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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Our satire offended, but it was meant to highlight a bigger issue

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Dear readers,

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On May 5, we published a Seriously articled titled “Top 5 whitest things to do in Fort Collins.”  

Although I did not personally publish this satire piece — as this week served as a transitional time between the new opinion editor Leta McWilliams and I — the oversight falls on me.

We both accept and fully agree that our title was offensive, and the satire piece should have been titled “5 things white people love to do in Fort Collins.”

That being said, we believe the title was the only issue with the satire.

At The Collegian, we define satire as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and campus-wide issues, as well as other relevant issues.

Not all the activities on the list are solely done by white people — I myself am a Black woman and I love going to Horsetooth. But, the joke is that this town and community stereotypically supports that these activities are white things to do since we have mostly white people here to do them.

If you want a satire on the things Black, Latinx or other racially marginalized identities do in Fort Collins, it would be a list of only one item: They tend to leave Fort Collins. It is no big secret that even with the many great things Fort Collins has to offer, it has a diversity problem.

The article was not racist, and it didn’t oppress anyone. It did not say only white people can do these activities. 

Through exaggeration and humor, we are highlighting a serious problem in our community. The point of the satire was not to say that these activities are exclusively or essentially white, but the point was that in a predominately white city like ours everything is functionally white and shaped by whiteness.

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At The Collegian, we define satire as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and campus-wide issues, as well as other relevant issues.

At The Collegian, we define satire as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and campus-wide issues, as well as other relevant issues.

We encourage you to consider the actual acts of racism that occur in this city.

People of color are profiled and rejected from bars. During a campus tour, a mother called the police on a Native American student because he was hearing a black hoodie, disregarding the fact that CSU is built on stolen land. White students fetishize people of color, and continue to use the N-word when they know it upsets people of color.

If the original Seriously bothered you, then these behaviors — which accurately represent our city and happen every day — should upset you,  too if not more so.

We appreciate those who reached out to voice their concerns. We listened and read your responses.

To those who accused the satire of being racist, we encourage you to think about the actual acts of racism that have occurred on this campus and use that same energy to dismantle those behaviors.

With the best intentions, 

Jayla Hodge, 2018-2019 Opinion Editor

Leta McWilliams, Assistant Opinion Editor, and 2019-2020 Opinion Editor

Jayla Hodge can be reached at letters@collegain.com or Twitter at @Jaylahodge. Leta McWilliams can be reached at letters@collegian.com and Twitter at @LetaMcWilliams.

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