COMMENTARY: Response to recent cartoon overblown

Annie Erskine

I’d like to take a moment to respond to the first paragraph of Anne Heintzman’s commentary on the Jan. 31 Editorial Cartoon. I say “first paragraph” because that is the only thing in which I hold issue with. The rest of the commentary I felt was very well-written and reasonable in its arguments.

It’s time that a cartoonist comes forth and defends her trade…

As the previous cartoonist for the College Heights Herald, I have been called racist, sexist, prejudiced against sculpture artists and sculptures, prejudiced against small-town Kentuckians, and then my personal favorite, prejudiced against “Ducks Unlimited.” Anyway, the point of this is that every single time I was accused of being prejudiced against something, someone or some group of peoples, it was over things that, frankly, shouldn’t have been overreacted about. And with Darren’s cartoon, the reaction was no different.

Why is it that when someone draws a picture of a monkey in a newspaper it’s automatically seen as a racist thing? Whoever said anything about race in that editorial anyway? People are taking a CARTOON way too out of context. Why can’t the cartoon simply be what the article was talking about? The article didn’t say “We don’t like *insert race here* getting in our school.” It just stated their reasonable opinion on the admission standards of WKU. The cartoon nor the article had anything to do with a particular race. Would people have been less offended if one of Kentucky’s hillbillies I was talking about earlier was drawn? Or how about a blonde cheerleader? Or a football player? Nobody would complain if he drew an upper-class white kid holding a 0.5 GPA slip. Fact is, he didn’t draw any of these. He drew an animal. Not a metaphor for anyone. Just an animal that is commonly seen as unintelligent (and before you argue that, go watch YouTube videos of monkeys for 10 minutes). You know what? I have an idea: How about people stop making all cartoonists out to be prejudiced jerks all the time. We’re not that bad! I promise! This happened to me when I was a cartoonist, it happened to cartoonists before me, and it will continue to happen to cartoonists after me. It got to a point where I was literally told NOT to draw people of color in fear of backlash of people thinking I was racist. I was told to just take it in stride and be quiet about how these ridiculous accusations against cartoonists make me feel. But considering I’ve passed the mantle of cartoonist onto a GREAT and TALENTED young man, I think I’m tired of being quiet while cartoonists are continually bad-mouthed at this school. I’ll be darned if I’ll sit back and just stay quiet while people make false accusations or even stir up trouble by saying how something could possibly come off as wrong. It’s like when people point out something perverted in a kid’s cartoon that wasn’t intended to be perverted at all. It’s your own warped minds making things out to be this way. Stop seeing the world as some dark, evil place where all political cartoonists are prejudiced against *insert complaint here* just because they’re in a newspaper.

Get over it. Stop whining. It’s JUST a cartoon.

This commentary doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the Herald or the university.


Annie Erskine

Former Herald cartoonist