Politico Cartoon Ill-Timed, Offensive…But I’m Glad They Published It 0

Politico, a news organization focused on politics, finds itself facing harsh criticism after posting a cartoon by Mark Wuerker that many have referred to as “tone-deaf.” The cartoon depicts a racist, secessionist man thanking God for being rescued, while a Coast Guard rescuer responds that it is the government that saved him, not God. The cartoon is clearly offensive on many levels and many consider it ill-timed considering the current state of Texas following Hurricane Harvey, and thank God it is!

The cartoon is clearly offensive. The depiction of Texans as racists, ignorant, and secessionists is outrageous. Clearly this is an attack on Christianity and the values of many in the Lone Star state. The attitude of the cartoonist is that Texans support racist ideals, as the man in the cartoon is proudly wearing a confederate flag t-shirt. The man also proudly displays a “SECEDE” sign on his home scrawled across the state flag. Clearly, Wuerker does not think much of Texans.

The cartoon is unbelievably tone-deaf. Hurricane Harvey has caused billions of dollars in damage, left 50,000 people or more without a home, and even led to dozens of deaths. Touted as the worst national disaster in the country’s history (which is still in debate), Harvey’s visit to Houston is nevertheless a life-changing natural disaster for thousands of people. It is unbelievably offensive that Wuerker would choose this time to post his political views about a state that may take years to recover from Harvey’s visit.

However, once again, thank God Politico published it, bad taste or not.

Unless things have changed drastically since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, we still a First Amendment in this country that guarantees free speech, even when it is in poor taste. It was in facta great blessing that Politico chose to exercise that right at this time.

The backlash against the cartoon was swift. People flocked to Twitter to express their outrage, and Politico responded by removing the tweet of the cartoon. Cartoonist Mark Wuerker was forced to explain his cartoon, pointing out that it was an attack on secessionists and not on Texans in general. Interesting, considering that it is Californians who are currently talking about attempting to secede from the Union.

Regardless of whom the cartoon was aimed at, Politico did not need to remove the tweet and Wuerker had nothing to explain or apologize for. He was simply exercising his right to say or draw anything he wanted. You may not like what the cartoonist drew, but you should love the fact that he had the right to draw it. This is what seems to be getting lost here.

Too often, there is a call to limit people’s speech because it is offensive or, at the very least, not politically correct. This has led the fascist group Antifa to riot to stop conservative speakers from appearing in Berkeley, students attempting to stop Bill Maher from delivering the commencement address at the University of California-Berkley (of all places, Berkeley being the historical home town of the Free Speech movement),  and attempts to force both Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity off the air. Silencing opposing views has become the new norm, sadly espoused in great part by the one group who should be supporting free speech most – Progressives.

The Progressive movement has become the number one advocate for shutting down opposing viewpoints. This is most obvious on college campuses, where students have lost all sense of what the First Amendment means. They simply can’t take a joke anymore, proven by the fact that Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Larry the Cable Guy have all stopped performing on college campuses because, as Seinfeld puts it, “They can’t take a joke.”

When a Jew, a black man, and a redneck all agree that kids can’t take a joke, there is a serious problem. Political correctness has gone wild in this country, to the point that some colleges are changing how they refer to different groups of people so as to not be offensive in any way. In 2015, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) provided a guide to students on new terms that would be used. No longer were people rich, they were “people of material wealth.” A person cannot be described as poor. Now they are people of “low economic status related to a person’s education, occupation and income.” Try fitting that into a 1,000 word essay on the plight of the poor in the inner-city. Oh sorry, the plight of those who have low economic status related to a person’s education, occupation and income. On the bright side, at least they didn’t force the use of the Oxford comma in their list.

A person is no longer gay or homosexual. Now they are “same sex loving.” Healthy people are “non-disabled,” a man or woman in a wheelchair is a “person who is wheelchair mobile,” and obese people are “people of size.” Men and women cannot even be described by these terms because gender related terms are offensive as well. UNH, the American Psychology Association, and American Association of Colleges and Universities have all pushed for the use of terms that ensure that no one is offended. Well, no offense, but these stupid terms are offensive.

During a time where the country needs to rally together to help the literally millions of Americans who are struggling to find the basic necessities of life, Mark Wuerker decided that this was the perfect opportunity to create an offensive cartoon that Politico really had no reason to publish…but it did get published! Wuerker and Politico were simply exercising their free speech rights and, instead of attacking them for doing so, we should be thanking them. Once again, you may not like the cartoon, but you should love that Wuerker not only drew it, but that Politico published it. This is what America is about, and if students and Progressives weren’t such babies they would get that. Hopefully, they are offended now.