As the nation is engulfed in protests and civil arrests protesting police brutality against the black community, many were shocked to see an offensive cartoon featured in the St. Joseph News-Press.
The cartoon shows a group of mainly African-American men in the foreground, holding signs that seem to promote and incite looting and rioting. One of the men can be seen holding a large TV box.
“I saw the cartoon that was in the News-Press on Monday and was bothered and upset by it,” Whitney Lanning, Community Action Partnership (CAP) Executive Director, said. “You could get mad at that and you would have every right to get mad at that.”
Many maintained that the cartoon was not telling the whole story, and was not informed on what was going on in people’s hearts and minds.
St. Joseph resident David Foster said: “Everyone who is protesting is not trying to riot. I got people in Atlanta right now peacefully protesting and all it took was one person who wanted to start a riot and then the whole area erupts. One of my brothers in Atlanta called me crying because he's like ‘that’s not what we’re trying to do.’”
He added: “If you got 20 different people protesting, you might have 20 different agendas, so you better be careful who you are protesting with.”
Lanning was so upset by the cartoon she felt that she needed to talk about it with someone else.
She said, “I felt it was important to have a discussion. CAP as a community action agency, we want to see education and advocacy and not necessarily want someone's head on a platter but really our goal would be for that person to be educated and informed and to prevent that from happening in the future.”
Six years ago after Michael Brown’s death, a Columbia newspaper in Ferguson, Missouri, ran a similar cartoon during protests. The company later issued an apology on its website.