Southern IL newspaper apologizes over 'controversial' political cartoon

Controversial political cartoon raises ire across Heartland

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Southern Illinoisian published a controversial cartoon on Sunday in their opinion section that had many people upset on social media.

The cartoon showed a black man lying dead in the street while white officers say "his hands weren't up high enough."

The cop car in the background also said "Black lives don't matter" on the side and a kill count on the roof of the car.

The editorial staff of the paper responded to the outrage on Monday, posting an apology on their website which explained how the cartoon choice for their Sunday edition was not vetted through their typical editorial process.

Some of those who complained told KFVS they canceled their subscription to the paper because the cartoon depicted the scene of the officer-involved shooting in Tulsa, Okla. on September 16.

A.J. Barrett, an SIU professor of Journalism, said the opinion section of a paper is supposed to spark conversation. She believed that the cartoon still fulfilled that purpose.

"It just stirs an emotion and that I think is a key point. Does it stir something? Does it make you think? Does it make you feel? The point is to go to a place that facts don't always go," said Barrett.

Barrett also stressed the fact that the cartoon was syndicated, meaning it was not drawn by anyone at The Southern, but rather; a national cartoonist.

The paper said in their apology that they have addressed the issue, and will more uniformly vet their cartoons in the future.

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