Michael Bonesteel responds to F Newsmagazine’s article about his resignation, “What Happened to Michael Bonesteel.”
Dear Editor of F News:
[Compton] Quashie alleges that after asking Bonesteel to refrain from using the slur “pickaninny” and cease reading characters of color in stereotypical voices, Bonesteel responded by saying, “it used to be okay to call black people n*****s but now I have to watch what I say.
Quashie’s “quote” by me is not only taken out of context but inaccurate. What I remember saying to Quashie is that the word n****r was used in historic comics of the 1950s. R. Crumb used it satirically in the 1960s. When I began teaching comics I asked my Art History chairman if I could present R. Crumb’s underground comics and she said, yes, of course. So that’s what I was doing.
After students like Quashie began complaining several years ago, I found that I had to self-censor the way I presented the material, often to the point of not presenting it all. Today, if one actually says the word n****r, particularly if one is white, one is branded a racist even if one is quoting from a comic. That’s what I was doing, quoting from a comic.
– Michael Bonesteel