Students Speak Out Against Racist Cartoons in College Newspaper

Photo by Wesley College/Facebook
A cartoon in Wesley College's student newspaper depicts a woman wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt and saying, "Would you look at the time... I’m late for my abortion."

Wesley College's newspaper has come under fire after racist cartoons were published Friday, April 22.

The independently-run student paper published two cartoons that reek of sexism and a lack of respect for Black women. One cartoon depicts a woman wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt and saying, "Would you look at the time... I’m late for my abortion." The second cartoon shows a gardening ho asking a man, "Who is you calling a hoe?" with the man responding "I’m sorry ma’am, you just look like a hoe."

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A few students saw the cartoons, which were drawn by a black man, as a joke. But most found them racist and sexist. "We have worked hard, especially black women, to defy and break down all of the stereotypes that were thrown at us,” said Shaylynn Bivens, vice president of the university’s black student union, while talking to The Huffington Post. I"t is humiliating to know that we were dehumanized by a fellow African-American male. He essentially gave the white students a reason to disrespect and think less of us. That comic promotes hate speech."

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School administration and the newspaper staff hosted a forum Monday night to discuss the issue, but some student were left unsatisfied. Two students Damyra Price and Tiffany Green, along with Bivens, tweeted a letter they submitted to University President Robert Clark on Tuesday and plan to send a list of demands to administrators.

Griffin told The Huffington Post that the cartoons have sparked discussion for a lot of bigger issues on the school's campus, "Small and long term goals need to be put into place to relieve this unrest that has actually been brewing for years now." She's optimistic that discussions with Clark will lead to a solution.

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