Garry Trudeau’s dangerous logic about Charlie Hebdo

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The Charlie Hebdo massacre

Four cartoonists Five cartoonists were among the 12 murdered at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7th.  My colleagues have banded together and continue to offer their support in the way they know best- through cartoons.

I’ll add more links later but meanwhile here’s the cartoon I drew in support of Charlie Hebdo right after hearing the horrible news:

01072015CharlieHebdoFIN

My opinion piece “The killing of cartoonists” at the Washington Post

Hong Kong demonstrations continue

The “Umbrella Revolution” enters its sixth day with the demonstrators continuing their peaceful demands for China to honor their one country, two systems promise in 1997.  Hopefully the Chinese government won’t resort to previous tactics but I admit I’m not optimistic.imagecartoon from archives 6/30/2004

My cartoon criticizing the Israeli government

Early last week I created a cartoon about the bombings in Gaza. In editorial cartooning, there are some topics which will result in intense reactions from certain groups, as did this one. The series of events started with the Simon Wiesenthal Center issuing a press release last Friday from which the Jerusalem Post wrote a short article titled “US Jews furious over Washington Post cartoon showing Netanyahu punching Palestinian infant” (I’ll note the JP did not ask me for a comment).  So all weekend and again this morning I’ve been getting tweets and emails, some obviously group orchestrated,  accusing me of antisemitism and that I support Hamas.  Anyone remotely familiar with my work knows I never criticize people’s religious beliefs, only the actions of governments and the leaders of any organization which try to influence public policies that affect ordinary people’s lives.

I’ve been in this profession long enough to know that dealing with blowback and angry reactions about a cartoon is part of the job description. However unlike my male colleagues I also am receiving sexually violent and misogynistic threats in response to this cartoon. During the Danish cartoon controversy in 2006 I maintained that regardless of what one thinks about a cartoon and its message, no one or group has the right to threaten or censor a cartoonist. You have the right to criticize, protest, or draw your own response to the cartoon- but violence and threats are not acceptable. I am a firm believer in every person’s free speech rights, regardless if a group finds the message offensive.

I’ll give the Simon Wiesenthal Center credit for acknowledging my free speech rights but they should be aware of what some of their supporters are saying in response to their press release. Drawing a line in the Danish Cartoon Controversy2006 cartoon in response to the Drawing Mohammed cartoon controversy

Day 3- Memorial de Caen cartoon conference

Panel: “Cartooning in war time”
Cartoonists from Palestine, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, and Russia discuss working in countries under repressive governments and during wartime.

Sabaaneh/ Iran Mohammad Sabaaneh, Palestine
“The most hard thing a cartoonist faces in the Arab world… is the audience”

Alizadah, Iran Javad Alizadeh, Iran
“If I think about danger, I would never draw a cartoon”

Bogorad/ Russia Victor Bogorad, Russia
“Most magazines and newspapers prefer not to deal with the subject” (Putin and Ukraine)

Gueddar/ Morocco Khalid Gueddar, Morocco
“Sex, Religion, Royal family” (taboos in Morocco)

Lounis/ Algeria Djamel Lounis, Algeria
“No satirical reviews in Algeria anymore (due to) repressive laws concerning journalists”

Senator McConnell, defender of Free $peech

The Senate minority leader has a column in the Washington Post today where he describes himself as “…a longtime defender of the First Amendment”.  I did manage to avoid spraying the keyboard with my morning cup of coffee.  The only free speech Mitch McConnell has ever been concerned with is the campaign contribution kind.032202Free$peech