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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Comic creator comes after chaos

    A UA student asks Daily Wildcat Editor in Chief Lauren LePage a question during a meeting held to address the printing of Keith Knights presidential campaign comic strip on Nov. 5.
    A UA student asks Daily Wildcat Editor in Chief Lauren LePage a question during a meeting held to address the printing of Keith Knight’s presidential campaign comic strip on Nov. 5.

    Keith “”Keef”” Knight, author of the “”K Chronicles”” comic strip, will present on campus today about his work and answer students’ questions during an open panel discussion at the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

    Knight said he has a slideshow planned from 6 to 7 p.m. that “”will give people a chance to see the work I’ve done over the past 15 years.””

    He added, “”Over the past two weeks, everyone’s had their say. I want to be part of the dialogue.””

    Journalism professor Terry Wimmer and assistant African American studies professor Wendy Theodore will join Knight on the panel to address students’ concerns about Knight’s controversial comic that appeared in the Daily Wildcat on Nov. 5. The comic showed a presidential election campaign canvasser asking a woman who she and her husband were voting for. She shouts back to him, and he says they’re voting for the n—–. The comic strip spelled out half of the racial slur.

    Knight said what he does is a “”combination of making people laugh and/or making them think … Long before comics were funny, they were political.””

    After the presentation, students will hand in questions on notecards to drive the panel’s discussion.

    “”It’s an opportunity to get educated and informed about something that is not addressed in the classroom,”” said Seema Patel, administrative vice president of ASUA.

    This event will address the concerns of students who “”felt marginalized”” in this process because they “”were not represented””, she said.

    Patel said she expects to see students bring up a “”wide variety of issues.””

    These could include the use derogatory language in the media and how to draw the line between hate speech and political cartoons, she said.

    Former ASUA senator Ezekiel Gebrekidane helped organize this event and said, “”It’s good for our campus to have this open dialogue about something people are not comfortable with.””

    Gebrekidane said he hopes to “”get students from every corner of campus”” to come and “”looks forward to seeing a positive dialogue.””

    Alex Dalenberg, president of the UA chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, said it “”will be good to have a discussion that doesn’t dissolve into media bashing.””

    Dalenberg said he was concerned that “”people were using journalists as a punching bag for this,”” but looks forward to a discussion “”in an

    environment where everyone is fairly represented.””

    Knight said that this is not his first comic that has sparked controversy.

    “”I’ve gotten death threats from gun enthusiasts,”” Knight said. He also wrote a series of post-911 cartoons, questioning the (White House) administration that would have received a better reaction now than it did then, he said.

    “”I don’t try to be controversial … I never think that way,”” Knight said. “”I don’t think I do anything gratuitously.

    Knight’s presentation comes with a hefty price tag, as the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the Dean of Students Office and various campus groups shelled out $4,000 for the visit.

    ASUA covered $2,000, while the other $2,000 was covered by the Dean of Students, Residence Life and the Diversity Resource Office, said Jessica Anderson, ASUA executive vice president. Knight’s visit is topped off with a full-page Daily Wildcat advertisement, valued at $1,000.

    The Daily Wildcat ran each of Knight’s cartoons at $15 per comic.

    This event is hosted by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Union Activities Board, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and the Society of Professional Journalists.

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