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!
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!
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!
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!
Three well-dressed people wear expressions of panic as they yell in unison.
CAPTION: And the pundits spoke.
PUNDITS: Why are liberals so intolerant?
- Who were not all the black bloc protesters there, I assume. [↩]
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.
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:
…. 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?
Is Amp really a “pundit”?
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.
Eyewitness account from the Seattle Times:
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.
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.
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?
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.)
@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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
Somewhat less violent? In the same way that your oven is somewhat less warm than the sun, I guess.
#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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
No snark. No snark. You’re the snarker.
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).
Me @ 15
LTL FTC @ 18
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.
“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.”
Charges filed after University of Washington shooting outside Milo Yiannopoulos event | KIRO-TV
Apparently the wife was the shooter; I now wish I had drawn a female character in panel 2.
Did you see the videos from violence on 15th April in Berkeley? There were rocks, bricks and low grade explosives being thrown indiscriminately into crowds, and there were make-shift flails being used to strike people in the head, people who were standing around trying to talk, and there were people armed with knives and glass bottles. The shooting was a bit of an anomaly at the time, but the violence seems to be escalating towards the point were it won’t be.
As a federal criminal defense and civil rights attorney, I would encourage you to question (not necessarily disregard) anything that the prosecutor says in a statement. In my experience, the real facts are often, if not always, far more nuanced. I would say this regardless of who the defendant is.
I completely agree!
I’ve been reading news reports about the Avenue of Roses parade in Portland having to be cancelled because of threatened violence. From what I can see, a group calling itself “Direct Action Alliance” made a bunch of what seem to me at least to be quite outlandish claims about how the participation of the Multnomah County Republicans in the parade (as they apparently have done for years) endangered various groups and on that basis threatened to disrupt the parade. I’ve seen reports that an e-mail was sent to the parade organizers that threatened to have hundreds of people show up and physically drag and push that group out of the parade, and another report that there were social media postings threatening to stab them. There was also another report that an individual named Joey Gibson said on a Facebook page called “Patriot Prayer” that in response to such threats he was going to get some friends and go down to defend against such actions.
So the parade was cancelled. The which I don’t blame the organizers for.
Can you give me your perspective of what happened? Because frankly it looks to me like a bunch of thugs arrogated to themselves the right to decide and enforce through violent action (or at least threatened such) that Republicans no longer have a right to march in parades. But you’re a lot closer to this than I am.
My understanding is that the objection was to three percenters and a local hate preacher group marching with the Multnomah County Republicans, not to the Republican party itself. Where the letter refers to “Trump supporters”, it is referencing the loose affiliation of three percenters and other fascist thugs who have shown up at local “pro-Trump” rallies, not run of the mill Trump voters or the local Republican establishment. In response to the letter, the parade organizers asked for the Republicans to either police who marched with them or to withdraw, but they refused to do either.
This is not a justification for the threats, but it is the part of the description that you were missing.
Also, the threatening letter did not come from the Direct Action Alliance, although it did reference them as “we”.
Portlanders are improvising a party in the park to replace the parade. Of course, both the antifa and the Patriot Prayer folks (a right-wing hate group from across the Washington border that enjoys getting into fights with antifa, and vice versa) say they’re going to show up, but the party organizers are saying everyone should just ignore them.
This is a decent summary article from a local paper: 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Cancelled Amid Threats of Street Brawling – Willamette Week
And yes, it is close – the cancelled parade is on 82nd, and I live on 87th! They also cancelled a pop-up carnival that I used to take Sydney and Maddox to.
Very close to, also, is the site were the Republicans are going to start their “free speech march” tomorrow. I might try to go to one or the other event.
Based on all the videos I’ve seen of what’s been going down in Berkeley, this seems like a pretty accurate summation. It seems the torrent of “Trump is a Nazi” rhetoric throughout and after the election has given rise to a hard-left that has decided to abandon the ideals of democracy and taken upon itself to normalise violence at any political events in support of Trump or right-wing politics. Of course the right has, in response, organised it’s own form of ad-hoc militias to defend themselves. Originally it seems to have largely been a random grab bag of right-leaning blokes, but increasingly it’s involving the sorts of militia one would normally expect to be patrolling the Mexican border with M4s.
Interestingly the “fascist thugs” (to quote Charles S) turned up to Berkeley again to protest the fact an Ann Coulter speech being cancelled due to threats of violence. There was a left-wing counter protest group, but there was no antifa and as result there seems to have been very little violence in spite of the presence of “fascist thugs”.
I don’t know, Charles. “Trump supporter” looks pretty equivalent to “Trump voter” to me. Certainly there’s been plenty of rhetoric nationwide that basically equates anyone who voted for Pres. Trump specifically and often support for the GOP in general with sympathy for Nazism, misogyny, white supremacy, etc., etc. So I’d have to see something specific to accept that these guys didn’t mean any Trump voter.
I think it’s pretty outrageous for the police to approach any group and say “We want you to limit who marches with you” based on the views of the people they want to see kept out. Again, was that published anywhere?
I don’t think that the information you added should change my conclusion. Do you?
Trump supporter vs. Trump voter: you can believe what you want. I have no idea what the asshole who wrote the threatening letter intended by “Trump supporter”, but one of the groups you falsely accused of sending the letter wrote this about their event:
It didn’t take any special knowledge for me to find that event description. Just searching on Facebook for the groups you mentioned. I’d never even heard of that group before.
Here’s a description of the March 4 Trump and counter-protest in Lake Oswego about 2 months ago, which gives an idea of what militant Trump supporters in the Portland Metro area look like.
Oregon Students Empowered also posted video of the fine “Trump voters” who showed up to protest at the picnic. You can judge for yourself whether you can tell the difference between Trump voters you know and these folks. I’m not going to link (I don’t have that tab open anymore), but you can try out your FaceBook search skills to see if you can find Oregon Students Empowered for yourself.
You aren’t reading very closely, which makes it easier for you to find something to be outraged about. I said that the parade organizers approached the Republican group who were members of the parade, not the police. I used the word ‘police’ to refer to what the parade organizers asked the Multnomah County Republicans to do to the people in their parade section. I don’t find it outrageous for the organizers of a parade that is intended as civic and commercial boosterism to not want the participants in the march to be displaying swastikas and iron cross symbols, or shouting out anti-immigrant slogans during the march, or for them to want to avoid having their march degenerate into street violence. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any language allowing them to kick groups out for inappropriate content, so they had no ability to force the Republicans to abide by the request to self-police. I have heard that the parade organizers intend to add ‘no politicking’ language to next years parade participation application process so they can avoid having open neo-Nazis march in their parade next year. I don’t have the links to the various spots where I pieced that together from, sorry.
Nobody is defending the letter writer’s tactic of threats of violence. I’m certainly not, and the groups you claimed had sent the letter explicitly disavowed it. Those groups had organized protests against the Portland Prayer assholes and their ilk’s participation in the Parade, but jumping from them organizing protests to assuming they sent the letter is unjustified.
Mea culpa on mixing up “policing” with “police” and thinking that the e-mail came from one of the two groups identified. My apologies.
From the e-mail.
So tell me how the people threatening to physically assault marchers within the GOP group were going to be able to tell someone wearing a MAGA hat and/or carrying a Trump flag who was a regular member of the GOP from someone wearing a MAGA hat and/or carrying a Trump flag who was involved in the 3% group or who – they claim – carried out these actions?
It still looks to me that the parade organizers had to cancel the parade because a bunch of thugs arrogated to themselves the right to decide and enforce through violent action (or at least threatened such) that Republicans no longer have a right to march in parades.
It also looks like thugs in Portland aren’t limiting themselves to simple threats. What the hell is going on in your city, Amp?