A “racist” cartoon in the student newspaper has sparked controversy at Solano Community College in California. The four-strip panel, drawn by a black male student, showed black women complaining about black men’s irresponsibility and concluding: “(We) need to get rid of them ALL!! A toast ladies — Black men need to just GO AWAY.”
Student editor-in-chief Sharman Bruni said the Tempest has “no tolerance for racism in the newsroom,” according to a statement posted on the school paper’s website and which she read to about 125 students and administrators who attended a noon panel discussion in the Solano College Theatre.
The cartoon strip was part of a series which would have shown “the innate strength of black male and female relationships” and that “there is nothing that black men and women cannot overcome,” Bruni said. “We acknowledge that there was an error in judgment in publishing the strip without proper context and we take full responsibility for this.”
At the open forum, Tempest staff members, the faculty advisor and cartoonist Phillip Temple spoke to critics. Temple, who was booed by black students, said the cartoon was meant to be part of a series with a positive message for black women and men. The Tempest has canceled the series.
SCC President Jowel Laguerre also condemned the cartoon as “highly offensive, insensitive” and something which “contradicts our district’s philosophy, core values and mission,” according to a written statement.
“Joking about “getting rid” of black men next to an editorial about a black man who was killed was horrible judgment. And the cartoon wasn’t funny. But I can’t help thinking there must be few molehills and many mountains on the Solano campus.