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Oct 10 , 2017

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A statement from Frank Magazine

by editor
This past weekend, a buzz on social media developed which 
accused Frank Magazine of publishing a racist cartoon of noted
Halifax rabble-rouser El Jones. 
The cartoon in question depicts a group of protesters at Parade
Square in Halifax, and it features caricatures of several real-life
Haligonians including El. The same cartoon - with different text -
has been running in the magazine since August.
Caricatures by their nature exaggerate the features of subjects.
It's a legitimate satirical device that has been used by news media
for centuries. But it is a device that does come with
responsibility. The internet is abundant with objectively offensive
images of, for example, Barack and Michelle Obama depicted as
gorillas. Those who disseminate such images deserve to be
condemned in the strongest of terms. 
At first, the consensus around the Frank bunker was that El's
features weren't any more or less exaggerated than anybody else's
in the cartoon. In the foreground, we see Halifax Examiner
publisher Tim Bousquet whose nose is depicted as three times the
size of his left hand. To his right, there's CBC reporter Elizabeth
Chiu with an adult-sized head perched upon her child-sized body.  
So why can't El Jones have an exaggerated jutting chin, for
example?
People can call us racist all they want. We know we're not racist,
and that's all that counts, we thought.
But then we realized it doesn't matter what we think. What matters
is what the racists in our society think. What matters is that
those racists could potentially be drawn to Frank Magazine out of
a belief that we made a conscious editorial decision to depict El
Jones as "a monkey," like she has accused us of doing. 
We came to the realization that despite the fact the accusation is totally
untrue - we absolutely did not set out to make "a monkey"
out of El Jones - our actual intentions matter less than the
intentions that could be projected upon us. 
We accept the fact that we've made so many enemies over the years
that few people would ever come to our side to defend us. And we're
okay with that. But one thing we're not okay with is the thought
that the racially intolerant among us might come to believe they
have a kindred spirit in Frank Magazine. Those are folks that we
have no desire to have truck or trade with.  
As El Jones leads a call for retail outlets who carry Frank to pull
us off their shelves, many high-priced spindoctors would no doubt
say that a grovelling apology is in order. And we agree. 
But it isn't El herself who deserves an apology, rather it is the
many readers of Frank whose ranks are in danger of being polluted
by the prejudiced dregs of society. For that, we are deeply sorry. 
We acknowledge that although it was not intended, there is the
potential that some could perceive the depiction of El as coming
from a racist place. And we would rather burn this place to the
ground than be seen as offering some sort of dog-whistle welcome
mat to the racially intolerant among us.
Legitimate criticisms of anybody - black, white or otherwise - will
continue to have a home in Frank Magazine. This includes our recent
editorial stance that denounces El Jones' criticism of Sidney
Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins for accepting an invitation to
visit President Donald Trump at the White House. 
But those inclined to hate based on the colour of somebody's skin
shouldn't mistakenly take this legitimate criticism as a sign of
something that it's not. 
Thank you and have a pleasant tomorrow.  
 
Regards,  
 
 
Frank Magazine staff
 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT US: Frank Magazine Box 295, Halifax N.S. B3J 2N7 -- Phone: 902 420 1668 -- Fax: 902 423 0281