Readers divided on comic strip

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked about the Clovis News Journal’s decision not to publish an upcoming B.C. comic strip. The strip refers to Asian characters who fail in their attempt to build a working airplane and includes a potentially insensitive line — “Two Wongs don’t make a Wright.”
Some responses:

“I agree that this could be construed as a racial slur. On the other hand, I have seen many political cartoons in the Clovis News Journal that are quite offensive.”
— Lynn Davis, Clovis

“Didn’t you read … Frank and Ernest (on Sunday)? They did anti-feminine puns … And today’s comics had one poking fun at the handicapped, two maligning the nose (a very personal part of the body) and more than three seriously demeaning the intelligence of men — a definite gender slur if I ever saw one. The CNJ needs to get a life … or maybe get some real news.”
— Carolyn Spence, Clovis

“While the comic strip is unoriginal and unfunny, the implication that it’s offensive is absolutely absurd. I’m curious as to how the hypersensitive people that are offended by this comic function in the real world. Is the CNJ worried about its two Oriental Clovis subscribers filing a groundless lawsuit? The CNJ’s daily Mallard comic slams the political left (while justified) every day. What’s the big deal?”
— Richard Lopes, Clovis

“I think the right thing was done in order to keep from causing any offense. Even if nobody ended up having a problem with it, why take the chance? I feel the Clovis News Journal showed that it is interested in pleasing everyone … and I commend it for trying to keep the peace. Besides, it is only one little comic strip, so who really cares anyway.”
— Amy Graves, Clovis

“Two Wongs don’t make a Wright,” may be somewhat insensitive but is far from a racial slur. It does not, in my opinion, disparage or dishonor the Chinese race if taken in the context it was offered. Remember, this is a cartoon strip set in prehistoric times, not one set in today’s world paralleling or ridiculing current events such as Doonesbury. But in the media business, it is better to err on the side of caution. You probably made a good call in not publishing it. (By the way … you’re wasting space by publishing Doonesbury. This strip is not even close to funny.)”
— Bob Baker, Clovis

“These type of insensitive jokes have been around for a long time. I believe that in this time of racial correctness it is more noticeable. I like the Clovis News Journal because it has fair and balanced reporting and I believe that you did the right thing.”
— John Frey, Clovis

“I really do not see the potentially insensitive remark connection. I see it as success for the Wright Brothers and failure for the Wongs. Nothing racial that I can see.”
— J.W. McDonald, Clovis

“I would like to know when we became so sensitive that we take everything so personal. … I could be offended because Beetle Bailey is a white guy. Give me a break.”
— Don Reid, Clovis

“CNJ has the right to decline to print those items or articles which it feels are not proper or are insensitive to any group of people. In this case I believe that the comic strip is insensitive to the Asian community as a whole. I’d prefer CNJ not print the strip rather than offend people. I also hope that in the future CNJ will do the same with articles that would offend African-Americans, Latinos, whites or any other ethnic group.”
— Charles F. Hemphill, Clovis

“The answer … is no (it’s not offensive). However, I’m an over-60 guy passing as a white Methodist with a last name that was given to my grandfather when he got off the boat at Ellis Island. What do I know about racial slurs?”
— Auggie Jones, Clovis

“I would not have felt it to be a racial slur. People who want to have something to talk about might consider it that. But if jokes are taken to be just that, jokes, the world might be in a lot better shape. Too many people have thin skin. … But to save a lot of letters to the editor, it was probably in the best interest of the paper not to publish it.”
— Dan Toledo, Clovis

“The wrong decision was made. The paper needs to provide the information. By not publishing you appear to be going back to the old days of the paper (when) there was an appearance/perception of anything that was derogatory or offensive to the “image” of the city or certain individuals was omitted. If the strip is offensive then the writers of B.C. need to be accountable and not be edited by the local paper.”
— Bruce Ford, Clovis