Trayvon Martin Case Inspired Cartoon Causes Controversy In Texas
The Trayvon Martin Case inspired a Texas student to create a cartoon that’s causing a bit of a controversy among those reading it.
The cartoon, which appeared Tuesday in the University of Texas at Austin’s Daily Texan, depicted a mother sitting in a chair labeled “the media” reading to a child from a book titled, “Treyvon Martin and the case of yellow journalism.” The mother stating,”And then the big bad ‘white’ man killed the handsome, sweet, innocent ‘colored’ boy.”
The controversial image was published in the paper just as students and residents were holding a rally in downtown Austin for Trayvon Martin.
The Daily Texan was caught up in an uproar by those who were offended by the image. They initially added a disclaimer to the cartoon stating:
“The Daily Texan Editorial Board recognizes the sensitive nature of the cartoon’s subject matter…The views expressed in the cartoon are not those of the editorial board. They are those of the artist. It is the policy of the editorial board to publish the views of our columnists and cartoonists, even if we disagree with them.”
The image was eventually taken down from their site. On Wednesday the editorial board published an apology stating the cartoonist responsible had left the paper.
“The decision to run the cartoon showed a failure in judgment on the part of the editorial board. We made a mistake, and we understand that the outcome of our action extends beyond Tuesday’s cartoon and prompts us to reflect on a larger problem that persists at The Daily Texan and on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, something we should have done before Tuesday’s paper ran.”
They promised to hold a campus forum on race and diversity in coming weeks, and to require newspaper employees to participate in a seminar each semester about the relationship between race and the media.
Stephanie Eisner told The Daily Texan that she created the cartoon to criticize the media’s attempt to simplify and sensationalize news stories, stating:
“I feel the news should be unbiased. And in the retelling of this particular event, I felt that that was not the case. 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.”