Campus Cartoon Criticized as Racially Insensitive

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By: E&P Staff

An editorial cartoon in the Independent Florida Alligator has angered University of Florida students, administrators, and others who called the drawing racially insensitive.

Andy Marlette’s cartoon showed musician Kanye West, who recently said on TV that President Bush doesn’t care about black people, holding a playing card labeled “The Race Card.” Standing next to him is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying, “Nigga please!”

UF students protested in front of the campus newspaper’s office, and UF Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin said: “The symbolisms utilized were hurtful and inappropriate; and regardless of their original intent, reinforced negative stereotypes of individuals in the community.”

Marlette, who is white, said he wasn’t making a racist statement, and that the term “Nigga” is commonly used in rap lyrics. “I can picture a black woman saying that to a black man,” added the cartoonist, as quoted on Gainesville.com.

“They say it’s OK to use the word because popular culture uses it, but popular culture does not reflect all of us,” responded Krystal Knight, president of the UF student group Give Black, also quoted on Gainesville.com.

In an editorial Monday, the student newspaper said it wasn’t going to apologize. The editorial noted that “‘nigga’ is a word that shouldn’t be floating around in our society,” but that the UF administration allows entertainers on campus who use the word.

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