Cartoonist: Images intensified racial divide

I am very upset right now. I have been listening to the many responses to my cartoon. I am upset because I have offended so many people on such a fundamental level. I am truly sorry, and I offer my sincerest apologies for the imagery and phrases employed in the cartoon.

It was never my intent to garner this reaction or to convey the message that I have. At this point, it doesn’t matter what the original message of the cartoon was, and I am not going to use this letter to explain it. In hindsight, it seems obvious to me why the cartoon has upset so many people. The images are harsh, dramatic and unnecessary. My use of multiple stereotypes in the cartoon was shortsighted, cheap and ignorant.

After hearing the many responses, I feel only apologetic and upset with myself for being so hasty in drawing the cartoon without thinking about how it could be read from perspectives besides my own. The fact that I drew the cartoon with the images I chose and did not realize how offensive they are shows quite clearly the racial divide in our society that I was attempting to attack.

Insensitive cartoons and editorials such as the one I had printed Friday are examples of the things that need to change. I realize now that this cartoon and my unawareness of reactions from other perspectives is as much a part of the problem as the issues I had attempted to address. Racism in our generation is not the same thing it was decades ago. Being insensitive to non-white perspectives can and does cause as much divide and hardship on minority populations as any other more obvious form of racism does.

Racial issues are very important to me and to our society. In attempting to encourage discussion and change in this area, I have ignorantly and inadvertently added to the problem. And for that I sincerely apologize.

I also wish to apologize to any of the Greek associations on campus who have been maligned by the stereotypes I employed. I do not wish to belittle the efforts Greeks have made to integrate their organizations.

In viewing this cartoon as progressive and encouraging of social change, I was wrong. The attempted humor in the cartoon was in very poor taste, and I am sorry that I did not think to make my point in a more sensitive manner.

I am not proud of the reaction I have garnered, and I am asking for forgiveness and understanding. I have no desire to defend this cartoon or fight for whatever message I originally intended to convey. I hope that I can contribute to social progress and racial relations in the future in a more thoughtful, responsible and careful manner.

Brad Fletcher is a second-year UK law student. E-mail [email protected]