Creator of Hot-Button ‘N-word’ Strip Speaks at University of Arizona

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By: E&P Staff

Keith Knight, author of the comic series “The K Chronicles,” visited the University of Arizona Wednesday night and spoke about the now-infamous cartoon to a group of some 100 students and community members in the school?s Student Union Memorial Center.

Controversy was ignited among readers of the Daily Wildcat, the school?s newspaper, when a recent strip containing the N-word — used in reference to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama — appeared.

According to a report
by the Wildcat on Knight?s visit, the cartoonist said he committed a necessary evil by using the word: “I didn’t sit there and go, ‘I’m going to do this to cause a ruckus.’ I didn’t use [the word] gratuitously,” Knight said. “When people write to me and say, ‘Well, you know, it should never be used,’ I just talk about my favorite movie, Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing,’ and that movie would not have been as good as it was if he didn’t use all of the hate speech in it.”

Knight told those in attendance that he?d been afraid to address the presidential race in the strip because he knew something he would write ?would be taken out of context and something would happen — and it would be blown up into this whole huge controversy, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Still, he said he was glad that the comic got people talking, and added that he doesn?t regret it.

“It was such a unique situation and such an odd and weird and slightly, slightly hopeful situation that I was like, ‘Wow this couple was willing to call this guy the worst thing that he can be called and elect him to be the most powerful person in the world,'” Knight told the audience.
“That’s the most bizarre thing I have ever heard.”

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