Thursday morning, I awoke to emails and tweets from angry readers reacting to today’s editorial cartoon featuring Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Fellow students took to Twitter and Facebook, threatening to uproot newspaper boxes and generally questioning The Daily Tar Heel’s motives for running the cartoon in the first place.
I stand by it, despite the fact that many people — including my editorial board — believe that this nationally syndicated cartoon should not have run in the DTH.
I believe it raises legitimate points concerning the Martin case by calling attention to the absurdity of the situation: Zimmerman’s defense, the police response (or lack thereof) and Florida’s so-called stand your ground law.
And as editor-in-chief, I take final responsibility for the content of this newspaper, including what appears on the opinion page.
Like any controversial piece, it’s understandable that the cartoon rubbed many people in many different ways and elicited a variety of responses. Some saw the cartoon as an attempt on behalf of the artist to show the complete senselessness of the tragedy. Others, understandably, saw it as an insensitive statement that went too far with a sensitive topic, and therefore hindered its ability to communicate its message.