Student Fired for Trayvon Martin Cartoon

by Nathan Harden

University of Texas student Stephanie Eisner was fired by the managers of The Daily Texan – a student newspaper — because she published a cartoon that mocked the racially hyped media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case. After the firing, editors went even farther, instituting a host of sensitivity-training programs and laying down promises to, essentially, never publish another controversial opinion:

The Daily Texan will hold an open forum in the coming weeks to raise consciousness of race and diversity both at the Texan and on campus. We will require all Daily Texan employees to participate in a seminar each semester about the relationship between race and the media. We will also seek out and publish opinions that truly represent the views of the entire campus community. We understand these are only small steps in the much larger transformation we must undergo.

We sincerely apologize for publishing the offensive cartoon and for the harm that decision caused.

Here is the controversial cartoon.

Could it be offensive to some? Sure. But judge for yourself if Eisner’s work is “racist.” Eisner later explained in an interview that she was “personally appalled” by the shooting of Martin, and intended only to “contribute thoughtful commentary on the media coverage of the incident.”

Ironically, considering the fact that her cartoon was meant to criticize the racial hysteria surrounding media coverage of the case, I’d say the censorious reaction her work provoked turned out to be something of a confirmation of the point she was making.

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