Cartoon comments miss the mark with ‘N’ word

Marlon Williams’s article, “Panelist makes racist comment,” presented a misunderstanding by a panelist at the “Disappearing Ink” seminar.

Andy Marlette, a cartoonist for the Pensacola News Journal, said, “N*gga please,” during a panelist discussion over the declining appearance of cartoons within newspapers.

Marlette used the word, while quoting what the caption of his controversial cartoon said.

He did not say “N*gga please!” to one of the students or professors at the panel discussion. 

The poor judgment can be agreed upon, but the context in which Marlette used the “N” word was incorrectly presented. He could have said “‘N’ word please!” but that is not how the cartoon caption is written.

Marlette is not a racist for making his comment. 

He was presenting his cartoon that exaggerated his impression of the Bush administrations’ feelings toward Kanye West’s comments.

Williams felt it was shameful that no one decided to say anything, even though Marlette said the word while quoting the cartoon.

Marlette drew the controversial piece that arose the question, “Where does he get right to use the word in his work?”

But cartoons are supposed to start controversy. That is what makes them interesting.

The word was used to portray how blacks use the word in everyday conversation. 

Williams was correct in blaming the misunderstanding of the word that people use in everyday conversation.

The ignorance of those who use the word, opens the door for cartoonists, like Marlette to use the word.

It is hypocritical to criticize another person for using the word, and then use the word in your own conversation.

If you are going to nit pick at racist comments, you must at least abide by the same guiding principles and practice what you preach.

As a person of Filipino, Spanish, and Caucasian descent, understanding how blacks feel about the hurt that comes from use of the “N” word is unfathomable.

However, it is essential that we take into account the context for which Marlette used the word, which is no worse than how I have heard some blacks use the word.

It is vital to lead by example.
Kyle Marcil is a junior broadcast journalism and Spanish student from Jacksonville, Fla. He can be reached at