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Ed Gamble Will Keep His Job (UPDATED)

The Times-Union editorial cartoonist Ed Gamble made headlines last week as African-Americans in Jacksonville, as well as nationally, cried foul over Ed’s “Don’t Snitch” cartoon that also used the term “ho.” African-American leaders have demanded an apology, Ed’s dismissal and the inclusion of an African-American on the editorial board. According to an e-mail from Ed, he reports that no apology has been issued, nor does he believe that his job at the paper is in jeopardy and that the paper’s management has been in his corner. The publisher of the paper has written that the paper will “take this unfortunate incident and convert it to positive action for change.”

According to Ed, the response has been mixed but mostly positive.

Our response here and around the country is about 70 per cent positive. It hurt a lot of feelings in the black community, but about 25% of the community saw the need for the cartoon and now we have a dialogue, which will help. Since I am a middle of the road cartoonist who hits republicans, democrats, etc. the paper is used to getting a lot of “hate” mail from all sides. However this was different because it was about a culture in the black community which touched a nerve with black leaders.

UPDATE: Clay Jones, editorial cartoonist for the Free Lance-Star, drew up a cartoon in response to the No-Snitch hoopla that was syndicated out through Creators.

Community Comments

#1 Matt Bors
August/27/2007
@ 11:11 am

That gansta in the cartoon was one crude individual. When children stumble upon you after you just shot a guy in the back four times, you should never use offensive language like “ho.” It could ruin them for life.

#2 Garey Mckee
August/27/2007
@ 3:49 pm

The previous comment thread got somewhat heated on this topic, but the cartoon’s message is loud and clear. I explained how it hits home here in Philly so I’ll just say Kudos to Ed Gamble and leave it at that.

#3 Rich
August/27/2007
@ 7:32 pm

“The publisher of the paper has written that the paper will ‘take this unfortunate incident and convert it to positive action for change.'”

I’m not sure what that means, but this is the right idea. Make it a win-win. It could bring some much needed and useful dialog.

#4 Dawn Douglass
August/27/2007
@ 11:51 pm

Amen, Matt. Nobody I read seemed to care that the guy was depicted as killing somebody or that he was warning kids not to tell on him, just that in real life he wouldn’t call young girls Ho. What kind of admission is that about the culture?

These young girls wouldn’t even know what Ho meant if not for Hip Hop, but I don’t hear these “leaders” calling for the heads of people who create and peddle this stuff.

I’m glad he’s not losing his job over this.

Great cartoon from Clay Jones!

#5 Chris
August/28/2007
@ 9:13 am

I read all of the comments on the previous thread in one sitting and believe me, it was something to watch the anger escalate.

As for me, I come in on the position of Garey, which was that it would have been a good cartoon about the “Don’t Snitch” mentality had he not included the hot-button word “ho” or even that billboard in the background (“rap your life away”). If he hadn’t included those parts it would have been good enough, but for some reason he decided to kill two birds with one stone and comment on the detriments of hip-hop culture along with the “Don’t Snitch” thing.

#6 Garey Mckee
August/28/2007
@ 3:22 pm

â??The publisher of the paper has written that the paper will â??take this unfortunate incident and convert it to positive action for change.â??â?

I think that means when life gives you ho’s, you should make lemonade.

Thanks, Chris, for the agreement. I apologize for rambling on about police work here in Philly, but it got the point across.

#7 Rich Diesslin
August/28/2007
@ 4:23 pm

Speaking of which, they aren’t still making Hostess Ho-Hos any more are they? ;)

#8 Angela Robinson
August/29/2007
@ 5:00 pm

“According to an e-mail from Ed, he reports that no apology has been issued…and that the paperâ??s management has been in his corner.”

Is this accurate? From what I understand the newspaper/editor DID in fact issue an apology which in part stated, “the illustration included the term “ho” and was offensive to many African-Americans, particularly women. I want to offer an apology to those who were offended…in this case, while attempting to be helpful, he was heavy handed in the portrayal. I regret it was perceived in a manner he did not intend.”

The link is below:

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/082607/opl_194358035.shtml

#9 Alan Gardner
August/29/2007
@ 5:03 pm

Good catch Angela. It’s official. They’ve apologized.

#10 Beni Dakar
August/29/2007
@ 5:36 pm

I am glad that Gamble is keeping his job.

“It is easy to attack the cartoonist in this instance, but what is really necessary is to fight the circumstances that the cartoonist sought to portray through his art form. To succeed in that battle would be a meaningful victory.”

From The Black American Discussion blog:

http://theblackamericandiscussion.blogspot.com/2007/08/dont-shoot-messenger-ed-gambles-cartoon.html

#11 Rich Diesslin
August/29/2007
@ 7:59 pm

Angela, good catch and a seemingly appropriate statement on the part of the paper. Nice article Beni, I think you raise some good questions. Would the cartoon have had much impact without the offensive use of ho? Where do you think this leads now?

#12 Eric Burke
August/29/2007
@ 8:44 pm

Beni, I really enjoyed your POV on the cartoon and subject matter, and hope that you don’t mind if I post what I thought was the heart of your response. I almost copied the whole article, but I did leave enough out for the peeps here to go check out for themselves:

So some black folk are bent out of shape about a cartoon that portrays an accurate depiction of how life is lived in too many black enclaves. Why arenâ??t we at least equally if not even more offended by the misogynistic and â??donâ??t snitchâ? mentality that is assaulting black girls and women and aiding and abetting criminals in our neighborhoods?

White privilege is a reality in our culture and the world in general. But in this instance I do not think the charge is valid and applicable. The cartoonist (who is showcasing his art form) is simply parroting back in cartoon-like fashion what is a sad reality in too many black neighborhoods.

What outrages me the most is how I and other so called educated and middle-class blacks have had little influence on how to combat the successful marketing of the lower world consciousness and self-destructive mentality that is being sold to our community by the mainstream media that too many of our people are sorrowfully buying into.
The marketing of this animalistic mentality of â??survival of the fittestâ?? and â??anything goesâ?? for me is the greatest challenge to black Americans in this century. Why is it that â??getting paidâ? often means exploiting one another and it is okay as long as there is material gain? Why do we have to be so hard and timid in showing our human emotions? Why is it a weakness to call the cops on or testify against neighborhood terrorists?

Why is it okay to use language that is self-depreciating to define each other and ourselves?

Really well put. Glad you stopped by…

#13 plprz
August/31/2007
@ 11:07 am

this is precisely why cavemen (and cavewomen) need to only illustrate things they know about. The cartoon was puzzling, to say the least, b/c it makes absolutely no sense. This is truly a case of an outsider looking in. Clearly, Ed obtained his knowledge from flawed, Eurocentric media outlets and/or ignorant family and friends. Itâ??s quite obvious he doesnâ??t know ANYTHING about blacks, including whatâ??s going on in our communities.

1. the â??no snitchingâ? rule (which, by the way, was adopted from Americaâ??s Finest aka politicians and policemen, and even the mafia), is a law thatâ??s geared mainly toward cohorts. It has nothing to do with children. The rule was instituted to keep fellow civilians from selling each other out.

2. hip hop nor any other black median has ever said all black women are hoes, labeled black women as hoes, or called black children hoes. In fact, hip hop has never even called a black woman a hoe. Pop music and rap (which is 86% consumed by whites) use this word, but hip hop has never. When this word is used in music, itâ??s used to personify a type of woman, not a specific race of woman. If you watch the videos, youâ??ll notice that all different kinds of women (including white hoes) are present, acting out the words of the song.

3. if Ed, and any other so-called concerned citizen, was interested in erasing gun violence from black communities, theyâ??d be mainly focused on exposing the puppeteer, not the puppets. Why not expose the WHITE arms dealers? Why not expose the astronomical amount of WHITE consumers who didnâ??t find rap music attractive until it became a minstrel show of vulgarity and violence? Why not expose the WHITE judicial system that profits off of black death and black incarceration? The list goes on and on.

#14 plprz
August/31/2007
@ 11:10 am

^^^ and yes, there is a difference btw rap & hip hop. i’m sure that may come as a surprise to you outsiders. smh

#15 lefitte
August/31/2007
@ 6:52 pm

Point fingers at everyone else all you want …but accepting responsibility will be what changes things .. even if it isn’t all your fault. Change what you can, not what you can’t.

I admire Cosby for his “I’ve had enough” speech, but I’m not suprised some people called him a sellout.

It’s much easier to blame everyone else for what ills you then to just buck up and do what needs to be done.

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