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The Toronto Star is repenting for publishing a cartoon showcasing a racial stereotype. The illustration, drawn by Michael de Adder, shows a little Black girl under the header “Injuries ot Expect Before They Are Two” and notes a “head laceration from a medium-caliber bullet,” as one of her expected wounds.

Published last Wednesday (July 18), two days after a local shooting which killed two people, and injured 23—including a toddler—the paper issued an apology after being criticized by readers. “That was the last thing that de Adder, and the Star, intended to convey,” read the apology, referencing reader responses accusing them reinforcing stereotypes and being insensitive to the aforementioned shooting. “In hindsight, though, we should have been more aware that the cartoon could be read in a way that would reinforce stereotypes.”

De Adder also issued an apology via his website stating his alleged true intentions. “When there’s tragedy like this, drawing a cartoon is very difficult,” he wrote. “You don’t intend to offend anybody. You intend to make people pause or maybe think.”

Children being shot is far from a laughing matter, and continues to make headlines across the globe. As previously reported a 4-year-old boy in the Bronx was shot in the head during a basketball game, and one minor was killed in Chicago Monday (July 23) following a shooting spree that left six people injured.

Regardless of their motive, the Star should have known better than to release a cartoon of that magnitude regardless of the fact that a shooting had just occurred in the city.

Click below to see the full drawing.


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