WRAL opinion cartoonist depicts State Board of Education members as racists

Image of tweet from Capitol Broadcasting about Republican members of the State Board of Education.

RALEIGH – WRAL, the Raleigh TV station owned by left-wing donor James Goodmon, is facing instense criticism following its latest editoral cartoon.

WRAL’s opinion cartoonist, Dennis Draughon, depicts Republican State Board of Education members as members of the KKK.

Draughon characterizes some members of the board, including Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is black, and Olivia Oxendine, who is Native American, as racists for their opposition to controversial social studies standards that sparked debate last week.

Amy White, another board member who pushed back on the standards, heads up Community of Hope Ministries as its executive director. In 2017, Community of Hope Ministries was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream in Action Award.

The SBOE, which is led by appointees of Gov. Roy Cooper, scheduled the meeting a time conflicting with Robinson’s duties to preside over the Senate, but Robinson instead called into the meeting to voice his opposition.

North State Journal has reached out to Seth Effron, the TV station’s opinion editor, for comment. While not acknowledging NSJ, Effron did release a statement late Wednesday, an indication of the severe backlash from the cartoon.

Effron said, “Editorial cartoons are creative and provocative, using hyperbole and satire. No one believes Republicans on the State Board of Education are members of the Ku Klux Klan.  The editorial cartoon by Dennis Draughon is meant to point out that these members of the State Board are trying to wipe out from the social studies curriculum the record of racism which includes the Klan and the segregationist practices that were imposed in our state and nation’s history.”

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Robinson said, “On the second day of Black History Month, the first black lieutenant governor has been portrayed as such. Robinson said, pointing to the cartoon. “This is not someone’s Facebook page. This is one of the largest television stations in the state.”

Robinson added, “There are some serious discussions about these standards. If they’re not divisive, then how did we end up here?” 

At some point later Tuesday, the cartoonist, Draughon, locked his Twitter account from public view.