The West Australian newspaper published a wildly offensive cartoon in today’s paper and hoo boy, it’s really… not good.
The Modesty Blaise cartoon made it into the Monday edition of the West Australian newspaper without being picked up for its obvious racism towards Indigenous Australians.
Just wondering how many people were involved in the chain of decision making, to allow this cartoon to be printed in the @westaustralian newspaper in 2020? I’m literally devastated this has been printed and our children have access to this. Honestly wish I was surprised though!! pic.twitter.com/eK3rHUCU1E
— Shelley Ware (@ShelleyWare) June 29, 2020
The whole cartoon is incredibly racist in nature, depicting White characters using racial slurs to discuss an Indigenous Australian. Lines in the strip include blatant racism such as “that [offensive slur] will smell us out quicker than a bloodhound.”
The paper later issued an apology explaining that the cartoon, which was actually drawn back in 1981, was supplied by an outside agency.
“Today, The West Australian newspaper ran a Modesty Blaise cartoon that contained offensive racial stereotypes that have no place in our newspaper,” a statement read.
“In fact, it’s the very kind of marginalisation and bigotry The West Australian and its reporters have been trying to stamp out.”
Although the cartoon (thankfully) wasn’t drawn recently, it is concerning that content of this offensive nature can make it to print without anybody picking up on the inappropriate subject matter.
Considering how prevalent the Black Lives Matter movement has been in recent weeks, and the fact that next week (July 5-12) is NAIDOC Week here in Australia, this sort of content should’ve never made it to print.
The West Australian has pledged not to reevaluate their publishing of Modesty Blaise cartoons and will not be printing them until the review is completed.
“The West Australian has been publishing Modesty Blaise as a cartoon strip for decades,” a statement read. “That is now under review and Modesty Blaise will not be published in the meantime.”
Although the comic was written back in 1981, this sort of content has no place in our society. Thanks to the huge support of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks, there are more resources to educate yourself than ever before. Pick up a book, listen to a podcast and listen to Indigenous voices both on social media and in real life.
Here at PEDESTRIAN.TV, we’ve published some helpful resources to get you started with educating yourself on Indigenous issues. By no means is this an extensive list, but it’s a good place to start.