I don’t know how many of you overseas are aware that in the Pacific Islands there has been an outbreak of measles in Samoa. There’s been thousands of cases and at the time I write 55 have died, almost all of them young children. And this afternoon via Twitter I was horrified to find the Otago Daily Times today published a vile cartoon that shouldn’t ever have been penned to paper let alone published. I live in Otago and I feel so ashamed of this cartoonist who lives near Queenstown (part of Otago) and of the ODT that bears the name of our region in its title – what’s wrong with these people? How can they be so heartless? The paper has since apologised but really it’s too late and it was a lame apology anyway.
“They are us” – remember those words from our Prime Minister after the mosque tragedy in Christchurch? These words seem to have entirely missed the mark with some people.
If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about and why I’m angry there’s an overview of the story at The Guardian. The title is: New Zealand newspaper publishes cartoon mocking Samoa measles crisis. >> Link to the article
I chose this photo to express my deep-felt sadness for what Samoa is going through right now and how terribly sad I feel for the families affected by illness and loss.
Here is my response on Twitter after I found out about what had been published in the Otago Daily Times:
I won’t remove existing ODT news links from my blog as they’re an integral part of the posts they’re in but they don’t represent any kind of endorsement of the paper.
For the record I’ve also emailed a Formal Complaint to the editor this afternoon.
Right now I just feel sad and angry, and ashamed. I strongly condemn the ODT for their decision to publish the offensive material.
Text by Liz, photo by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2019)