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Newspaper Runs Racist Cartoon about Ferguson Looting, Ignites More Anger

Categories: Michael Brown

FergCartoon.JPG
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This editorial cartoon about looting in Ferguson drew an avalanche of fury on Twitter.
Opinion pages are supposed to be provocative, but Jim Robertson, managing editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune, admits Wednesday's editorial cartoon may have gone a little overboard.

Twitter erupted in fury after the Tribune ran a syndicated Gary McCoy cartoon based on the looting and riots that gripped Ferguson after the shooting death of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. In the cartoon, Ferguson burns in the background as three black protesters hold picket signs advocating looting, and one black man steals a television set.

"I understand for many people, there is a very thin line between provocative and disturbing and racist," Robertson tells Daily RFT. "Maybe we were a little tone deaf on that. And maybe that's an understatement."

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

The cartoon accompanies a column from Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, who criticizes the "completely unjustifiable lawlessness" of the looters in Ferguson, who burned down a QuikTrip and stole from Feel Beauty Supply, Sam's Meat Market, Ferguson Market and Liquor and other stores on West Florissant Avenue.

But by the time McCoy's cartoon ran, protesters hadn't looted a store in Ferguson for four nights, and Ferguson had finally experienced its first night of relative peace in a week.

Robertson isn't the one who chose the cartoon, but he gave final approval for it to run in Wednesday's paper. He's surprised at the influx of overwhelmingly negative reaction, though 98 percent of it comes through Twitter, he says, not from regular readers in this college town two hours west of St. Louis.

"In the context of their hometown paper, I think [local readers] know better than that we would run a racist cartoon," Robertson says. "We get complaints from both liberals and conservatives that we're either liberal or conservative, but I don't think anyone thinks we're just mean racists. That has never been our style, and it won't be."

Robertson says he probably would have pulled the cartoon if he had anticipated the uproar it would cause.

"Even though I don't necessarily agree that it had no value, it's not worth the trouble it has caused," he says. "There is no journalistic principle involved here. You'd rather not piss people off."

And, oh, did it ever piss people off:

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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274 comments
mtomlo
mtomlo

Cartoon is right on target. If a white voices their opinion, the 1st thing said by certain blacks is racist. I am so tired of hearing this word being used when a black does get their way or is caught committing a crime, the word has lost its power. When the new Congress meets, I'll request that the word racist be banned. Or, officially make the word include blacks that hate whites. Research has revealed there are more black racist than whites. Most blacks are law abiding citizens who believe in educating their children, having a father in the home and working for a living. About 4% of blacks (1,800,000) drop out of school, sell drugs, create a child and don't give a damn, kill each other and whites, rob, loot and burn, disrespect women, no job, no respect for themselves or other and use violence to express themselves. And President Obama wants us to treat them as equals without them changing their behavior. They, along with Sharpton fuel racism. I will always view these type people of all races with utter disgust.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

So lefty hates blacks and wants to lie to blacks


GOOD BLACK PEOPLE ARE FIGURING YOU SELF HATING RACIST LEFTISTS OUT


GOOD BLACK PEOPLE ARE ALSO AGAINST LOOTERS



WHY DO THE WHITE LEFTISTS THINK SO LITTLE OF GOOD BLACK PEOPLE



joclue
joclue topcommenter

Mikie Browns parents at fault (Ferguson)

Why hasn't anything been said about Mikies parents. They don't know how to raise their kid. If they would have taught him not to steal, assault people because he was a large bodie kid he would be alive today. If they would have taught him to walk on the sidewalk like normal people he would alive today. If they would have taught him to respect the laws he would be alive today. His parents KILLED him by not teaching him right from wrong. He done as he pleased as does most kids today because the parents don't care or don't know to raise their kids. More will die over the lack of parent supervision. Don't blame the police officer for the faults of his parents.

BurnSTL
BurnSTL

St. Louis' favorite word -NIGGER! Crackers in Missouri love the word NIGGER. They just wish they could say NIGGER again.

joClue
joClue

I love the cartoon. Its so true.

Wally
Wally

Mike could have been president

snewsom2997
snewsom2997 topcommenter

No worse than the cartoon showing a cop shooting a statue of MLK.

justracn15
justracn15

Isn't it amazing how the truth is always racist???

Incite
Incite

There is absolutely nothing racist about this cartoon although it does inaccurately portray the situation. The (majority of) protesters aren't looting but there are those there strictly to take advantage of the situation and hide behind the signs.

marstond
marstond

I agree the timing may not have been the best, but how is depicting exactly what was going on racist, there were riots, that turned into a looting and burning and destroying frenzy. Most of this was based on lies told by eyewitness accounts, everyone is holding their hands and yelling dont  shoot, but when the truth comes out we may find that this was someones fantasy and never really happened. I keep seeing the word racist being waved around like a flag, since when is it racist to point out the obvious, to shine a light on the truth, no one is saying only blacks do this or that, but if you watched what was going on in Ferguson they certainly were the majority

jmorehouse93
jmorehouse93

For everybody you thinks this is not racist think again because the Nazi did the same act thing to the Jews to publicly discriminate them to point out there flaws or to overly point out there features is racism if I was to say that only white people do meth y'all would say that I'm being racist to be honest I'm just sick and tire for White people, red necks, hill billys, crackers, or what ever y'all are not knowing what something is because y'all never had it done to you and yes this is racist propaganda

Felicia Claudette Harris
Felicia Claudette Harris

Brittanie Williams! The ##White## police officer/dog, flat out executed a young Black Man! Are you that dumb!!!! Who controls the majority of the television networks! #WHITE## I detect a little tension there! Huh! We are living in the last days! God is rocking this white girl! You may be bowing down to the Black race in the last days, but first to God almighty!

Felicia Claudette Harris
Felicia Claudette Harris

The majority of ##white## people are on #welfare##! Statistics show this! You have ##whitetrash## in the rural counties on meth and blowing up place, can't get jobs and killing themselves slowly! ##Uneducatedwhitetrash## is what I call it! You want to get real! Do you know the meaning of nigger? No you don't Norm Manis! You would never survive in Chicago with your mentality! O grew up a Military Brat and I am also a Veteran. I have encountered racism and prejudice! I am better than that! I am better than you! The meaning of "nigger"! You just proved yourself to be one! A ##stupidignorantperson##! Sleep on that!

Matt Cartmell
Matt Cartmell

It wasnt white against black, it was cop against citizen. A citizen who just happened to be black. And just robbed a minimart, and fought with aforementioned cop. Color of his skin doesnt matter to me, nor should it matter to anyone else. But some black people have to make everything racist regardless of the underlying situation. Those are the same black people that stole from their own neighbors because one of their neighbors commited multiple crimes and ended up dead. Makes sense right?

Matt Cartmell
Matt Cartmell

Not racist. The looters were overwhelmingly black. And they looted because some boy got killed. This comic accurately describes the situation. Should he have made them white to avoid narrow minded idiots saying it was racist? No. Grow up, if its accurate, its not racist. Its people that call this thing a matter of race that make it so. Fools.

Mark Tubbesing
Mark Tubbesing

Truth hurts!! Let's steal some stuff in the name of...huh?

Joseph Jones IV
Joseph Jones IV

I am tired of Missouri and it's racism. ...God made no man better then the other we need each other...I know if this shit don't stop it will be stopped!

Sambit Kar
Sambit Kar

Robertson is more concerned about negative reactions. Not clear if he himself finds the message of the cartoon offensive.

Nikki Waters
Nikki Waters

And I didn't say, "the blacks". You misquoted

Nikki Waters
Nikki Waters

Who is Jo Pa? Lol. I said blacks bc they were on CAMERA. Video surveillance doesn't lie.

Dennis Castro
Dennis Castro

Please explain to me how this is racist? Dumb cartoon, perhaps. But racist?

Carol Fortune Quigley Young
Carol Fortune Quigley Young

its just like president obama,everything he does is wrong,these protesters could have been perfect,and they would have still been wrong

Benjamin Abraham
Benjamin Abraham

White and decent black America both think this behavior is idiotic.

Brittanie Williams
Brittanie Williams

A public apology? Why is it ok for colleges to have "black student success projects" and "black entertainment tv". You will have racism until you remove the ability to justify those things!

Ashley Parker
Ashley Parker

We got white America attention NO JUSTICE NO PEACE YALL ANT SEEN SHIT YET LET DARREN WILSON GET FOUND NOT GUILTY WE WAR READY #STLSTANDUP

Matthew Sweitzer
Matthew Sweitzer

Aren't the misfits what the cartoon is drawing reference to? I guess I'm just very confused.

Janeyre Bronte'
Janeyre Bronte'

Guess what Matthew Ingmire. There were two groups. One that was divisive and criminal in nature. One, that was engaging in their Civil Duty of Protest, that was peaceful. You must be rather clueless about the real picture. Or didn't you know about the out of town misfits? Their sole purpose is to cause havoc and mayhem. Most of those looters, rioters... Were not there because of their caring about the death of an unarmed young person. They were there to steal. Even the authorities know this... You really are clueless...

Matthew Sweitzer
Matthew Sweitzer

Janice Beckemeyer elaborate on what makes this racist as maybe I don't understand?

Thomas Quinn
Thomas Quinn

Right, the looting was nothing. Good thing you are around to tell us this. I'm sure you would love to have your own family living in a place such as that. Take the little one out for some looting, followed by a good lecture on justification of barbarism. i don't think many involved in that mess could claim much moral high ground, or intelligence.

splckt2
splckt2

that darn truth always getting in the way of liberal democrat whiners, the truth hurts

Andrea Hilliard
Andrea Hilliard

@Nikki, "the blacks?" really? When rioters protested JoPa's dismissal, did you call them "the whites?"

xavierasante
xavierasante

So please explain to me WHY the RFT had to ALSO print the cartoon instead of just telling us about it?

Tammy Dunn
Tammy Dunn

I guess I don't see what the hub bub is all about. Isn't this in fact an accurate depiction of the looters? Maybe they should have shoes or weaves being stolen instead?

Janice Beckemeyer
Janice Beckemeyer

Does not surprise me that it was a McCoy, he is also in our local paper and he is soooo biased. Honestly when I saw this post, I knew it had to be McCoy. Of course it is racist!

joClue
joClue

@Incite  I loved the cartoon. I agree with you 100%.

mtomlo
mtomlo

Felicia, if you are a vet, thanks for serving. There are slightly more blacks on welfare and you have to figure blacks are 13% of pop and whites 60%. Plus, blacks have a generational dependency on the government. Do something positive for your community, get rid of hatred for whites. You could become a female MLK.

suetoo
suetoo

He pulled the kid over for jaywalking and didn't know anything about the convenience store.

When he was shooting at a person running away, no matter what preceded it or what color the he was or the kid was, he kept shooting as the kid fell and died.

Michael Brown laid in the street, dead, for four hours while his family, local children looking out windows, and his friends in the neighborhood all watched.  If you believe the "The EMT's were intimidated by the crowd" fairy tale, look closer at the videos taken right after it happened.  It was rude and disrespectful to the community.


Most of the looters were from outside the city and weren't necessarily there to protest.  If you look back at the photos of them, you'll see a few white kids mixed in there.


Like a lot of other nearby communities, ~20% of Ferguson's budget comes from fines and seizures.


Glen McCoy is a teabilly jerk.

I'm white.

Charlie
Charlie

its code.  along with "urban" "thug" etc.  Racists have trouble updating with the times.  hence the racism

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