Did The Badger Herald pull comic due to race concerns

Ya Boi, Inc.

Gus McNair writes a column in The Badger Herald taking issue with the paper’s decision to pull a comic from an edition last week because the comic mentioned race. The comic in questions is by Vincent Cheng and the comic depicts a man deciding which music to “like” on Facebook that shows he has a wide appreciation of music (Bach for classical, etc.). The punchline shows the asking for names of black people (artists). See cartoon above.

Was our management afraid it would lead to controversy? Generating debate is part of a college newspaper?s job, so long as it is clearly editorial. Did they themselves find it offensive? In an age when Louis C.K. rules the comedy world and Christian Lander?s Stuff White People Like is a bestseller, I find this difficult to believe.

The incident proves race is still a major issue at UW. And, as a student newspaper, it is the Herald?s job to discuss it ? whether that means news coverage, opinion pieces or humor. We ought to be willing to make meaningful controversial statements.

9 thoughts on “Did The Badger Herald pull comic due to race concerns

  1. I can understand the need for concern with this particular strip. There was a bit of potential for this comic to be humorous, but I believe that the joke got lost somewhere along the set-up.

    If “cool” would have substituted for “mainstream”, it could have worked. By saying “mainstream”, it appears that the character has some sort of grudge against black entertainers for being on top of the charts right now.

    That’s part of the possible problem with this. Plus, he outright states that he doesn’t enjoy that form of music (which evidently is all made by black people).

    The blow could have been softened by changing the punchline in the final panel to something like “Ok, I have “Little Wayne”, but how the &$%# do you spell Rihanna?”

    Just a suggestion. Personally, I’m not offended, but I can certainly see how some readers could be.

  2. Great cartoon. The humor is all directed inward, and reflects the character’s shallow nature. I suspect the uneasiness lies on the reflection on our culture.

    In a shallow way ‘blacks’ are mainstream as we see them in roles in mainstream media and commercials; but very many people do not know any ‘black’ people personally, and so they have little ‘reality’ to them. I reckon this is the cartoonist’s point here.

  3. I read the cartoon and it also doesn’t offend me. I just didn’t “get” it. But I agree with George Ford. It’s a funny idea, but the punchline misses the mark. And George, I love your suggested edits and the line “How the &$%# do you spell Rihanna? ~ K

  4. I have to agree with Bearman Cartoons, it’s one step below a “rage comic” which isn’t real cartooning in the least. there is potential for a great joke but not one that involved poorly used clip art and terrible writing

  5. I think that, if the editors decided it was potentially inappropriate, they should have run it anyway and then, if there were any protests, fired the cartoonist and made him take all the blame.

    That’s how college papers usually handle these things, isn’t it?

  6. It seems to be jab at superficial types who try to be all things to all people and cultivate a politically correct image without really knowing anything about the things or the people they’re using to do so. That’s all.

    @George Ford: Actually, I don’t think the last panel had anything to do with the “mainstream” part at all. I think the guy had already put down some stuff and had moved on to the next “thing.”

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