Cartoon: Oh Those Intolerant Liberals!

intolerance

Whoops! This cartoon is from February 3rd, but I was tired then and forgot to post it here. Here’s what I wrote about it on February 3rd, on my Patreon:

Another strip based on current events. I’ve been drawing all day to get this finished, and it’s now 11pm – but it feels nice to have gotten it done.

It’s nice to have been able to take a day to turn an idea into a comic strip. And I can do that because of all the patrons here supporting me. Without you, this strip probably would have never gotten further than a doodle in my sketchbook. Thank you!

I’m going to keep this one private until Monday, so my patrons can get to see it early. But as usual, if you’re supporting these cartoons at the $5 or above level, you can start sharing it right away. Everyone else, please wait until Monday. :-)

I don’t think that leftist intolerance doesn’t exist – obviously it does. I attended Oberlin College in the late 1980s, and the social pressure to conform to liberal beliefs could be stifling. I don’t think it’s actually changed very much, except that now social media makes everything that happens on campus into potential nationwide news.

But the media seems convinced that this is solely a problem with left-wingers; this strip is about how ridiculous that is. The black bloc protesters in Seattle who broke windows1 were acting like jerks, and I don’t approve of them hijacking a much larger peaceful protest to make it all about them. But it’s not reasonable that a broken Bank of America window gets so much more coverage (and so much more hand-wringing) than a Republican official calling for a repeat of Kent State, or of a Milo fan actually shooting a protester.

I read an article – I can’t find it now, sorry – which pointed out that the shooting at the University of Seattle protest (referred to in the second panel of this strip) got much less coverage in newspapers than some Oberlin student who complained that the food served in the cafeteria was not authentic enough.

Anyhow, that was the inspiration for this strip. I hope the drawing looks good – it’s hard for me to judge, so soon after I’ve finished drawing it. I think the dude in panel 2 is my favorite.

(I wrote a blog post about the similar problems with how the media reacts to threats to free speech on campus. )

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

And here’s the transcript of the cartoon:

Panel 1 shows two “black bloc” protesters, with black hoodies and faces masked, standing with broken glass around them. One is holding a brick, and both are waving a fist in the air.

CAPTION: Berkeley: Masked far-left protesters set fires and break windows.
BB1: Oooh, look at us. We’re such hardcore rebels!
BB2: In your FACE, people who do tedious activism work that actually matters!

Panel 2
An angry man holding a smoking handgun yells at someone on the ground in front of him.
CAPTION: Seattle: A fan of a right-wing speaker shoots a left-wing protester.
ANGRY MAN: Stop trying to silence me!

Panel 3
A cheerful man in a suit and tie looks directly a the viewer, hand out in a “explaining things” gesture.
CAPTION: Michigan: A Republican party official suggests that student protesters should be shot.
MAN: Kent State is a model we should all aspire to!

Panel 4
A young white man, face distorted by hate, is standing with his back to us, holding a gun, and glaring back at us over his shoulder.
CAPTION: Quebec: A white supremacist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, Trump supporter murders six people in a Mosque.
MAN: Being privileged in every way imaginable has made me so ANGRY!

Panel 5
Three well-dressed people wear expressions of panic as they yell in unison.
CAPTION: And the pundits spoke.
PUNDITS: Why are liberals so intolerant?

  1. Who were not all the black bloc protesters there, I assume. []
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27 Responses to Cartoon: Oh Those Intolerant Liberals!

  1. 1
    desipis says:

    I think you need a panel incorporating the explicit support of violence from progressives. Then there’s other incidents of violence (e.g. by affirmative action supports).

    I also think it’s interesting how the first panel it’s “far left” while in the others its just “right wing”, “trump supporter”, etc.

  2. 2
    Ben David says:

    Yes, desipis – the response of each camp to violence is most telling. The left-wing violence is occurring within a firestorm of rhetoric about revolution and violent rejection of the results of a recent election.

    Also the “Left wing protester” shot in Seattle (frame 2 of the cartoon) was an external provocateur (member of the “Industrial Workers of the World”) brought onto a college campus to help stifle free speech…. and shot while “stifling”. Link:

    http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2017/01/shooting-of-anti-fascist-at-uw-biggest-scar-on-seattles-peaceful-weekend-of-protest/

    …. and could someone explain exactly what’s “anti-fascist” about violently suppressing the other side’s political speech, and violent vendettas against ordinary citizens who didn’t vote the way the Left wants? Or has “anti-fascist” become the latest camouflage-word used by Cloward-Piven Marxists now that “progressive” has become useless, as “liberal” was discarded before?

  3. 3
    nobody.really says:

    Is Amp really a “pundit”?

  4. 4
    AcademicLurker says:

    I also think it’s interesting how the first panel it’s “far left”

    the far left/liberal distinction seems like a legitimate one to draw to me, given that anarchists like the black bloc folks are

    1) Very very vocal about the fact that they’re not liberals

    2) Just as vociferous, if not more so, in their condemnation of liberals as in their condemnation of right wingers.

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    Eyewitness account from the Seattle Times:

    Samie Frites, a nursing assistant who said he had gone to the protest “to make sure nobody got hurt,” said he saw a man pull “something out of his coat and started firing these little projectiles into the crowd.”

    The law-enforcement source said it was pepper spray.

    “I yelled at him to stop,” Frites said. “That’s when this other guy came out of the crowd and went after him.”

    Frites said he grabbed him to try to prevent a confrontation. That’s when Frites said he heard a “muffled noise,” which he is now sure was the gunshot.

    “The guy I was holding looked back at me over his shoulder. He looked bad. He was really scared,” said Frites, who said he lowered the wounded man to the ground.

    There’s a slow-motion video of the shooting here, but it’s difficult to make out exactly what happened. It does look to me as if the shooter had his gun out before the victim approached him, but the video is pretty ambiguous.

    I don’t know with certainty what happened, and neither do you. But yes, this should have been a bigger news story than what happened at Berkeley.

  6. 6
    LTL FTC says:

    I was surprised by the sheer volume of, “well, I wouldn’t use violence to stop people I disagree with from speaking, but I certainly can’t condemn those who do” articles coming from liberals and progressives.

    It sure is convenient to have a group of people do the violence for you to get the job done without having to dirty your own hands (just wring them in front of an audience!). It’s all the benefits of violent intimidation with none of the threat of arrest or, you know, being thought of as a disruptive force that calls for a law and order response.

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    I was surprised by the way that, when people bring up right-wingers literally committing mass shootings, right-wingers will immediately ignore it and talk about left-wingers instead. You know, like this thread.

    Exactly how many right-wingers will have to mow down congregants in black churches and in mosques before any right-winger anywhere will say anything about it other than using it as an opportunity to pivot to sneering at liberals?

  8. 8
    Ruchama says:

    I was surprised by the sheer volume of, “well, I wouldn’t use violence to stop people I disagree with from speaking, but I certainly can’t condemn those who do” articles coming from liberals and progressives.

    I saw almost none of those. Most of what I saw was either “If we allow violence, then we’re just as bad as them, and if we start with Nazis, then isn’t that a slippery slope?” or “If someone’s advocating genocide, then he’s already removed himself from the standards of reasonable discourse, and he’s attempting to remove other people permanently, so go ahead and punch him.”

    I’ve also been watching a group in rural Kentucky try to deal with neo-Nazis having a gathering there. That county was chosen because it’s almost entirely white and something like 85% voted for Trump, so the neo-Nazis see it as people who ought to join them. Some people who live there are planning a counter-gathering. After watching the planning unfolding, I am impressed with the endless patience that the planner has with everybody. The general idea is “Rally for Unity and American Values.” They’ll have some speakers from the community, some local music, some activities for kids. Sounds easy.

    Well, there are several people who want to know if this is just an anti-Nazi thing, or if it’s a liberal thing, because they’re not going to go if it’s a liberal thing. (There are local politicians from both parties speaking.) People want to know if it’s REALLY bipartisan, or just pretending to be bipartisan — will they be safe if they wear a MAGA hat? (Somewhat hilariously, the guy who asked that is a professional wrestler. The response was that, after some discussion, the organizers decided that this is an anti-Nazi rally, and only an anti-Nazi rally, and any messages other than “Yay for us, people who aren’t Nazis!” are banned. So, if that professional wrestler shows up with his MAGA hat, the college kids organizing will politely ask him to leave it in his car. I don’t know what happens after that.)

    They made a rule that there will be no violence, and nothing that encourages violence, and a bunch of people from Louisville and Lexington who’d wanted to go up in the mountains and punch some Nazis got very upset about that, and said that they wouldn’t be coming. (Good riddance.) They’re asking that people who aren’t from the area please don’t attend, because they want the message to be, “We, the people that these neo-Nazis are trying to recruit, reject this.” Those same Louisville and Lexington wannabe Nazi-punchers don’t like that, either.

    Pastors from a bunch of local churches are among the speakers, and atheists say that they feel threatened and excluded, and that’s not the “unity” the rally promises. A Holocaust survivor is scheduled to speak, and someone wants to know why they didn’t invite the “real heroes,” the soldiers who liberated him. They’re asking people to send them photos of their grandfathers in their WWII uniforms, fighting Nazis the first time, and I don’t remember what the objection to that was, but there was something.

    At this point, I’m kind of grateful that I’m from far enough away that I’m in the “If you’re not local, please don’t come” group. But it really is fascinating, watching how precisely people want to define the exact way that they’re opposed to Nazis, and that they won’t be opposed to Nazis in any other manner. (A progressive-ish group that’s local to where I am is collecting money to send food to food banks there. I’ll donate to that.)

  9. 9
    David Simon says:

    @Ben David, you seem to be vaguely implying something about the victim being part of the Industrial Workers of the World. The IWW is a labor union. They’ve been around for ages. If you want us to believe that they are a sinister cabal that “[brings] out” “provocateurs” to subvert political events, or something, be more specific and provide evidence.

    Also, as far as I can tell, the article you linked does not support your claim that the victim was there to “stifle free speech”.

  10. 10
    LTL FTC says:

    Re, #7… And I’m surprised how, in order to defend a comic strip about using violent tactics to stop speakers, one has to:

    1) Paint those on the thread who disagree as “right-winger[s],” and not, at least in my case, as liberals who think decades of radical chic fetishization/excusing of righteous violence hasn’t got us anything but a few thousand Che shirts in the bottom of a few thousand dressers.

    2) Act surprised that commenters take an “opportunity to pivot to sneering at liberals” when the structure of the comic was to address anti-right, anti-speech violence by pivoting to anti-left (anti-anti-speech?) violence elsewhere.

    3) At the first sign of pushback, reach for the bloodiest possible flag to hoist, whether it’s relevant or not. The mainstream right, for all its contemptible flaws, didn’t hem and haw on whether the Charleston or Quebec massacres were acceptable in the same way the left does for anarchists. It’s apples to oranges in every way possible.

  11. 11
    Jake Squid says:

    We’ve been watching right wing terrorists – egged on by right wing organizations – blow up buildings and people on a pretty regular basis for the last, oh, 2 decades or more. We’ve been watching right wing terrorists – egged on by right wing organizations – commit mass shootings for a few years. We just watched a right winger shoot somebody at UW and another right winger convicted of crimes related to pulling guns on a BLM protest in Portland, OR.

    But the lefties are worse because reasons.

    I hear you.

  12. 12
    LTL FTC says:

    Jake, what does “worse” have to do with anything?

    Better than Tim McVeigh is a pretty low standard. The more salient question is “will being somewhat less violent than the worst of your opponents vis a vis violence yield good results?”

    Aside from catharsis (and my goodness, have left-leaning people been pouring resources into that these last three months!), I say no. Having out-of-control elements use your movement as cover just plays into the law and order playbook and strengthens the right. Heightening the contradictions and vanguard leftist violence always did more harm than good.

    If we want a world in which people aren’t scared of everybody who doesn’t look like them (and vote accordingly), this isn’t a good start.

  13. 13
    Pete Patriot says:

    The black bloc protesters in Seattle who broke windows1 were acting like jerks,…

    1. Who were not all the black bloc protesters there, I assume. [↩]

    Yeah, you just can’t pull that argument with the bloc. The whole reason a mass of other protesters are there, all dressed the same, is so those who do commit violence can benefit from anonymity provided by the group. That’s the point of the tactic – to give collective support to the actions of a few individuals. It’s really not the same as, say, isolated violence at a BLM or prolife rally, and you can’t say it’s only a few protesters given everyone else is there with the intent of enabling them.

  14. 14
    Elkins says:

    Jake, what does “worse” have to do with anything?

    Well, I’m not Jake, but I’d say that “worse” has pretty much everything to do with the cartoon which is, y’know, actually the subject of this post. I mean, I get that you think there are “more salient” questions, but those questions are not the subject of this particular piece. The piece is about the press’s tendency to elevate leftish molehills while ignoring or downplaying rightish mountains, a phenomenon which is inherently tied up in the concept of “worse.” Indeed, the premise that some forms of violence are far more serious and concerning than others is…kinda inherent to the entire cartoon, is it not? So it probably shouldn’t come as a great shock to find those same underlying assumptions reflected in the writing of those commenting on the discussion thread.

  15. 15
    Kate says:

    what does “worse” have to do with anything?

    Can you point to an incident of left wing violence in the U.S. in the past 20 years that is even remotely comparable to the gunning down of African Americans, Muslims and Sikhs in their houses of worship?
    Can you point to a democratic politician on the national stage who provides the sort of encouragement to radical, violent leftist movements that Trump is providing to white supremacists?

    The media consistently holds the left, which is a coalition of people marginalized due to race, religion, gender, sexual idenity, etc., to higher standards than the right, which is composed primarily of white men and their white wives.

    The behavior of a small minority of people on the left – smashing windows and torching cars during some protests – is bad.
    The behavior of a small minority of people on the right – committing hate crimes, the worst of which include going to people’s houses of worship and guning them down – is much worse.

    The notion that the left does not have the moral authority to condemn the hate crimes of the far right until they have totally eliminated the vandalism commited by some of their followers is absurd.

  16. 16
    desipis says:

    Can you point to an incident of left wing violence in the U.S. in the past 20 years that is even remotely comparable to the gunning down of African Americans, Muslims and Sikhs in their houses of worship?

    There are quite a few that appear to have motivations related to left-wing views. Here’s three I found with a few minutes of googling.

    Aaron Alexis: “… felt a lot of discrimination and and racism with white people especially”

    Nidal Hasan: …had an unusual focus on “whether the war on terror is a war against Islam”

    Seung-Hui Cho: …police found a note in Cho’s room in which he criticized “rich kids”

  17. 17
    Jake Squid says:

    Better than Tim McVeigh is a pretty low standard. The more salient question is “will being somewhat less violent than the worst of your opponents vis a vis violence yield good results?

    Somewhat less violent? In the same way that your oven is somewhat less warm than the sun, I guess.

  18. 18
    LTL FTC says:

    #17: Well, you can snark all you want on fragments of larger sentences, but read the whole sentence you quote. Will being violent but less so (by whatever magnitude you want) accomplish anything? Did Roof start that race war he wanted? Did McVeigh, the Mosque shooter or Sikh temple shooter accomplish their goals?

    Oh right, it caused the community to rally behind the victims and display unity in the face of violence.

    The same goes for left-wing violence of years past. FALN didn’t advance the cause of Puerto Rican independence. The SLA didn’t destroy the capitalist state. The weathermen didn’t overthrow the government. The BLA and the (violent activities of the) Black Panthers didn’t accomplish anything either.

    What they did accomplish was the emboldening of a backlash that gave us Nixon and Reagan.

    But by all means, defend away because the other guy did the dumb thing first or worse. It’s as if the media coverage mentioned in this comic wasn’t completely predictable.

    Re: #15

    The media consistently holds the left, which is a coalition of people marginalized due to race, religion, gender, sexual idenity, etc., to higher standards than the right, which is composed primarily of white men and their white wives.

    Yeah, no. The Democratic party is majority white, and I’m fairly sure that all those white people are either LGBT or non-left leftover Dixiecrats.

    And those black bloc-ers? Almost entirely white people cloaking themselves in radical chic.

  19. 19
    pillsy says:

    @LTL FTC:

    The mainstream right, for all its contemptible flaws, didn’t hem and haw on whether the Charleston or Quebec massacres were acceptable in the same way the left does for anarchists.

    No, they just said the Quebec shooting was perpetrated by a jihadist in order to justify their Muslim ban. This suggests that it did help advance the shooter’s goals, with the active complicity of the mainstream right.

  20. 20
    pillsy says:

    Hey, remember that time the “mainstream right” nominated a guy who encouraged his supporters to beat protesters up at his rallies and praised them for attacking random Latino guys, and then supported him vigorously and got him elected President?

    I know, it was a really, really long time ago and we shouldn’t dredge up the ancient past, but it did happen once.

  21. 21
    Ell says:

    What’s funny is that some of the people above are asking for examples of certain types of violence in the US – and apparently only the US – while the cartoon deals, at least in one major case, with violence against Muslims in a foreign country.

    If we even open it up to French-speaking countries, I think a bit more of the called-for examples of violence could be found.

    Kinda major framing.

  22. 22
    Ampersand says:

    To me, Canada feels like “part of the local culture” in a way that France does not. And, also, keep in mind all the events in the cartoon happened within two weeks of each other. If I went beyond that narrow window – looking just as the past decade, for example – it’s not exactly hard to find examples of right-wing violence, including the threat or use of deadly force, in the US.

  23. 23
    Harlequin says:

    The mainstream right, for all its contemptible flaws, didn’t hem and haw on whether the Charleston or Quebec massacres were acceptable in the same way the left does for anarchists.

    Leaving aside the different scales of violence (which is a big thing to leave aside)–did you see much condemnation of anti-abortion violence from the right? How about George Zimmerman? Not to mention the widespread right-wing support of violent, discriminatory actions by state actors (against illegal immigrants, against PoCs, etc).

  24. 24
    Jake Squid says:

    No snark. No snark. You’re the snarker.

  25. 25
    Kate says:

    Depsis @ 16
    It’s very telling that you chose to leave out the titles by which they are best known – the Navy Yard shooter, the Fort Hood shooter and the Virginia Tech shooter. People try to avoid using their names, because many are motivated by the desire for notoriety. I acknowledge that none of those shootings were done by people who are of the American right wing. But, despite your cherry-picked quotes, I see no reason to attribute left wing views to any of them.
    All three seem to have chosen their targets for personal reasons – because they worked/went to school there. The Virginia Tech shooter, in particular, said he was motivated by Columbine shooting – also personal and non-political. He is also held up as a martyr by extreme elements of the MRA movement. Only the Fort Hood shooter had an explicitly political motive – and that was a far-right interpretation of Islam (which is not of the U.S. right, of course – but it isn’t left either).

  26. 26
    Kate says:

    Me @ 15

    The media consistently holds the left, which is a coalition of people marginalized due to race, religion, gender, sexual identity, etc., to higher standards than the right, which is composed primarily of white men and their white wives.

    LTL FTC @ 18

    Yeah, no. The Democratic party is majority white, and I’m fairly sure that all those white people are either LGBT or non-left leftover Dixiecrats.

    The Democratic party is 57% white, the Republican party is 86% white according to your link. The majority of white Democrats are marginalized based on gender alone, since over half are women (due to the gender gap, this is not the case in the Republican party). Many more are also non-Christians, and (yes) members of the LGBT community
    To your other points, I don’t see anyone here advocating for violence. We’re arguing against double standards and false equivalencies. So, you’ve set up a bit of a straw man.
    Whether violence is effective or not is irrelevant. Encouraging violence is wrong. However, any large movement is going to have a violent fringe. The question is, how do they handle that fringe? Trump is encouraging his white supremacist followers with his rhetoric. They have responded with enthusiastic support, and an uptick in hate crimes.
    The leaders of the left are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They do not encourage violent leftists. The violent elements of the left have responded by refusing to support the Democratic party and their violence is mostly limited to property crimes carried out during protests.
    But, even this shows a false equivalency. Sanders and Warren, although they are as extreme as left-wing senators get, are not comparable to the most extreme right wing senators, like Sessions, and Cruz. They’re more akin to left equivalents of GOP moderates like McCain and Rubio. To find left equivalents of Sessions, Cruz and Trump, one needs to look at the House. I think Alan Greyson and former representative Anthony Weiner would have the potential to develop into left wing authoritarians if they were given encouragement. But, they aren’t – and that’s a good thing.

  27. 27
    Ell says:

    “To me, Canada feels like “part of the local culture” in a way that France does not. And, also, keep in mind all the events in the cartoon happened within two weeks of each other. If I went beyond that narrow window – looking just as the past decade, for example – it’s not exactly hard to find examples of right-wing violence, including the threat or use of deadly force, in the US.”
    ______________________________________

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