People Misreading Six Chix?

By | Friday, July 31, 2020 Leave a Comment
I caught this Six Chix comic on Tuesday and thought, "I swear -- fuckin' Karens!"

Six Chix comic

And then I moved on. I kind of glossed over it because it's not really a joke. I mean, this actually happens. There are people out there who are just so dismissive of issues that Black people face -- that are so dismissive of the aims behind the Black Lives Matter movement -- that they feel free to make jokes at their expense. The "I can't breathe" message came from the last words of Eric Garner as he was being strangled to death by a New York City cop. It seemed like a perfect metaphor for people protesting the murder, as it was endemic of the systemic killings of Black people at the hands of police, as well as symbolizing how no one was listening to them. Garner repeated, "I can't breathe" over and over but Daniel Pantaleo ignored his words and continued to choke him to death. And do you know what the New York Police Department said in response to the protests? "We hear you." Literally, they said, "We hear you" in response to a case about cop who absolutely did not want to hear what Garner said with his dying breath.

So when I saw Bianca Xunise's comic, it didn't strike me as amazingly clever or witty or anything, as it's pretty damn close to what people say to Black people. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn if this literally happened to her exactly as she depicted it.

It turns out, though, that the comic caused a bit of a stir. Apparently, some significant number of readers felt it was trying to say that masks are stupid and useless, and people who do wear them should be mocked. This includes several newspaper editors who have since dropped Six Chix.
Newspaper apology from running the comic

Look, the comic isn't that hard to figure out. You can debate about the quality of the illustration, or the originality of the joke, or the nature of the composition, or any of the other technical aspects of the comic. And you can find it funny or unfunny. But if you don't get it? If you misread it as being against mask-wearing during a pandemic? Odds are that you're deliberately not getting it. And you can fuck off because you're part of the problem!
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