Thanks, my graduate school alma mater. No donations for you.
The cartoonist is student Stephanie Eisner, a recipient of the prestigious Forty Acres Scholarship sponsored by the Texas Exes, the UT alumni organization. Such a recipient should uphold the ideals of intelligent discourse and civil engagement. Clearly, something went wrong in the scholarship’s application process if a mind like Eisner’s was granted funds.
Eisner’s cartoon is repulsive because it plays right into this hateful right-wing attacks. The tragedy of this murder is the murder itself, and the racial component is undeniable. It must be discussed when talking about the motive for the case and the handling thereof. The cartoon, which misspells Trayvon’s name, mocks the simple explanation of this murder as a hateful man against an innocent child, but that is exactly what happened. Eisner’s cartoon boils down the vicious murder of an American child to a media conspiracy to bash white people.
UT has been developing a poor reputation for racial discourse. In this academic year alone, two presidents of the College Republicans have shamed UT on the national stage - the first for saying it was “tempting” to murder President Obama, and the second for implying that because President Obama is black, he “smokes a lot of crack.”
This is a disgraceful reputation UT needs to move away from. The Daily Texan owes its readers an apology for running this racist cartoon and further damaging the university’s national reputation.
Update 6:45pm: The Daily Texan Editorial Board has put out this statement: “The Daily Texan 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.”
This is weak sauce. Clearly, The Daily Texan recognizes that the cartoon is hateful, racist discharge; otherwise, they would not have scrubbed it from their website. Why are they defending such submental content as a “view” to be protected? Eisner’s cartoon is a baseless attack, not an invitation to discourse. The Daily Texan should apologize for their indiscretion immediately and vow to preserve a civil dialogue within their pages in the future.