In very disheartening news, The University of Texas at Austin’s student newspaper, The Daily Texan, printed an offensive cartoon on Tuesday that tried to convey that the Trayvon Martin case has been overblown by the media and used the word “colored” to describe Martin, according to the New York Daily News
The cartoon, that misspelled Martin’s name, shows a woman wearing glasses holding a book titled “Treyvon Martin and the case of yellow journalism.” She is sitting in a chair labeled “The Media.” In the cartoon, she tells a young boy, “And then … the Big Bad White man killed the Handsome, sweet, innocent, colored boy!!”
The cartoon was drawn by Stephanie Eisner and of course she said that she didn’t mean to downplay the severity of the case.
“I feel the news should be unbiased. And in the retelling of this particular event, I felt that that was not the case,” Eisner told the Daily Texan. “My story compared this situation to yellow journalism in the past, where aspects of news stories were blown out of proportion with the intention of selling papers and enticing emotions.”
Once the cartoon began to spark national outrage, Eisner apologized for what she meant to be a criticism of the media and not the actually case. The student told Gawker,
“I intended to contribute thoughtful commentary on the media coverage of the incident, however this goal fell flat,” she added. “I would like to make it explicitly clear that I am not a racist, and that I am personally appalled by the killing of Trayvon Martin. I regret any pain the wording or message of my cartoon may have caused.”
She doesn’t actually regret drawing the cartoon, but rather that it offended so many and was seen in a disappointing light.
The newspapers editorial advisor, Doug Warren, stood by Eisner and posted on the school’s site that he doesn’t believe the cartoon was in the least racist.
“… its message, to these eyes, is to avoid the simple answers being propagated by the media in this emotional, controversial case that touches on the flaw in the American system that has existed since before the country was founded — racism,” he wrote.
This entire situation gets a side eye. The apology would seem more sincere if Eisner realized she should have never drawn the cartoon at all instead of just being sorry about the reaction it received.