Following the heroic banishment of the evil doodle, I decided to try a little experiment. Steve Sack is the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Sack is a die-hard anti-Trump liberal, beloved by Democrats and leftists in general. In other words, one of the “good guys.” The IPI’s “racist” cartoon reminded me of a similar cartoon Sack drew last year regarding the Flint, Mich., water crisis. In that cartoon, a young black girl and her mom beg a corrupt, evil white politician for help with their filthy tap water. The black child is drawn smaller than the adults and darker than the white guy (in other words, the cartoon meets Professor Rauser’s definition of “racist”). The black mother and daughter also have bigger lips than the white villain. Yet whereas the IPI cartoon led to condemnations and firings, Sack’s cartoon was cheered and widely reprinted.
I decided to reach out to the star players in “Sambogate” to see if they could explain why the IPI cartoon is racist but Sack’s isn’t. Professor “drawing a black child as smaller than an adult is racist” Rauser dodged every email I sent her. A cowardly academic? I’m shocked! Sack himself curtly refused to answer any questions. And NBC’s Ahern? She replied, “I’m a political reporter, not a columnist or opinion writer—so it’s not my place to comment on whether either cartoon is racist.” I don’t want to repeat a theme from last week’s column, but that response is kinda bullshitty. Reporters express their opinions via which stories they choose to obsessively pursue (selectivity is a form of opinion). After using her personal social media to ceaselessly push the cartoon story, for Ahern to now claim, “Oh, I have no opinion, I’m just a simple reporter,” is disingenuous.
A Chicago black activist agreed to answer my question about Sack’s cartoon, but only on the condition that his name not be used. Turns out he was the only honest one in the bunch. Yes, the Steve Sack cartoon is “racist,” he told me, and if he’d seen the cartoon when it first came out, he’d have protested it. Make no mistake—the people who fired up the anti-IPI cartoon lynch mob have created a monster. Eventually, it will spread to “good guy” cartoonists like Steve Sack. Soon enough, it will be considered racist for any white artist to draw a black person.
Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from “Sambogate” is this: If you’re even slightly to the right on the political spectrum, if you’re a politician with an “R” in front of your name, never virtue-signal to the left. Governor Rauner thought that by denouncing Trump and “racism,” he’d be treated fairly by the Democrats and their press lapdogs. He was wrong. The IPI think-tankers thought that by posting a cartoon depicting black children being cheated out of education money by white villains, their ideas would get a fair hearing. They were wrong. Rauner’s staffers thought that by using the left’s own vocabulary, by playing by its rules regarding what “white males” should or shouldn’t be allowed to comment on, they could save their boss.
They couldn’t even save their jobs.
SJW leftists are not here to talk. Deep in their hearts, they’re all antifa. They’re here to stop debate and stifle speech. With the IPI cartoon controversy, they got what they wanted. Speech was censored, opposition was cowed, heads rolled.
And thanks to people like Mary Ann Ahern, who helped drive the story national, and Professor Amelia Rauser, who gave the censors’ idiotic claims equally idiotic “intellectual” cover, the lasting legacy of “Sambogate” will surely be that the list of things that artists (in this case, white artists) cannot draw will grow ever longer. Well done, Chicago. Go grab a Superdawg and celebrate.