Trayvon Martin cartoon was offensive

2012-04-02T00:00:00Z Trayvon Martin cartoon was offensive Napa Valley Register
April 02, 2012 12:00 am

I am incensed, appalled and saddened by the political cartoon (Glenn McCoy, March 26) you chose for (Monday’s) paper.

There is nothing funny about the (killing) of Trayvon Martin — a 17-year-old black youth walking home from a store in the rain, with his hoodie up, and ‘armed’ only with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. He was shot point blank in the chest by a so-called ‘Neighborhood Watch’ person who had been told (on his cell phone) by the police not to follow Trayvon. The 28-year-old, 250-poundf man said, “OK,” then continued to follow the 150-pound 17-year-old anyway. The man was armed with a 9mm handgun, which he should not, as a neighborhood watch person, have been carrying.

Trayvon was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone — and according to her phone records, he was trying to get away from “this man (who) is following me” and at some point, there is a scuffle as Trayvon’s cell is knocked away from his ear. The neighborhood watch man contends that Trayvon attacked him, and he shot this unarmed teenager “in fear of his own life” — legally — under the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law. The truth will come out after this ‘neighborhood watchman’ is finally arrested and sent to trial. Anyway one looks at this (shooting), it is still a tragedy — There is nothing funny about it!

I am appalled by the cartoonist’s view that our president is pictured as a black track runner who is trying to draw attention to himself by running over Trayvon’s body as he breaks the ‘police investigation-do not cross’ lines, in front of photographers (whose arms and faces are all white), and holding his “I’m Number One” fingers in the air, as many track ‘winners’ do. President Obama spoke on one day, expressing his compassion for Martin’s parents and family — stating, poignantly, that “...if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” which is perfectly natural for a black man — any father — to observe. Then Obama agreed that this matter should be looked at by the Department of Justice on the premise that it might be seen as a hate crime. Our president is an intelligent, caring person — and no matter how much or why some people hate him, he does not deserve to be represented in such a heinous manner. He is a decent human being.

I am saddened by the fact that our local paper, The Napa Valley Register, could publish such a cartoon as “funny.” The choice is insensitive and indefensible.

E. Betsy Michaud / Napa

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