Media

Student Explains "Offensive" College Newspaper Trayvon Martin Cartoon

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A college newspaper in Texas is under fire for a cartoon related to the Trayvon Martin case that some find offensive.

The New York Daily News reports that the cartoon appeared in the Daily Texan, the newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin.

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The cartoon shows a woman sitting in a chair labeled "the media" and holding a book called "Treyvon (sic) Martin and the Case of Yellow Journalism." She tells a child, “AND THEN… the BIG BAD WHITE man killed the HANDSOME, sweet, innocent, COLORED BOY!!” with arrows pointing to "WHITE" and "COLORED."

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The student who drew the cartoon said it was meant to be a commentary on the media coverage of the story.

“I feel the news should be unbiased. And in the retelling of this particular event, I felt that that was not the case,” Stephanie 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."

However she didn't seem to get her message across and many people found it offensive, especially the use of the word "colored."

In an editorial, the newspaper's adviser admitted Martin's name should have been spelled correctly and perhaps "colored" could have been avoided. But Doug Warren defended the idea behind the cartoon.

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.

Eisner later issued an apology to Gawker:

I intended to contribute thoughtful commentary on the media coverage of the incident, however this goal fell flat. 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.

See a gallery of Trayvon Martin protest photos