Search F News...

Bonesteel: F Newsmagazine ‘One-sided and Inaccurate’

Former SAIC professor Michael Bonesteel responds to article published in F Newsmagazine on Title IX dispute.

By Letters

Michael Bonesteel responds to F Newsmagazine’s article about his resignation, “What Happened to Michael Bonesteel.”

Dear Editor of F News:

I wish you had allowed me to respond to my accusers and their accusations. If you have any integrity, you will publish this response. I won’t go into all the aspects of the article “What Happened to Michael Bonesteel” that I found to be one-sided and inaccurate, but I just want to address the worst offense:
[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.

Sometimes when I presented a comic, I would use the dialects and accents if the character in a comic seemed to warrant it. Quashie found that offensive. OK, I can accept that criticism. If my use of the word “pickaninny” to describe a racist depiction of African Americans in early comics was inappropriate, I can accept that as well as just one more thing we aren’t allowed to say, even when describing a racist image. But when he quotes me as if I were a racist going around saying that I used to use the N-word but now I can’t, he has taken my words and totally reshaped them into his own hateful depiction of me.

– Michael Bonesteel

2 Responses to Bonesteel: F Newsmagazine ‘One-sided and Inaccurate’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 + 3 =