prisoner Political Cartoons
I just got this interesting email from the editorial page editor of the Pocono Record:
Just wanted to pass along a criticism from a very, very angry white male reader.
On Sunday, Aug. 2 I ran an editorial on prison reform noting the U.S. claim to fame-high prison population and advocating that we look more closely at models where electronic monitoring, parole etc. are used.
This afternoon I came back from lunch to find a real lunatic-fringe, more than 5-minute-long diatribe on my voice mail. The guy ran out of time, so he called back and left another few minutes of vituperation.
To accompany the corrections-reform edit, I had used your March 5, 2008 cartoon of the guys in striped jail suits jumping out of the bursting can. I also ran, small, in the editorial, Adam Zyglis’ cartoon of the same date dealing with the same topic.
This caller was outraged because all the prisoners he could see in the cartoons were white. He took off on that big-time.
Adding fuel to the fire was a story we ran on page 1 that day featuring an interview of a local white woman whose son, a Marine, had been killed along with his black wife, while stationed in California. Four black guys, fellow Marines, have been charged. The guy took off on that, too, saying that if it had been four white guys it would be all over the news (It WAS all over the news, but apparently he missed that page-one point somehow Â· .)
Anyway I just wanted to pass along this guy’s seething, roiling criticism of the liberal media portraying criminals as white and victims as minorities.
So next time you depict jail birds, if you want to make this guy happy make sure they’re all black, okay?
Editorial page editor
With the recent violence in Gaza the world is awash in “Israel as Nazis” cartoons. Often the cartoonist who draws these metaphors is trying to make a statement in a way that would be most offensive to the Israelis or to Jews. Â When these cartoons show up on our site, we often get a torrent of mail from readers saying the cartoons are anti-Semitic. Â
The Jew as Nazi allegory is probably the most common editorial cartoon that is drawn in the Middle East. Â Sometimes Israel/Nazi cartoons make for little media events, as happenedÂ when cartoonist Tony Auth drew a cartoon of a Star of David as a fence at a concentration camp. Â (That fence cartoon is a frequent Yahtzee that I see drawn over and over by international cartoonists; I received another one this week.)
I just received the “Israel as Nazis” cartoon below from altie cartoonist Mr. Fish, and I asked him for his thoughts (below) …
Â From Mr. Fish:
I wouldn’t necessarily call my cartoon a “Israel as Nazi” cartoon. Drawing Olmert with a swastika on his forehead or soldiers of the IDF as stormtroopers is lazy and inflammatory and too simplistic. I wanted, rather, to point up the irony that a group of people who were famously and tragically slaughtered by a powerful state would, following their torture, be transplanted to a new place and given a state that would ultimately grow powerful and then would commence in slaughtering another group of largely defenseless, malnourished, terrorized and hopeless people. I imagined that the parents and grandparents of those perpetrating the attacks on Gaza, specifically the survivors of the Holocaust, would empathize more with the agony of the Palestinians that the brutality of the Israeli government. It’s like the rape victim becoming the rapist. People, for some reason, won’t even entertain the irony I suggest, assuming instead that the horror of Germany’s treatment of the Jews would somehow make all Jews hypersensitive to that kind of brutality and the last ones to perpetrate such egregious crimes against humanity. Seems that too many people expect not only great lessons to come from well publicized mass slaughter, but lasting ones as well, which history doesn’t bear out. The Armenian holocaust didn’t prevent the Jewish holocaust, nor did the Jewish holocaust teach the lesson to Israel that people should not be forced into ghetto existence and systematically terrorized and ultimately murdered with great technological proficiency. Also, everybody knows about both World Wars – you can’t get any more public than that – and both of those wars ended with a global promise of “never again.” Some promise.
I should also say that I’ve been getting many more notes of praise for my cartoons on what’s happening in Gaza than I did when I criticized Israel for going into Lebanon in 2006. Something about the obvious criminality of Israel’s actions seem to be making those typically apologetic for state-led terror against middle eastern people much less vocal about the buffoonery of their prejudice.
Mr. Fish is a Cagle.com cartoonist, see his cartoon archive here. Â I’ll be interested to see the comments on this one. Â For more views on both sides of the Gaza conflict, see our cartoon collections: Conflict in Gaza and Gaza Children.