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To the Editors of the Crimson:
On behalf of the Lampoon, we have issued the following statement to the HRBSA in response to its charges of "racial offensiveness" in selected pieces which have appeared in the magazine during the past two years:
The members of the Lampoon are quite concerned about the issues raised in recent weeks by the HRBSA. We regret that students have found some material in the magazine to be "racially offensive." We wish to express our concern that specific articles were received in this fashion. The Lampoon is a humor magazine; we attempt to amuse our readers by ridiculing stereotypes rather than merely by repeating or perpetuating them.
We are most disturbed if this material and the subsequent controversy over it has altered the Harvard-Radcliffe community's perception of the Lampoon. We hope that no student has refrained from entering our competitions as a result of this misunderstanding.
We consider the whole matter an unfortunate incident, and hope to keep the lines of communication open. In the future preparation of the magazine, we naturally intend to be sensitive to the concerns of the student body.
This statement was tentatively approved by the executive officers of both organizations, pending formal ratification by full memberships later that week.
The charge of racism is one which all too often stigmatizes its victim regardless of the veracity of the initial accusation. We regard the statement above as a clarification of our position in this belabored affair and as an announcement of policy to the University community.
George A. Meyer '78
Steven G. Crist '78
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