A cartoonist's sketch about the Trayvon Martin case invoked outrage from the public Tuesday, resulting in her firing from the paper, The Daily Texan, published by the University of Austin at Texas. She has since apologized for the cartoon.
Stephanie Eisner, a cartoonist for The Daily Texan, drew a caricature of the Trayvon Martin case and media sensationalism that was intended to be thought-provoking, but instead, "fell flat," she told publication.
The cartoon shows a woman in a chair reading a book titled "Treyvon Martin and the case of yellow journalism" while she tells a child "And then … the big, bad white man killed the handsome, sweet, innocent colored boy!!"
As the child in the cartoon stands shocked, mouth agape, University of Texas students were similarly appalled and offended at the cartoon's depiction, especially the incendiary word "colored."
"A lot of people don't realize how insensitive this comic is, and this affects the recruitment of African-American students to the university by making the campus look bad," a journalism major, Jasmine Kyles, told the Daily Texan. "When they see things like this, they think the university is racist even though that hasn't been everyone's experience here."
Some students publicly protested the Daily Texan Wednesday, holding signs up on the campus like "The Daily Texan: Racist Since 1900," according to the Huffington Post.
The resulting controversy forced the paper to apologize.
"We made a mistake, and we understand that the outcome of our action extends beyond Tuesday's cartoon and prompts us to reflect on a larger problem that persists at The Daily Texan," the editorial board wrote in a statement.
Eisner tried to explain her interpretation of the cartoon- the meaning of the "ambiguous cartoon" she meant to get across.
"I feel the news should be unbiased … I felt that was not the case," the cartoonist said. "My story compared this situation to yellow journalism, where aspects of news stories were blown out of proportion."
She apologized, however. Eisner no longer works at The Daily Texan- whether she was fired or chose to leave is unknown.
"I intended to contribute thoughtful commentary on the media coverage of the incident, however this goal fell flat," she stated. "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."