Cleveland ‘Plain Dealer’ Says It Regrets Cartoon Referring to Local Murder

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By: E&P Staff

The Plain Dealer of Cleveland today expressed regret about a Wednesday cartoon that pictured an African-American girl wearing a T-shirt that made a reference to the city’s mayor.

In a note atop letters criticizing the Jeff Darcy cartoon, The Plain Dealer wrote: “These letters represent a portion of the negative reaction we have received in response to Wednesday’s editorial cartoon. We very much regret any pain the cartoon has caused in the community or, most especially, to family members and friends of Asteve’e Thomas.”

Thomas is a 12-year-old girl who was fatally shot last Saturday while walking home from buying candy.

The T-shirt worn by the girl in the cartoon said: “Don’t shoot. I’m a friend of a friend of a friend of Mayor Jackson’s daughter.”

One Plain Dealer letter-writer said: “A child was murdered; her mother happened to be a friend of Mayor Frank Jackson’s daughter. The family and the city is mourning the loss of a child. Yet your editorial cartoon is not about this senseless loss. It is about the mayor.”

Another person wrote: “The editorial cartoon was horrendously insensitive. Did the artist, in his attempt to attack Mayor Frank Jackson, ever consider the feelings of the family?

“To show the little girl in the cartoon as a Buckwheat running away from the store is another slap in the face. An apology is owed to this family. I can only pray that your newspaper has not added to their grief.

“As the mother of a murdered inner-city child, I am sick and tired of our children being exploited.”

Last month, a cartoon in the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville that featured a girl and a man wearing a T-shirt was accused of being racist.

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