Monday, March 12, 2012

Artleytoons Spiked Cartoon

(click on image for larger view)

From the Artleytoons' vault, I dug out this cartoon that never saw print. News about disparity between whites and minorities in the Viginia gifted students programs made me think of those old scenes of separate bathrooms and water fountains. My editor felt the cartoon would open old wounds here in Viginia. So, it was nixed.

I'm a Yankee transplant here, so only know the history from a distance. But, there are places where records of the old days can be found. The Pentagon (built at the beginning of WWII) has twice as many toilets and water fountains as necessary, because planners had to follow Virginia segregation laws.

Things are quite different now; more than just the laws. In fact, I see much more social integration here than I ever saw in the Midwest, and not confined to the "enlightened" cultural elite. Among both young and old, women and men, on street corners and in coffee shops — mixed races hang out together. I rarely saw that in the "progressive" Northern states where I grew up. So, perhaps the editor had a point in not wanting to open old wounds that are apparently healing so well.

That doesn't mean bigotry, racism, and disparity in the system does not exist. They may not be blatantly evident as separate water fountains, but there are undertones.

In retrospect, I think this cartoon should have been published, regardless of the editors' concerns. Editorial commentaries of this nature are designed to provoke thought, despite what "old wounds" it may provoke. There is evidence that divisive inequities are still pervasive in principle. And, this image is a bold reminder of that, however uncomfortable it may be.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely like your description of the "behind the scenes" of this cartoon in your comment. Very interesting!


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