Archive for February, 2023

Now Is Not the Time — This Is Much Too Divisive

Now Is Not the Time — This Is Much Too Divisive

In Michigan, certain basic rights are codified by the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976. It specifically prohibits, “discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.”

Of course it took awhile to evolve for such a law to be created. Now, nearly 50 years later, our society has evolved further to consider additional rights — specifically, whether Elliot-Larsen includes protection from discrimination for LGBTQ Michiganders.

This has already worked its way through the judiciary, and last summer a 5-2 majority of the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the law does include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. However, State Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) is sponsoring a bill to make that actual law. It is now on the calendar for a formal vote.

Previous efforts never made it out of Republican-controlled legislatures, often with the excuse that “it was not the right time and the issue was too divisive.” The cartoon is just a gentle reminder of how well that excuse holds up to history.


It’s About the Children. Or Is It?

It's About the Children. Or Is It?

I just couldn’t figure out a way to properly express my deep, deep sadness with the mass shooting on the Michigan State University campus this week. It’s simply too much to distill. Also, honestly, it was yet another mass shooting in the USA — we’ve gotten to the point where we reflexively rank these things. (Only three dead? Not so bad.)

We. Are. Broken. If you don’t think so, then you should know that, as I write this, there have already been five more mass shooting since Monday. Statistically, there will be at least a couple more before you read this. I just didn’t feel like drawing a tearful Sparty was going to help anybody.

Instead, I wanted to alert you to the fact that gun violence (of which mass shootings are only a small part) is now the number one cause of death for those 19-years-old and younger in the United States. And even though only one of the three beautiful young people who died Monday was technically in that category, close enough. Too frickin’ close.

We. Are. Broken.


Why Not More Than $180? They Gotta Be Careful…

Why Not More Than $180? They Gotta Be Careful...

This is a bit of a strange thing for me to write, but I hope you don’t read too much politics into today’s cartoon. My intention was to go a little lighter — poke fun at this cold, miserable, arthritic, melt-off so everything is gray and brown February weather. Even in more typical winter conditions, it is our Michigander instinct to look for a way out and typically that translates into a trip to Florida. It’s especially intense now because we don’t even have the snow to cover the ugly.

It wasn’t until I was putting the finishing touches on the cartoon that I thought about all the political minutia associated with Florida these days: DeSantis, Trump, banned books, don’t say gay, culture wars, and so on. (Then of course there is also the everyday “Florida man” insanity that makes Florida Florida.)

There is lots to say about all that. And, please, go ahead and think those thoughts if you wish. But as far as this cartoon goes, my thought stopped with, “nice place to visit.” (Still, I’m glad I don’t live there.)


Why Do We Even Need Black History Month?

Why Do We Even Need Black History Month?

The genesis of this cartoon was actually a James Baldwin quote I had come across earlier this week:

“If any white man in the world says give me liberty or give me death, the entire white world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing — word for word — he is judged a criminal and treated like one.”

That’s just how brilliant Baldwin was: He was able to create a complete editorial cartoon without having to draw anything.

There was no improving on that, so instead I tried to frame an observation about race and race relations in America from my experience. It worries me when people put iconic civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, and Rosa Parks in the “safe” category.

The fact is, they were very smart, keenly observant human beings. And because of that, they were often quite bold and sometimes even angry. They were radicals. Not acknowledging that diminishes their full legacy.