don’t need equity that confuses the issue of racism and makes students laugh about microaggressions. I don’t need equity that unfairly scapegoats its own members in the name of education. I don’t need equity that taints the university’s reputation instead of bolstering it. The decision to approve the recommendation not only outlined a poor example of black stereotypes, but also of educational equity. Education is good––but only so as long as we know the subject that we are teaching. Our student body cannot learn about the struggles of our minorities if those attempting to teach are not educated.


Élie Lubendo sits on the SSMU Legislative Council as the Services Representative to SSMU. This is his second year as a councillor. This piece was written in collaboration with Christian Service, Political Coordinator at the Black Students’ Network. The Black Students’ Network will be having a discussion on marginalized peoples in academia, and the dynamics of culture and ethnicity in North America on March 20.

Share this:


  1. Timothe Timber

    While I agree with everything you said, I don’t feel you go anywhere near far enough in criticizing the people who passed the apology resolution. I’m deeply unsettled by the fact that these uppity, self-righteous idiots are meant to be representing me as a student. If Farnan had had any convictions he’d have resigned rather than bow down to their silly whims.

    • ElieLubendo

      Thank you for comment and I respect your thoughts. I, too, think that there is much more to be done. There is a lack of accountability not only on the part of the nine councillors that voted for this, but also on the part of the SSMU Equity Complaints Investigation Committee (ECIC). The ECIC’s misguided recommendation set the tone for these series of errors. The editor can vouch for me, the original piece was just over 2,000 words and while I realize that it may have covered everything in depth, that can’t be relayed in a newspaper in print and even online. I had to really condense it to stick to the main issue. In response, I have brought a motion to Council for this Thursday demanding for a report on how the ECIC came up with the recommendation in the first place and how they felt that it was the appropriate remedy. Hopefully that will bring more accountability on their part and help in the reviewing of the current SSMU Equity Policy.

      • Abraham Moussako

        I (as the ed.) can certainly vouch for this. This case touches on a host of issues, many not necessarily suitable for the concise format of the column.

  2. “A majority of councillors felt that, beyond validating the complainant’s thoughts, the image was indeed reinforcing the violent black male narrative…”

    This is simply untrue; only the first clause is true. Nonetheless, I agree with majority of the other sentiments written here, and we have lots of work to do in regard to equity on campus. Thanks for your thoughts, Elie!

    • ElieLubendo

      Thank you for your comments! If you take a look at the Confidential Minutes that were published online you will see that many did feel that it reinforced the negative black stereotype (in fact it was said literally within Council). Unfortunately, the minutes are paraphrases and the confidential session lasted for about an hour to an hour and half, so all of discussion was left out of the minutes. Although some of the councillors that voted for the recommendation may have publicly said that they don’t agree with the idea that the image was a reinforcement of negative stereotypes, and that their votes reflected protecting the views of the complainant, that in itself is still an issue.

      Disagreeing with the heart of the recommendation, that the image reinforced negative stereotypes, while still wanting to validate the complainant’s thoughts is not grounds to vote for its approval. By abstaining, this could have been sent to the Judicial Board. Additionally, had this been rejected as a recommendation, the Equity Complaints Investigation Committee (ECIC) would have had to come with a new recommendation–one that was likely to be more on point. An apology could have been sent privately, even face-to-face, to the complainant.

      I wish the article could have been longer. Originally it was over 2,000 words. However, it needed to be condensed. But the main point still stands: the Councillors and the ECIC still stand at fault for their approval of the recommendation, because it has hurt the issue of racism in our community, and consequently has damaged our visible minorities.

    • Abraham Moussako

      “This is simply untrue”

      Were you part of the decision? Otherwise on what grounds would you be able as to speculate as to the thinking of the councillors?

    • I was, actually. 🙂

      • ElieLubendo

        Only two councillors explicitly said that they were against the recommendation. Also, a ‘yes’ vote for that recommendation means that one would agree with the heart of the motion: that Brian Farnan should be punished for enforcing negative black stereotypes through the listserv. Although, I do recognize that the nine councillors that voted for the recommendation may have had good intentions to do so, that does not change the fact that the recommendation was wrong and that, if not responded by an abstain vote, it should have been voted down. If you still think after reading this article that their votes were justified, then I’m sorry, but you are contributing to the confusion, and consequently, the problem.

        And I also think that it is strange that you’d declare yourself as a councillor that was there on the night of, but that you wouldn’t state your name or position, or even the way you voted…It’s not a good sign of accountability (especially as a student representative). You may keep your confidentiality, but it won’t help you much.

  3. Alx'xx McKenzie

    My concerns with this piece is that it places a lot of blame on SSMU, and isn’t necessarily super critical of the response to this equity complaint. I guess I’m torn over whether the response the email was emblematic of a misjudgment on the part of SSMU, or a fairly rote response to marginalized communities attempts to make complaints surrounding issues of micro-aggressions. I.e. the uproar from certain parts of campus seemed to maintain a pattern of dismissal, and fury at the gall of a racialized individual to voice concern over any issue, and a maintenance of the idea that the ‘rights’ of certain community members were being subjected to a radical anti-free speech crew of race-baiters. A lot of the media responses were pretty proactively racist, and were universally dismissive of the fundamental concept of marginalization, oppression, micro-aggressions and equity efforts. I would be a stronger proponent of an argument for ‘strategic equity’ if it wasn’t for the fact that any discussion about race on this campus (irregardless of how obviously serious and offensive an individual/groups behaviour has been) tends to be met with a very similar level of exasperation on the part of the campus community. I think a telling example of this is that the National Post article on this issue extensively interviewed Julius Grey, a former professor who I last saw speaking on this campus arguing (among various other fairly heinous things) that Black-Face is acceptable and people need to *stop being so sensitive.* This particular email is thus just an excuse to dismiss all equity work, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s Black-Face or Obama. In short, my concern over our continued argument over whether or not SSMU ‘should’ have asked for an apology is that it maintains a discourse that there is some objectively determinable threshold for what is *important/real* racism and what is not. In other words it maintains a social discourse where members of marginalized communities can be dismissed for being hysterical for trying to publicly voice their discomforts/experiences (a discourse which is perfectly encapsulated by the response to this case which has been {at its worst} to dismiss the need for equity or even the existence of racism in Canadian society). I think it’s telling that the initial complaint was entirely ignored, leading to this equity complaint. I do not think its healthy for any of us to think that we should tell individuals what they should or shouldn’t be hurt/aggressed by. I think when members of marginalized communities report feeling hurt by an image we should respect that sentiment. AND I think that even if we don’t necessarily agree with a marginalized individuals reading/interpretation of an image idea we should only be comfortable engaging with and debating these complaints if we think the student and their pain will be respectfully treated and constructively incorporated into a larger civil debate. THe response to this issue proves that this is not the state of debate around critical theory on campus. I think that clamping down on these avenues for complaint has the potential of heavily regulating marginalized communities (who are already extensively socially/really policed for their ‘appropriate’ behaviour) for the benefit of the comfort of those who already have privilege. Thus I think that maybe the take-away from this whole debacle is less the way that SSMU makes decisions over responses to equity issues, but more how much work we still have to go before the needs, concerns and emotions of marginalized communities are entertained, much less respected, as legitimate on our campus.

    • ElieLubendo

      Wow, thanks a lot for the comment. I share a lot of those sentiments. I was hurt at the fact that initially our student body was attacking the complainant and blaming them for the fiasco that occurred. They were harassed in all sorts of ways and dismissed as overly-sensitive as you pointed out; and that’s simply wrong. Adittionally, Brian Farnan was scapegoated for this decision and he received a lot of hate mail as a result. I can’t imagine the level of hostility that would be showed towards the complainant had their identity been revealed. It is crucial that the equity complaints process keeps total confidentiality for your aforementioned reasons. Consequently, protecting their confidentiality had a big part in the late response that happened. However, the SSMU Legislative Council has been completely opaque on this issue. Most students don’t know this but I brought a motion to reject the recommendation after the apology was sent out, to symbolically admit that we had made a mistake–and it was flat out rejected.

      I am angered for the same reasons that you are. It is true that there may have been a lack of due diligence on the part of Brian Farnan. However, we have to realize that these students are working 80 hour weeks for the entire year. And at the time of the initial complaint and email, Brian Farnan was undertaking a project to raise equity awareness against blackface for SSMU’s annual event of 4Floors. Although that does not validate the lack of a response, we should keep in mind that they have a lot of work to do.

      I think that the sentiments need to be directed at the people that are responsible for this issue: the nine councillors that voted for it and the ECIC. And this is why I wrote this article. Although our students are definitely at fault for attacking the complainant, we have to realize that they were misguided to begin with. I specifically said, as others did, that this would backfire and it was a terrible idea. It is the political correctness, the lack of foresight from these individuals that have triggered the problem. If we had approached the issue from the right angle to begin with, there would be no need to even mention the complainant. Also, the fact that no one has publicly taken blame for this only aggravates the amount of pressure that we have put on the complainant.

      SSMU has to take a stance and set the record straight. We need to fix our image and our trust with our student body, and let them know what racism really is and what equity really is. Without that, things like this will reoccur. But I do agree, there is much work to be done to recognize the voice of our visible minorities. We are not overly-sensible for voicing our opinions.

      • Eli Freedman

        Graduated from McGill… Still interested (a bit) in what goes on at campus!!

        I really enjoyed reading your article Elie! SSMU Equity and SSMU council should be held accountable and constantly improved!!

        I feel Alx’xx. McGill is McGill. Every time a complaint about oppressive behavior is made, there is denial and defensiveness. What would be the point of writing another article about the denial and outright racist responses in this particular case? Every incoming student should read Derald Wing Sue’s book instead of doing Frosh week!!!! McGill should (finally??? WTF?!?!) have a faculty and student body that represents Montreal’s beauty and diversity. A global university should represent non-western/eurocentric modes of knowledge.

        Honestly, I think it gets better after graduation not needing to deal with McGill’s crap. Peace OUUTTTT!

        • Ughhh but again.. McGill is McGill… the voices screaming the loudest are the ones screaming trivialities and usually 95% of them are not of the group being discussed and thus have really no credibility. If I went to some other university where people don’t scream racism every five minutes and someone made an allegation of racism, I would take it a lot more seriously. It’s like the boy who cried wolf, and you really can’t blame the rest of us for having that reaction. The maybe 2 times I have seen actual racism at McGill are trumped by the 10 billion times I have seen FAKE racism trotted out. And I’m not black but I’m a member of an ethnic group of 5000 people so how much more minority can you get.

        • PriyaVassi

          Like if one of my black friends came up to me and told me a story of a time someone made them feel upset/hurt by something they said then hell yeah I would take that seriously! And I can’t speak for the rest of McGill but I feel like most decent people would. But a bunch of obnoxious rich white kids screaming “check your privilege” and “microagression” blah blah blah constantly… at best it’s irritating, at worst it’s offensive, and honestly it’s hard not to laugh.

    • “Thus I think that maybe the take-away from this whole debacle is less the way that SSMU makes decisions over responses to equity issues, but more how much work we still have to go before the needs, concerns and emotions of marginalized communities are entertained, much less respected, as legitimate on our campus.”

      Seriously? Your take-away from the near-universally negative backlash to the Farnan apology and current state of the SSMU equity process is to, effectively, conclude that *everyone is just being wrong and racist as usual*? And you wonder why, when presented with an attitude that appears this way, we as the campus community might be EXASPERATED…?

      You have learned *nothing* from any of this.

  4. dognounnotacat

    As someone who wholeheartedly supports the process of equity, but was deeply worried by the complaint and how it played out, I quite appreciate this article. I especially appreciate that it, unlike other pieces critical of the complaint, was not filled with frothing-at-the-mouth anti-equity sentiment. This is a sober appraisal of the issues in the process, and I hope this critique leads to a serious evaluation of the shortcomings equity in SSMU.

    In addition, as a former SSMU Councilor, I am deeply troubled at your description of the things that were said in debate. I think the other comments here go a little too far in their condemnation, but I am nonetheless disappointed with the apparent over-zealousness of our representatives.

  5. Is there any way you could post the full 2000 word version of what you wrote somewhere??

    • ElieLubendo

      Unfortunately, I can only post pictures on here and not files. The things that I took out where either things that where mildly reiterated, the meaning of a public apology (and examples of things that deserve public apologies i.e. executives wearing black face), the alternatives that were presented at Council (such as 2/3 abstaining opportunity to send to Judicial Board), more in depth look at the process, and more in depth criticisms of the ECIC. It’s really extra content that don’t necessarily have to do with the core issue. If you’d still like to see the info, feel free to email me at [email protected].

      Additionally, as a response to the lack of transparency I have drafted a motion to Council for this Thursday that mandates the ECIC to write a full report as to how they came up with the explanation and why it is that they felt it was the right solution to the problem–given that there is no indication that the complainant asked for a public apology explicitly.

  6. This is a great article. Thanks for sharing it and shedding more light into the issue. It’s refreshing to see perspective that doesn’t just attack the complainant but that lays out the main issue of racism. The apology really was a bad idea, for more reasons than it being just ridiculous! I honestly feel sorry for what you had to go through. On the night that Mandela died too…

    I am offended by the lack of accountability from the Councillors and their political correctness. It’s unacceptable. The minutes don’t point out exactly who voted for it. Which of the students voted for the approval?

    • ElieLubendo

      Unfortunately, I did not motion for a roll-call, so the minutes don’t reflect how we voted. I only remember a handful of the votes. Looking at the attendance, the students that I know approved it for a fact were: Kareem Ibrahim (Arts), Lola Baraldi (Arts), Courtney Ayukawa (Arts and Science), Zachary Rosentzveig (Clubs), Sarah Southey (Science), and Claire Stewart-Kanigan (Arts Senator). I can’t fully remember the other three given that it was 3 months ago.

    • Feel free to elaborate on what you believe to be a “lack of accountability”!

  7. Speaking as a black woman in the McGill community, I whole-heartedly support what’s been said in this piece. But as others have mentioned before me, I worry about how critical we as a campus are of the complainant. It’s true that I most certainly did not react that way to that image. As a matter of fact, I thought it was more a suggestion of Obama being “bad-ass” or something to that effect (as with the gif of him getting a fly on the first shot). However, it’s disturbing that people seem unwilling to recognize how that image may be interpreted. I, for one, understood how it could be seen that way even if I did not feel that way myself. But when I tried to explain that to other members of our school, they were often dismissive of that view. I think the largest issue now is that people, I find, are attempting to seek ways to disregard minority critcisms as being ridiculous. That’s not to say that any of these people mean any ill-will by their views. Nonetheless, I am certain that will lead (as a matter of fact, it already has in many of my conversations) to people reasoning that any mention of ‘microaggression’ – much like what has recently become of the word ‘Patriarchy’ – is steeped in over-sensitivity and a desire to silence the voices of dissent from others.
    Strangely enough, it would seem that those very equity officers did just that – use terms of oppression to quiet dissent. Even stranger, they used their voices to silence a minority voice that, in this case particularly, ought to have been heard.
    But this issue didn’t start here. Frankly, The Daily has been the best display of this very problem all over campus. Too often for my comfort, a person or group claims to speak on my behalf as a victim of sexual assault, a woman, a person of colour and various other things without ever considering that I may not feel the same way that they do. Or worse, effectively tell me that I’m wrong, self-hating or racist for disagreeing. But the responses never address the solvent issues suggested, but instead attack some of the other conclusions or ideas expressed. In doing so, they often neglect the real issues or label them as unimportant and irrelevant. While it is almost impossible for a single body to change a campus culture that is cultivated by several virtually unconnected organization, I do feel that SSMU at least has a mandate to attempt to do so. We need to try to raise the level of discussion such that important issues are not so poorly articulated that they become the subject of mockery. But also, that when those issues are presented in such a way, that we choose not engage with the most laughable, but the most earnest.

  8. Ziko LeeRoy Smith

    I do believe that the talk of micro-aggression is a complete scam and is fundamentally meaningless. Marginalization is never unintentional. Rather it is shaped by a belief that certain groups do not deserve to have equal say on an issue and thus their view is not given equal weight or consideration. When these liberals say someone is in a ‘position of privilege’ they are just discrediting that view and marginalising the person expressing it. Whilst I do not doubt we have to check our privilege to understand the source of our views ( do they stem from an honest desire to improve a situation?) it is better to engage with and refute a position rather than to attack the person who holds that position. Equity is not about teaching people a lesson about micro-aggression, it is about upholding fairness and ensuring that minority groups have as good a chance to thrive and succeed in a university as anyone else. If SSMU really wanted to counter ‘micro-aggression’, it would come out with a clear manifesto on race and McGill, clear reasons backing up that manifesto that can be debated and engaged with and a clear policy on how to identify and deal with race related complaints.

  9. Sarah Southey

    Thanks for the article, Elie! It sheds light on some important issues that need to be discussed.

    My name is Sarah Southey and as one of the Science Reps to SSMU I voted in favour of this motion in December. I want to share my reasoning behind my decision in order to answer some questions that have been brought up below. To me, this article brings up two distinct issues: the fact that Elie felt his opinion wasn’t validated by council, and the actual decision of council regarding the apology email. First I think that it is very unfortunate that you felt that as the only black male in the room, your opinion wasn’t validated. The issue of race is something as council we need to address.

    In regards to the actual decision by council, there were a number of reasons why I voted in favour. The main issue, for me, was not the GIF, but the fact that the person who submitted the complaint was not responded to in a timely fashion. Despite numerous attempts to contact Brian Farnan about their problem with the GIF, no email was sent in response to this person. I felt that this student, who could have been my constituent, was neglected by the system and their opinion wasn’t validated by the people elected to represent them. I was also one of the councillors who thought this would be an opportunity for education–but not because I felt that this image “was indeed reinforcing the violent black male narrative”. It could instead be an instance to initiate a discussion about microagressions and how this narrative of the violent black male exists in the media.

    The incredible backlash against Equity and SSMU shows that I was mistaken. I think I made a mistake voting in favour of this motion because the apology email sent out wasn’t what I thought Brian Farnan should have been apologizing for: it wasn’t the GIF necessarily that was problematic. It was the lack of response which disregarded the importance of equity and those person’s feelings. It was difficult because we weren’t able to revise the recommendations other than send them back to the equity commissioners, which I felt would just the prolong the amount of time that this person’s complaint was responded to. There was a long chain of events that led to this incident: Brian Farnan should have responded immediately to the person’s email; the Equity Complaints Investigation Committee (ECIC) could have suggested different recommendations better fitting the lack of response; council should have voted against or abstained from the motion, returning it for more fitting recommendations; due to the confidentiality of Equity complaints procedure, SSMU couldn’t reveal the full story and respond to the outcry.

    I was discouraged by the response from campus. Mistakes might have been made, but in the end it was only an apology. Some responses have been aggressive and in some cases even racist. Moving forward, I think it is important to look at why there was such a vehement response and attack on equity. I also think that it is important to review the Equity Complaints process to prevent something like this from happening again.

    Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions about how to improve the Equity Policy! You can email me at [email protected] or text/call me at 647 678 8304.

    • ElieLubendo

      Thanks for stepping up and explaining your view. However, there are a few things I’d like to point out.

      “What I thought Brian Farnan should have been apologizing for: it wasn’t the GIF necessarily that was problematic. It was the lack of response which disregarded the importance of equity and those person’s feelings.” A lack of a response NEVER equates a public apology. If I sent an email to someone and they never replied to it, demanding that they should write a public apology solely on that matter is simply wrong. As for “disregarding the importance of equity,” his lack of response didn’t do that–the decision to send out the apology did. I do recognize that he could have answered the email however that does not deserve a public apology.

      “Mistakes might have been made, but in the end it was only an apology.” Mistakes WERE made. Also, it was only an apology that confused the issue of racism and increased acts of microaggressions, while damaging the face of equity. It was only an apology that triggered attacks from the community to the complainant. It was only an apology that was responded by national news media and multiple national news headlines mocking SSMU and McGill. It was only an apology that made Brian Farnan the victim of a massive amount of hate mail. So no, it was not just an apology.

      Also, you explicitly agreed that the image reinforced negative black stereotypes. You’re even quoted in the minutes of saying that “hyper aggressive black male in media and perpetuated in email and sent out in list serv.”

      Thanks for your comment. But I’m not sure if you understand the issue at hand here. You’re apologizing for the wrong reasons.

      • Joseph Stonehouse

        Sarah, I think that if you are quoted in the minutes for saying those things, than you should admit to the mistake in full.

        That being said, I commend you for apologizing. That is a very difficult thing to do in, especially when it is over a contentious issue in a very public forum.

    • ElieLubendo

      I’d also like to add the fact that part of the reason why he took so long to reply was because he went and consulted with the Equity Commissioner to try to figure out how he should reply to the issue. He also had to take care of 4Floors and launching the equity campaign against blackface that month. So his late response (not lack of a response), definitely is not grounds for a public apology.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Read the latest issue

Read the latest issue