The Daily Texan editorial cartoon stirs up controversy


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 28 at 1:30 PM

AUSTIN – An Editorial cartoon featured in Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Texan, the campus newspaper for the University of Texas, is stirring up controversy. 

Daily Texan Staffer Stephanie Eisner drew the cartoon depicting a woman sitting in a chair labeled “Media." She’s reading to a child from a book called “Treyvon Martin and the case of Yellow Journalism." The name of the victim of the controversial shooting is misspelled.
The woman reads to the child from the book saying, “And then the big bad white man killed the handsome, sweet, innocent 'Colored' boy."
“When I saw the word colored, I see a water fountain with the word "colored" above it and I see another water fountain with the word "white" above it,” said UT student James Briley.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed a month ago while returning to his Florida home after buying candy at a nearby convenience store.
A self-appointed neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman told authorities he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense.
No one from The Daily Texan would speak on camera, but the paper did issue a statement which said in part, “The 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.”
Stephanie Eisner, the artist of the cartoon, said in a statement, “I apologize for what was in hindsight an ambiguous cartoon related to the Trayvon Martin shooting. 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.”
Some students at UT are vowing not to let the issue go.
“I definitely would like to see her receive some form of punishment," said UT student Jasmine Kyles. "I think that she needs to go through some form of diversity training as with any other organization here on campus."