Monday, December 09, 2013
To update Sartre, Hell isn’t other people. It’s DKos comments.
Right now, political cartoonist Ted Rall is up against it. Several commentators on DKos attacked his depictions of Barack Obama as racist. A DKos admin heatedly endorsed the sentiment and notified Rall that he would be suspended from the site if he “did it again”. So Rall pulled his cartoons from the site. After the feature disappeared, some people on DKos continued to denigrate Rall, with a series of attacks on some of his statements that, in my view, go beyond a serious discussion of his views into simple vituperation which, repeated ad nauseum, unfairly threatens his reputation and perhaps his professional standing.
I’ve read Ted Rall and admired his work for years. In my opinion, he isn’t racist; he’s anti-elitist. Ironic detachment is not his thing. He wants the viewer to see the moral failings of his subjects in their faces as he draws them. And he’s not going to sweeten up a picture of an African American president and undercut his message just to inoculate himself charges that he’s racist, or unfair to a president that many people admire.
With decades of cartooning and reporting under his belt, Ted Rall has earned the right to practice his craft and provoke reflection, indignation, amusement, and thoughtful discussion of the issues he addresses in his cartoons—not ad hominem abuse. You can visit his website rall.com to read more about the controversy and, if you like, contact him with an expression of support, as I have.