Thursday, October 29, 2015

Illinois student newspaper publication apologizes for running ‘distasteful’ cartoon

(Cartoon by Rick McKee for the Augusta Chronicle.)

Rick McKee has an editorial cartoon this week and it was syndicated to a number of papers. One of the papers, The Daily Illini, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student newspaper, printed an apology after running it, calling the cartoon "distasteful." The student editor who decided to place it in the paper has been suspended.

The La Casa Cultural Latina director Dr. Gioconda Perez, Asian American Cultural Center director Dr. David Chih, LGBT Resource Center director Leslie Morrow, Diversity & Social Justice Education director Ross Wantland, Native American House director Dr. Jamie Singson, Women’s Resources Center director Patricia Morey and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Gigi Secuban signed a joint statement saying the cartoon

"... is offensive, tasteless, and above all, racist."

This cartoon warrants this kind of extreme reaction? Rick McKee is a fine cartoonist and this makes a point. Maybe they don't understand what an editorial cartoon is, or how it provokes or why there are editorial cartoons. 

I don't see the editorial cartoon as something that causes such harm that even The Daily Illini's apology "does not take away the hurt this has caused to them and to us." 

1 comment:

Mike Peterson said...

Thanks for the link to the statement by the offended groups, which, you will note, is more about how these immigrants are seen in general than about the cartoon itself, which they dismiss as simply a symptom of a much bigger problem.

They are correct, of course, that "we were in a hurry" is a stupid excuse, and that an apology that basically throws one staffer under the bus rather than addressing a larger problem won't fix anything.

But they retained their dignity, in a striking and depressing contrast to the hateful comments on the papers website. Not all of which came from college sophomores, but are, nonetheless, sophomoric.