Johnny Whitefield, editor of The Courier-Times newspaper based in Roxboro, North Carolina, yesterday announced his immediate resignation following the publication of this syndicated cartoon by Tom Stiglich that was criticised as racist.
The scene shows a hooded black man stealing a white woman’s purse. She shouts,“Help! Somebody call 911!“, and the man replies,“Good luck with that, ma’am… we’ve defunded thepolice“(*).
(*)“Defund the Police” is one of the slogans shouted at the demonstrations and does not mean a demand to eliminate the police but to cut police budgets and spend them on education, health, housing or youth services.
The editor of The Courier-Times said the cartoon “does not reflect the views of The Courier-Times” and a day before his resignation he had already apologised in a lengthy text that can be read here.
“I should have looked beyond the words printed in the editorial cartoon and considered the racial message that cartoon sent. I didn’t and I’m sorry.
This was not the only way out at the paper, the outlet cut ties with the cartoonist and in his apology, Johnny Whitefield, already announced that The Courier-Times was ceasing to publish his cartoons.
“We have decided to cut ties with the editorial cartoonist who provided the offending cartoon and readers will not see his images or opinions on our editorial pages from this point forward. Beyond that, I take full responsibility for having selected the cartoon for publication.”
The same cartoon also provoked resignations in the Washington Missourian, a family newspaper in Missouri.
The cartoonist, Tom Stiglich, (FB) (TW) told St. Louis television station KSDK-TV:
“The nation needs more law and order now, not less, the rioting and looting was extremely discouraging.” ‘That cartoon was based solely on violent crime numbers here in the United States. To ignore that would be damaging to the reader.”
The cartoon, published on 12 June, also no longer appears in his gallery since it was syndicated in the media.
Related, more than 150 cases in different countries.
Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (III)
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.