The poster printed by the Caledonian Record before a title game between St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers and the Rice Green Knights stated in bold print, Fry Rice.
“I’m glad that the local newspaper is supporting the local team and that’s great, but they just need to be more mindful in terms of how they portray the visualization of culture,” Paul Cheung of the Asian American Journalists Association told WCAX,
“The headline could be just as cute in a different font,” Cheung said.
Other media observers agreed.
“I wouldn’t call it a full-blown racist ad, but I think that it probably shouldn’t have run,” said David Mindich, a professor of media at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.
The paper was widely criticized for the poster on its own Facebook account. But the Caledonian Record defended its poster in an editorial.
“We sought a simple play on words in support of an extraordinary group of local student athletes. Indulging our critics for a moment, the outcry reminds us that racial and ethnic stereotypes can offend — regardless of intent,” the editorial said.
“We don’t concede, however, that the use of imagery with any racial, ethnic or religious inference is to inherently debase that race/ethnicity/religion,” the paper said.