The Trayvon Martin murder case has made national headlines in all forms of media since his death over a month ago at the hands of George Zimmerman. Earlier this week, the University Of Texas’s school newspaper, The Daily Texan, came under fire when its cartoonist Stephanie Eisner published a racially controversial depiction of a mother (represented as “the media”) reading her daughter (representing the general public) a story on the case.
The cartoon reads, “And then…the BIG BAD WHITE man killed the handsome sweet innocent COLORED boy!!” with the mother holding a book titled Treyvon [sic] Martin And The Case Of Yellow Journalism. Although the college issued an apology, as well as firing Eisner, it still doesn’t change the reality that racism in the form of ‘art’ is something that isn’t new—and by the look of things isn’t slowing down in the least bit.
VIBE decided to conduct a search based around the topic and put together a list of racially driven illustrations throughout the years. While some, or rather all, of these are extremely offensive, we do it to draw attention to a form of media that needs to stop; not now, but right now.—Keenan Higgins
We usually associate the name Dr. Seuss with our favorite childhood novels such as “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” or “The Cat In The Hat.” However, did you know that he was a cartoonist for New York newspaper PM during World War II, where he produced anti-Japanese cartoons? Even though racial tensions were at an extreme high after the attack on Pearl Harbor, it’s still hard to stand behind the Doc on this one.
In this illustration, it seems to be taking shots at the African American education system. Depictions like this help push that false & unbalanced idea that blacks are uneducated.
In probably one of the most racist newspaper cartoons in recent times, The New York Post ran a cartoon drawn by Sean Delonas showing a dead monkey and a subtitle that read “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” With the stimulus package being one of Obama’s first big achievements—and history’s racial imagery connecting blacks to monkeys—it’s not hard to see what they were trying to get at here.
What really made this illustration hurt more was that it was created by a African American newspaper in Cleveland. If we expect the rest of the world to respect our image in the media, we have to first respect it within our own community.
Even after the Obama ordeal, The New York Post was at it again with their racially driven cartoons. Post-9/11 feelings towards people of Muslim descent can be controversial as it is, so portrayals like this only make the mending of racial peace that much more tough.