This is just not a mistake! The State University of New York at Plattsburgh has apologized for printing a racist illustration alongside an article about diversity in their college newspaper.
The article was well received by readers – but not so the image of a Black student with “bulging eyes and an exaggerated white mouth,” wearing a cap and gown while walking through a ravaged town complete with broken stop sign, damaged cars, and broken windows.
After students questioned why the Black student wasn’t depicted in a more positive light — like reading a book on campus — the staff issued an apology on their website, acknowledging that the illustration is a disconnect from the story and not meant to offend anyone.
Many of you may have seen the illustration on top of the front page of this week’s Cardinal Points, accompanying the article “Minority admission rates examined.” It has come to our attention that the graphic in question not only has a disconnect to the article it was created to work with, but it also unintentionally features offensive and stereotypical elements that misrepresent African American students.
Students were also troubled to see the offending illustrator, Jonny Zajac, post the cartoon on Instagram with the caption, “My favorite person in Plattsburg #ni**ers.” Instagram has since deleted the tag and the account has been suspended.