Seneca newspaper apologizes after publishing controversial cartoon

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SENECA, S.C. (WSPA) – A local newspaper is getting some backlash after publishing a controversial cartoon.

7 News spoke with those who are offended and learned what the paper has to say.

“We’re hurt. We have emotions. We have feelings,” Angela Jenkins said. “The only difference between me and you is our skin color. We feel the same thing.”

The Journal in Seneca published a cartoon in the Opinion portion of their paper on Wednesday, and it got a lot of attention.

It shows a mother, drawn to represent the black community, and a donkey to symbolize the democratic party.

“We’re dependent on the democrats, but the democrats are lazy because the donkey is laying on the couch,” Jenkins said. “You’re saying the black community lives in filth, because the background is filthy.”

Angela Jenkins lives in Seneca and is a leader in Seneca’s chapter of “Black Lives Matter.” When she saw the cartoon in the paper she reads frequently, she said she couldn’t believe it.

“I found it very offensive because The Journal has been coming out and covering Black Lives Matter,” she said.

After receiving backlash from the community, The Journal posted an apology, saying “It was our mistake, and if you’ll allow us, we’ll do everything within our power to be inclusive and reflective of our entire community.”

But Jenkins told 7 News the hurt goes deep.

“I don’t think it’s a big-enough apology,” she said. “Nobody is being held accountable.”

7 News asked other community members in Seneca what they thought of the cartoon, and while they weren’t comfortable going on camera, some said they saw it more as a political statement rather than a racial one; but, either way, they agreed it was wrong–especially considering what our nation is currently going through.

“We’re not angry, we are hurt that this would happen at this point in time when we’re trying to move past bigotry and we’re trying to move past racism,” Jenkins said.

The Journal said in a statement that the cartoonist responsible will no longer be working for them, and that they’ll do a better job of reviewing and approving cartoons before they’re published.

Jenkins said she’s hoping the paper will prove that they’re truly sorry.

“In order to move forward from this, we need to see changes. We’re tired of hearing it. We’re tired of hearing people tell us ‘We’re going to do this and we’re going to do that,'” she said. “We’re not putting up with it anymore. There’s no more saying ‘I’m sorry’ and not doing anything about it.”

Jenkins, along with several others, protested outside of The Journal’s office Thursday evening. She said they will be boycotting the paper for what they published.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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