Torch of Liberty

Torch of Liberty

I hope this cartoon isn’t the Rorschach Test I dread it could be.

It refers to the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act earlier this week, which practically guarantees a lot of black people and other minorities in the South will be disenfranchised next election–unless, of course, Congress can act to restore the invalidated provisions in a manner SCOTUS deems Constitutionally-appropriate (hah!).

I thought the “free at last” segment from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech might be repurposed to refer to this decision as a backwards step for Civil Rights if I were to pair it with an image that was neither subtle, nor easily-misinterpreted.

While this definitely fulfills the first requirement, I’m not quite as certain it meets the second, now that it’s finished. My thinking when I first had the idea was that Klansmen are practically unmistakable as dumb, clownish bad guys to most people, but it occurs to me now that this could possibly be read in completely the opposite direction–as mocking the ideals represented by King’s speech, and championing the “States Rights!” dogwhistle, instead–if a reader doesn’t immediately pick up on the intended negative symbolism of the Klansman. I don’t know if that’s as clearly evident in the drawing as it needs to be.

I thought about slightly altering the last line of the dialogue to read, “Thank SCOTUS Almighty, we’re free to discriminate at last!” but decided that didn’t work, because it already goes without saying that people in the KKK are generally discriminatory, and even minor changes to the exact language of the speech took all the punch out of the gag.

Hopefully I’ll have something better up, soon. I’ve been really busy with other stuff, lately, such as a much-needed redesign for my other website, and finally starting to draw things related to another project I’ve been developing for a few years.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 29th, 2013 at 11:48 pm and is filed under Cartoons & Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Torch of Liberty”

You know, if you’re going to put that much thought into your work, you’re never going to make it as a political cartoonist.

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