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Take a Deep Breath

Take a Deep Breath

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Published by kevin_k_yeh

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Published by: kevin_k_yeh on Mar 28, 2012
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03/29/2012

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Log In Jobs Contact Special Editions  Advertise Classifieds Coupons The Buys of Texas
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CDATA, Florida, GeorgeZimmerman, shooter, Texan,Texas, Texas Student Media, TheDaily Texan, The Daily Texan,Trayvon Martin
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Published 28 Mar 2012 at 9:56 AM
By Doug WarrenPrint| E-mail|Share on: Twitter Faceboo Austin Wedding PhotographyBridesmaid DressesMoroccan FurnitureProm Dresses
Take a deep breath
The Daily Texan'spublication of an editorialcartoon on the topic of themedia coveragesurrounding the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has sparked itsown swirl of controversy. The Texan newsroom has been besieged with angry emails,phone calls and in-person visits from students, alumni and news media from nearand far.The cartoon is admittedly flawed because it spelled Martin's first name incorrectly and it used a phrase ("colored boy") that is offensive and could have been avoided ("black teenager.") However, it is not inherently racist and itsmessage, to these eyes, is to avoid the simple answers being propagated by the media in this emotional,controversial case that touches on the flaw in the American system that has existed since before the country wasfounded -- racism.I understand the outrage sparked by the Martin incident, but I trust I won't risk the anger of the mob when I pointout that no one has been charged or convicted in the case thus far. The alleged shooter, George Zimmerman isclaiming self-defense under a "stand your ground" law that is on the books in Florida and various other states,including Texas. Where is the outrage over such an absurd law, which has been promoted across the country by the National Rifle Association? Who is angered by gun laws that allow "neighborhood watch" cop-wannabes like Zimmerman to walk around armed?The newly minted civil rights activists and self-appointed media pundits might want to ask themselves what is moreinherently racist -- a poorly executed student cartoon or the fact that the African-American student population atthe University of Texas at Austin (6 percent) is only half the percentage of the overall population of African- Americans in the state of Texas (11.8 percent.) Or take a look at the number of African-American males who have been shot by members of the Austin Police Department in recent years. And the discipline that was meted out to theofficers involved.There is plenty of anger to go around. But before we castigate student cartoonists and student editors at the Texan, I would urge everyone to take a deep breath. The Texan staff is learning -- to do their jobs and about the impact thattheir work has on the members of the community they serve.They're also finding out what it's like to be in the glare of the media spotlight. Having been there myself, I canassure you, it's a lesson that won't be lost on them. Beyond that, if we all tone down the rhetoric, perhaps we'll alllearn something.
Take a deep breath | The Daily Texanhttp://www.dailytexanonline.com/blog/talking-texan/2012/03/28/take-dee...1 of 73/28/2012 3:11 PM
 
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 A. The non-investigation of the killing of Trayvon Martin is the key source of anger in the populace. If Zimmerman had not been taken at his word by the Sanford Police Department this would be a non-story.B. The Stand Your Ground Law has also been a topic of discussion since the killing of Trayvon Martin hasmade national news.C. The mismatch between black students at UT-Austin and the black population of the state is a constantsubject of discussion at least in the black community at UT-Austin. These aren't "newly appointed civil rightsadvocates" there are organizations and students who've been thinking about and helping the black community for years, I'd suggest you reach out to some of them.D. The killing of unarmed black people in Austin has also been a constant topic in the black Austin and black UT-Austin community for years, when I was a student there a couple of candidates in the police academy seeked me out in order to ask what they could do to better the relations between APD and the black community.Please do more thorough research before wading into contentious issues with a self-righteous posture.This post could be a case study in how to give a crappy non-apology.1: Apologize for some truly minor aspect, rather than the huge offense.2: Counter-attack by claiming that people are ignoring the real issue.3: Further counter-attack by claiming that the people impacted by the offense are better off spending theirenergy else where.Kudos.
1
The cartoon is admittedly flawed because it spelled Martin's first name incorrectly and it used a phrase ("colored boy")that is offensive and could have been avoided ("black teenager.")
2
 Where is the outrage over such an absurd law, which has been promoted across the country by the National Rifle Association? Who is angered by gun laws that allow "neighborhood watch" cop-wannabes like Zimmerman to walk around armed?
3
Take a deep breath | The Daily Texanhttp://www.dailytexanonline.com/blog/talking-texan/2012/03/28/take-dee...2 of 73/28/2012 3:11 PM
 
The newly minted civil rights activists and self-appointed media pundits might want to ask themselves what is moreinherently racist -- a poorly executed student cartoon or the fact that the African-American student population at theUniversity of Texas at Austin (6 percent) is only half the percentage of the overall population of African-Americans inthe state of Texas (11.8 percent.) Or take a look at the number of African-American males who have been shot by members of the Austin Police Department in recent years. And the discipline that was meted out to the officersinvolved.
Publishing this concurrently ignorant and condescending piece was as bad a decision as posting the originalcartoon, and really serves to further show that the DT has a serious editorial oversight issue that must beaddressed. I think Mr. Stanton points out the flaws in logic and tone of this article well, so I won't rehash. Idont know whether Mr. Warren is affiliated with the DT in any way or if this is just another ill-advisedopinion piece, but as a UT alum and former avid supporter of the DT, I could not be more disapointed withthe DT's staff regarding its handling of this issue. Sad day.So let me get this straight. You publish a blatantly racist cartoon, and the paper's response is basically "chillout". These are our supposed future leaders? God help us all.Firstly, we ARE outraged with the entire case on Trayvon Martin and all the avoidance towards puttingZimmerman away for his blatant crime - if not, this topic wouldn't even be a problem for us as a Black community and the cartoon would not have even been printed. Let's be serious here.To bring up the fact that we are a small percentage of this campus is beside the point here. You are trying todivert the attention from the fact that YOU allowed this RACIST "opinion" out to the campus. We, as Black students and Black community leaders have been taking a stance on these issues that you claim we are not worried about. We are outraged because this is something that hits close to home and is relevantat the point of time. Don't dare try to make it seem as though this is a minute problem amongst the otherproblems going on. Any issue that arises is a big issue when it deals with racism, whether blatant or hidden. As an adult, I would think that you would be more privy to the fact that racism on any level is wrong. By making this seem as it is a lighter topic than it is, only shows how you feel on the topic, as well. As an advisor,maybe you should think more on how you address tender issues such as this.I must say, The Daily Texan needs to do way better and this advisor needs to be put out.I'm in agreement with Chill Chad Stanton, you should do more thorough research of these topics you speak of. Growing up in Austin these topics you say that no one is addressing are constantly addressed. Maybe youshould have talked to some of the "newly appointed civil rights advocates" and you would have found outthat they are not so new and have been speaking on these issues.
Take a deep breath | The Daily Texanhttp://www.dailytexanonline.com/blog/talking-texan/2012/03/28/take-dee...3 of 73/28/2012 3:11 PM

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