Editor’s Note: Last fall, Reran Tragedy contributor Leeds Alabaster was the editor-in-chief of the short-lived UAB alternative student paper, The Green and Slightly Off-White. He resigned in disgrace—and the paper folded—after an incident involving an editorial cartoon. A school disciplinary panel has agreed not to expel him provided he promises to commit himself to 60 hours of community service during the next year and publish the following letter apologizing to the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.
Dear UA Board of Trustees:
Thank you for your understanding and for giving me a second chance despite my recent misdeed. Please accept the following apology for what I have done. At the Judicial Board’s asking, I will summarize my wrongful actions that have shamed myself and the UA System.
On October 11, 2011, I published the following cartoon in my newspaper The Green and Slightly Off-White. This is primarily because I drew it, and I thought it was awesome.
At the time, I felt that having three representations of the three campuses of the UA System flipping off the reader with their respective genitalias exposed was a chilling, if not wholly avant garde commentary on what a friend told me were Rep. Pebblin Warren‘s hypocritical views on Spanish-language health care.
But I now know that while it is my right to say offensive, challenging things under the First Amendment, as a newspaper editor, one has to wield that right very carefully, unless he wishes to disgrace his publication, his university and himself.
And I got a lot of good people in trouble when members of the Board of Trustees saw my cartoon. My supporters got many phone calls from enraged members of the Board, and I never wanted anyone to be held responsible for a decision that was mine and wholly mine. The responsibility rests on me.
That is why I am so very, very sorry, members of the Board of Trustees, that I so deeply offended you by drawing the UAB personification’s penis slightly larger than the main campus’ personification’s crudely sketched phallus in my cartoon.
I was unaware that I was banned in the UAB Honor Code from making any representation that UAB is better or has greater qualities or endowments than the Tuscaloosa campus, especially when it comes to metaphorical genital size.
I should have realized that the rules of the UA System make my studying at the Birmingham campus subservient to anything and everything that goes on in Tuscaloosa, especially sports. I am sad to say I did not review the rules, and I am very sorry for not adhering to the System’s code that the main campus is above everything else.
As long as your Board’s current membership oversees the System, I assure you that UAB will never be considered anything more in the UA System than a happy little afterthought with an awesome medical school.
Again, I am very sorry for having implied that the situation should or could be anything else.
I hope you enjoy your football games this fall.
Have a great day.
Reran Tragedy is Weld’s satirical blog about politics and life in Alabama and the South. Much of what you will read here is fictionalized, except for all the parts that are unfortunately true because they are about politics and life in Alabama and the South. You can like this blog on Facebook.
The artist known as Cal Alabaster Jr., if that is his or her real name, may or may not also be the author of the Alabama humor blog called “King Cockfight.” If true, you may read Cal’s work there at kingcockfight.wordpress.com. You can also follow Cal on Twitter@KingCockfight or email Cal at email@example.com.