On Strips: Editorializing this Week

By | Friday, July 08, 2016 Leave a Comment
This week has been horrible. In the early, early hours of Tuesday morning, an off-duty New York City police officer shot and killed Delrawn Small, an unarmed Black man, in front of his girlfriend and three children. There's allegedly video of the event but police have refused to release it. At roughly the same time as Small's death, a Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed Alton Sterling. Sterling was forced to the ground with two cops holding him in place when one of them fired five shots at point blank range. This was captured on multiple cameras, and the two that have surfaced online suggest this was more of an execution than anything else. Then on Wednesday night, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer outside of Minneapolis over a broken headlight on his car. His girlfriend used her cell phone to broadcast much of the incident running live on Facebook.

Like I said, it's been a horrible week. And given that we've had this discussion of police brutally killing innocent and unarmed Black people (almost always without any repercussions) many times before -- so many times before -- you'd think editorial cartoonists would have something to say about it. Yet as of last night, here are all the police/shooting related cartoons from this week available on politicalcartoons.com, "the largest searchable database of political cartoons on the web!"
Exactly two. Lots of nonsense about Trump and Clinton, Jupiter, Brexit... hell, I even found one commenting on Alvin Toffler's death last week, which I wasn't aware of.

I didn't have much better luck at GoComics either...
I can't imagine cartoonists don't care about these killings, but why are so few touching the subject? Are they scared of a backlash like Ted Rall received when he openly criticized a police incident he was involved in last year? They seemed more critical two years ago after Eric Garner's killer was let off the hook.

People of color have (justifiably) been fearful of the police for years. If cartoonists are as well now... well, I'm already scared of the police myself, but I scared for the whole damn country if cartoonists aren't willing to cast a harsh light on those who deserve it.
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