This cartoon, featured in Investor’s Business Daily, a business newspaper widely viewed as having a conservative editorial page, decided to delve into racial politics this weekend when it depicted a lynching tree labeled “Sharpton,” with four lynched bodies – each labeled “truth.” The captions underneath the bodies read: ’Tawana Brawley Hoax,’ ‘Crown Heights,’ ‘Freddie’s Fashion Mart’ and ‘Zimmerman Trial.’
According to Think Progress: "Crown Heights, Freddie’s Fashion Mart, and the Tawana Brawley hoax are all cases in which Sharpton was deeply involved. And all three turned out to be somewhat disastrous — a riot in Crown Heights, a shooting at Freddie’s, and a false rape accusation by Tawana Brawley.”
Let’s talk about what is “okay” about this cartoon first:
It is okay for the cartoonist, Michael Ramirez, to freely use his first amendment rights to question and take issue with Sharpton’s career and these controversies. This is OKAY.
But that’s it. That’s the only thing that is okay about this fuckin’ cartoon.
Let’s now talk about what’s not okay about this picture:
- Depicting black bodies being “lynched” in a cartoon that is not used to represent any means of historical accuracy to educate or reflect on a troubled American history with African Americans is NOT OKAY.
- Using an activist’s name, hell I don’t care which you use, as the pun of a satirical cartoon in which violence is depicted in any form, is NOT OKAY.
- Each of the bodies being lynched bears the word “Truth,” which I take serious offense to, as the black bodies of men and women were often strung up on trees in which they did nothing wrong. The real “Truth” is a historical inaccuracy, as these men’s truth, justice and liberty were often stolen from them because they were black. So, no, there isn’t any “Truth” hanging on those trees with those controversial captions Ramirez mentioned. This is NOT OKAY.
- Approximately 5,000 Black people were killed in the 19th and 20th centuries due to lynchings. Depicting a cartoon about this history inaccurately is NOT OKAY.
- Two major conservative publications, National Review and Investor’s Business Daily, decided to run this terrible non-factual cartoon. This is NOT OKAY.
I could rant about how disgusting I find this cartoon, but I find no need and getting myself worked up about it.
And people say ignorance is bliss. This is also, NOT OKAY.
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