For the second time in less than five months, the Chicago Tribune pulled a Doonesbury cartoon for mentioning the charity “DonorsChoose.org” and the move has the paper once again facing accusations of a conservative editorial bias.
DonorsChoose.org is an award-wining non-profit started in 2000 by a New York school teacher looking to improve the quality of public schools which have been severely hurt by funding cuts at the state and federal level. The organization allows American public school teachers to post up classroom project requests on their website, asking for materials they desperately need to help enrich their children’s education and lives. Individuals can then donate the money or supplied for on or many of the schools in need. Once the project reaches its funding goal the materials are then delivered.
The cartoon in question featured a QR code that when scanned would take the reader to the website for DonorsChoose.org and stated that any charitable donation made from that scan would be doubled by the Doonesbury team.
DonorsChoose.org has come under attack by the far right because, among other reasons, the science books distributed do not teach creationism. DonorsChoose.org denies any political bias and has the backing of school teachers nationwide of all faiths and political beliefs. But that hasn’t stopped the attacks.
This recent action by The Chicago Tribune is an outrageous act of censorship for an institution that is purported to be a non-biased news organization and will only serve to enable this kind of baseless attack on real learning. Our public schools face enough struggles, manufactured hard-right political scandals should not be among them.
Photo from IsaacMao via flickr.