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Newspaper Apologizes For Divisive Cartoon

The Seneca (SC) Journal apologized for running an editorial cartoon deemed hurtful and insensitive.

Political cartoons are powerful tools that are designed to make you laugh or think about a given situation. But they’re not supposed to make you hurt. Wednesday’s depiction of an African-American family did just that.

It made you hurt — many of you.

The cartoon by Al Goodwyn, on the relationship between Black Americans and The Democratic Party, generated numerous complaints.

From Fox Carolina:

The Seneca Journal faced heated criticism after a controversial cartoon ran in Wednesday’s newspaper.

Goodwyn’s cartoon was an apparent critique on the relationship between black Americans and the Democratic party, one that sparked anger among several members of the community in Seneca. We spoke with a handful of people who voiced their outrage to the paper, and on camera to FOX Carolina.

After the outrage circulated on social media, The Journal issued a lengthy apology letter on their Facebook page, in which they shifted blame to a hectic Tuesday covering elections. The paper said the pages were not reviewed with normal attention to content because of that…

Mentioned in the newspaper’s apology is that they will no longer use cartoons from Al:

We purchased that cartoon and many others from nationally syndicated cartoonist Al Goodwyn. That cartoon may have appeared in dozens of newspapers around the country on Wednesday, but he won’t be working for us anymore.

Procedurally, this was a terrible mistake. On a normal night…

In short, we rushed and we skipped part of our own internal controls, and we know better. Moving forward, all cartoons will have to be approved prior to being placed on our pages as well. They’ll be treated the same way a story gets treated.

Below is a clearer view of the cartoon; and an earlier cartoon that could serve as Al’s response.

update:

The Daily Cartoonist contacted Al Goodwyn, who was kind enough to respond:

Thanks, DD. I appreciate you reaching out. The cartoon was not intended to be hurtful; however, clearly it was. I wanted to be respectful with the depiction of the woman and children, portraying their care for each other as sincere and the concern on their faces indicative of the current racial strife they face. My intent in the cartoon was to project the Democrat party lacking in care and effective measures, yet continuing to be supported. I stand by that intended message. I’ve had emails from those offended which have allowed me to have lengthy, respectful conversations with them on the cartoon’s subject. Those conversations have given me a feel for the elements of the cartoon that were offensive and I’ll take that lesson into future cartoons. Sincerely, Al.

 

Editorial comment:

As a newspaper, we are supposed to be a reflection of our community — one community. 

We failed in that yesterday … miserably.

Apparently rainbows and unicorns will be the order of the day for cartoons on the Seneca Journal’s editorial page if they plan on representing one community with opinions shared by all.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lester
June/11/2020
@ 10:26 am

“Below is a clearer view of the cartoon; and an earlier cartoon that could serve as Al’s response.” -dailycartoonist.com

This is astounding, cruel and the height of conceit: Al doesn’t even get to make his own response. You do by arrogantly choosing a cartoon from his file and tell readers this “serves” as his response. The guy just lost a client and a website supposedly devoted to the support of cartoons and cartoonists mocks him.

An unsurprising unprofessional gibe made by small and petty people. He deserves an apology and a chance to respond in. his own words. Not yours.

-ML

#2 JP Trostle
June/11/2020
@ 11:28 am

I see the newspaper editors went with the time-honored New York Times response: “We didn’t have time to do our job.”

That’s seriously weak tea

#3 D. D. Degg
June/11/2020
@ 11:28 am

Mike, I would like to make one correction:
That pandering cartoon was issued the day following the controversial cartoon.
Was it a reply to the hubbub?
Don’t know – but I, in my conceit, thought it appropriate.

#4 Clay Jones
June/11/2020
@ 12:12 pm

He deserves a chance to respond….Mike says in the…wait for it…comments section.

Jesus Christ. Remember this shit next time you call someone a “snowflake.”

#5 David Spitko
June/11/2020
@ 3:09 pm

Mike wrote, “My intent in the cartoon was to project the Democrat party lacking in care and effective measures ..”

What? I mean what the hell are you talking about?

Let me guess? The Cult of Trump formerly known as the Republican Party just oozes in care and effective measures to deal with systemic racism and the mind-numbing poverty and lack of upward mobility of all the black and brown members of the servant class?

Oh, I forgot. Another tax cut for the 1% and owners of private jets.

#6 David Spitko
June/11/2020
@ 3:10 pm

I am sorry. I hit “Enter” too fast. Goodwyn wrote that. Not Mike.

#7 Gary McCoy
June/11/2020
@ 4:25 pm

Trump had the lowest unemployment numbers for blacks in this nation’s history, and yet David parrots the old, “rich Republicans hate black people” tripe. Keep whipping that “whites are racist” horse in the desperate attempt to push the old white guy who said Obama is the first “clean, articulate black man to run for office”, across the finish line.
Good luck with that.

#8 Kip Williams
June/11/2020
@ 4:34 pm

During the time of my existence, the Earth has gotten older than it had ever been before. I fully earned this accomplishment with my own grit, intelligence, and hard work, and have nothing but scorn for those who insist I am merely taking credit for existing trends that would have gone on whether I existed or not.

#9 Clay Jones
June/11/2020
@ 8:02 pm

I love this shit.

“Trump had the lowest unemployment numbers for blacks in this nation’s history, and yet David parrots the old, ‘rich Republicans hate black people’ tripe.”

The tripe talking points you’re parroting don’t even work anymore. Putting aside Trump inherited a great economy from President Obama, today the black unemployment rate is around 16%. And while it’s improving for white Americans, it’s not for black Americans.

I wouldn’t say “rich Republicans hate black people.” That’s silly. All Republicans hate black people.
I kid. I kid….mostly.

#10 Boise Ed
June/11/2020
@ 10:39 pm

The cartoon expressed a valid opinion, whether one agrees with it or not. Sometimes some Democrats DO take black voters for granted. Why should he be vilified for pointing this out?

#11 David Spitko
June/12/2020
@ 7:03 am

My problem was with his remark that the “Democrat party lacking in care and effective measures …” I note that all the comments since have not given a response to establish any veracity of that claim.

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