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LETTER

Toke Article on Barnes Unacceptable

I was dismayed at the parody of Benjamin Barnes, Chairman of the Cambridge Licensing Commission, in the issue of The Tech that was published as The Toke on December 13, 2001. Let me be clear: I do not object to satire, per se. It is as old as colleges, and I am not troubled by your poking fun at me. That comes with the job of president. However, the parody of Mr. Barnes carried distinctly racist overtones that were completely out of bounds. This public display of derogatory racial stereotypes of language, attitude, and occupation is unacceptable, reflects very poorly on all of us at MIT, and can only cause hurt and damage to Chairman Barnes and to our community. I have personally met with and apologized to Mr. Barnes and suggest that those responsible for The Toke do the same.


President Charles M. Vest