Missouri Newspaper Accused of Racism for Ferguson Cartoon

The Columbia Daily Tribune, a Missouri newspaper, is being criticized over a cartoon it published Thursday related to the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the Ferguson looting that followed.

The cartoon depicts four black men, three of whom have picket signs that read “Burn Ferguson,” “No 60′ Plasma TV, No Peace!” and “Steal to Honor Michael.” The fourth man is carrying the box of a TV. The background shows stores set on fire.

Furthermore, one of the men is wearing a t-shirt with the Obama campaign symbol. Two of the other men have their pants pulled down, showing their boxer underwear.

The Daily Tribune was accused of racism after someone tweeted the photo. “Your cartoon is extremely racist,” one tweet to the paper said. “Holy crap at that cartoon – openly racist garbage,” another said.

Jim Robertson, the paper’s managing editor, told the Jim Romenesko media blog that the cartoon was intended to be provocative but not racist.

“I admit I didn’t anticipate the reaction,” Robertson said. “I’m responding to complaints, most of which have come through the Twitter universe, by asking them to consider the context. On three of the preceding four days our editorial page featured local cartoons about the Michael Brown tragedy, the militarization of the police response and a likeness of Lady Justice with six bullet wounds.”

[Image via Columbia Daily Tribune]

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