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Cartoonist Criticizes Obama for Politicizing Trayvon Martin Murder

Leave it to our conservative rabble-rouser Gary McCoy to rile up our readers yet again. Fresh off the heels of his Sandra Fluke cartoon controversy, McCoy’s most recent cartoon calls out the President for politicizing the murder of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin…

I’ve asked Gary to write something about the cartoon, and here’s what he sent me:

And so it goes… I do a cartoon on President Obama politicizing the Trayvon Martin death, and thousands of spastic, hyperventilating leftists reached for their inhalers in unison, collectively raising CO2 levels, and melting the polar ice caps. All the while I celebrate their anger sitting in my comfy arm chair and watching the ice melt in my glass of scotch, with a warm, smug grin on my face.

Why is it that my conservative editorializing rubs liberals raw like Rosie O’Donnell’s bicycle shorts? What we have here is our country’s most narcissistic president ever, unable to keep from making every major story about him if at all possible (unless it’s high gas prices, a still sluggish economy, high unemployment, etc.). The Trayvon Martin story is about a black teen that was tragically shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Those are about the only facts we know for certain. The shooter, Mr. Zimmerman has not been tried in any court of law to have been found guilty of anything. As of now, we do not know if he was justifiably defending himself or acting outside the rule of law. Yet every Supreme Court Justice wannabe is posting with certainty like this is the next Dred Scott case. The bizarreness of Obama stating that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon is nearly unfathomable. Yes, Mr. President, we know you’re black (half black technically), but really, what’s your point? Mr. “let’s all come together, and not make race an issue” can’t seem to keep from waving his giant, novelty, double-laminated race card whenever he smells political opportunism wafting in the air.

I can always tell when my critics have no substantive argument to make in their defense, for that’s when the shallow charges of “horrible cartoonist” and “racist” start to fly. The latter of which is a hilarious label on a guy who married outside his race and has a bi-racial child. But I guess when you’re tutoring a kindergarten class, you’ve got to leave the slide rule at home and bring the crayons instead.

Here are what some readers had to say about the cartoon:

Betty C.: “Don’t see any humor in this cartoon! Disgusting to say the least about the content!”

Debbie C.: “This is a racist hateful cartoon…there is freedom in this country to be able to say things like this, however, this is a bad bad cartoon.”

e-socrates: “Oh no, politically incorrect speech! Time for the jackbooted boycott vigilantes to put a stomp to this! Go get ’em Blackshirts!”

Bridget R.: “I’ll play devils advocate and ask anyone to give me an example of other presidents talking in the media about a local murder case. I’ll wait.”

Tom H.: “This is one of the most disgusting cartoons I’ve ever seen. The cartoonist should be deeply ashamed of himself.”

Nomorenicksleft: “If Zimmerman had only ordered a drone strike on Trayvon without due process, Obama would have rubberstamped it.”

WhiteDawg: “Breitbart was a despicable individual, but at least he came up with some of his own material. McCoy is just trying to illustrate Rush Limbaugh’s thoughts as offensively as possible.”

What do you think of the cartoon? Let us know by commenting below, or leaving a note on our Facebook page.


By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the publisher of and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc, which which is a major distributor of editorial cartoons and columns to newspapers and digital publishers. See Daryl's blog at:, see his site at: get permission to reprint his cartoons at:

75 replies on “Cartoonist Criticizes Obama for Politicizing Trayvon Martin Murder”

This cartoon basically shows that McCoy does not believe Obama is a true human being.
Any sane person would feel bad about a young boy being shot by neighborhood watch.
And Obama was not the first person to publicize this. The Miami Heat have done a tribute to Trayvon, and the media has spread the story. Look, there's a whole section about this on the Cagle Post.

I forgot the unwritten rule must be that a president is not allowed to weigh in on national news. Only congress, pundits, cartoonists, and everyone else, but not the president. He's uniquely excluded.

I don't think Obama said what he did just because Trayvon Martin was black, but because there actually are similarities: The dead boy actually does look like a young Obama. McCoy's cartoon is pathetically immature and commits the worst sin for any cartoonist in being neither poignant nor funny. His comment exposes him as a dickhead so at least his words are consistent with his art. As for your own editorial claiming Obama "politicised" Trayvon Martin's death, I think the circumstances of the shooting, the failure to lay charges against the killer and the global outrage that followed showed this was already politicised, and rightly so.

The real question is Would Obama have weighed in if the kid weren't black? Of course he wouldn't. He hasn't weighed in on any of the other senseless killings in the country. What makes it worse in this case is that all of the facts aren't even close to being public. Why not weigh in on any of the more 'clear cut' murders? Because they don't play to his base, that's why. While his statements were eloquent, they were, of course political.

One great thing about this cartoon is that it again shows that Cagle is one of the very few political cartoonists who can satirize both liberals and conservatives and manage to offend both. Kudos to him.

As a long time registered Democrat, I must say I have been totally disappointed with President Obama's agenda and performance. He is the weakest president I've witnessed in my 70 years of caring about my nation and its people. Like this kid, President Obama was an apparent drug user, perhaps like this kid it negatively impacted his judgment.

I'm just wondering why the cartoonist presumes that the President is grandstanding and trying to score political points in speaking out on this? Maybe the President, as a human being, genuinely is offended by the seeming injustice of this whole thing. Certainly millions of others are.

McCoy admits to merely trolling. What a hack. Pathetic, really, but one supposes he must get his sad, cheap shots in where he's paid to publish hacky, trolling tripe.

mccoy is just racist garbage who hates and is jealous of those who are so much better than he/it/the thing is and, that includes humans.

Personally I think the President had no reason to speak out on this. If it were a white child he never would have spoken up. Several white men have been killed senslessly by black men and nothing from our President. Two years ago where I live, a young man had his skull smashed in my a concrete cinder block by a group of 12 teenage blacks youths. He suffered major head trauma…no word from the president or no words from jesse jackson or al sharpton..of course not he was white.

Why is this whole case being tried in the "Court of Public Opinion?" The media jumped all over this story way before all of the facts came out. This was publicized as a "race" issue from the beginning. What's ironic is that the Black Panthers now have a bounty on Zimmerman's head. Will the President come out and condemn them?

What a disgusting cartoon. And the cartoonist's response is disturbing. "thousands of spastic, hyperventilating leftists reached for their inhalers in unison, collectively raising CO2 levels, and melting the polar ice caps."?

"What we have here is our country’s most narcissistic president ever, unable to keep from making every major story about him if at all possible". ?

What a polarizing, unpleasant cartoon and person.

It's a political cartoon that is very biting and funny. When commentary hits the mark, liberals are always offended and appalled.

I say keep 'em coming, McCoy. Always useful to know how the right-wing nutters are thinking.

This cartoonist is an IDIOT. Obama is The President Of The United States. He can use his bully pulpit to say whatever he friggin' wants! You rightwingnuts LOST THE ELECTION IN 2008, so to quote your overfed, drug addicted, venom-spewing prophet, Rush L when Kerry lost, "SHUT UP!".

Bush murdered thousands and got away with it, then lands on an aircraft carrier with paper towels stuffed in his codpiece to announce "Mission Accomplished", and you're making a big deal out of THIS?!

PS–McCoy, your drawing style also sucks. Did you draw the Flintstones for Hanna-Barbera? Take a few hundred art lessons from Robert Crumb and try again in 25 years.

Wow my comment was deleted basically because I pointed out the President's double standard on race.

Wow,, nothing much in the way of useful information here over the whole matter. The cartoon may have been a waste of time and effort since it will do nothing to educate anyone one what is really transpiring here.
A rush to judgement via the news and social media and a number of people taking pot shots at the race card from all sides.
Until this case has been examined from all sides and all "facts" which are not going to be found on the news wires. The facts and the truth will have their day in court so everyone take a deep breath and let's all stop the two way racism on this thread. Racism is not "one direction only". The root of which is "hate" in any case so stop the hating on both sides.

It is a political cartoon people get over yourselves!!! Obama DOES grandstand every headline in this country ( if you notice he will usually give it about a week of time in the court of public opinion first though) he had this same MO over Egypt, BP oil spill etc. it's easy political points to come out on the side of the majority. And btw playing the race card IS racist to begin with !!!! Would there be outcry if a white teen in a black neighborhood was killed ??? This is Florida news not national news to begin with.

I like the way you use the word 'liberals', as though it is a four letter word. I like it because it truely identifies you as a member of the wacko thinkers. The cartoon was as creative as a two year old's scribble and as insensitive as a novocane filled gum, or in your case, a novocaine filled brain. No class, Gary. No class. You need to lay off the scotch when you're drawing.

would you want an armed neighborhood watch member walking around in your neighborhood? Didn't think so. Shots fired don't alway stop at the 1st target and this is purely a crime. The President made a heartfelt only and you act as if this is a media ploy. How sad for you…oh wait ; you don't waste your time reading these comments anyway. what was i thinking……

McCoy is a sick, twisted individual. His cartoon is a veiled form of hate speech. And instead of recognizing that he stepped over the line, his response is to launch into a diatribe against "lefties." What a total waste of a human being.

The cartoonist is placing his concerns in the wrong area. This is about a senseless, likely racially motivated killing not about the president's reaction to it. Typical right-wing straw-dogging.

I can't believe the # of liberals commenting here, but I can't stop myself from weighing in. While the country as a whole as been focused on this – whatever you want to call it – real crimes have been commited and one in particular stands out – and I am going to post a blurb of it here for you and you can all draw your own conclusions: – post too long – see next post from Deb

"Here’s a story you won’t hear about in the mainstream media. Bob Strait, 90 a veteran of the 101st Airborne, was married to his wife Nancy, 85, for 65 years. A few days ago" (this was written 3/25/12), "their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma was invaded by Tyrone Dale David Woodfork, 20, a black thug armed with a BB gun. Tyrone beat the aged couple and raped Nancy to death. Our post-racial President has made no statement about this outrage. And except for the local media in Oklahoma, no one has noticed. Instead, all the self-righteous attention is on black victim Trayvon Martin, and the demonized George Zimmerman, described by the NY Times as a “white Hispanic” a racial classification of which I have never heard, but leave it to liberals to out-Nazi the Nuremberg Laws. George Zimmerman will be charged with a hate crime.

3rd and hopefully final post from Deb: Again, leave it to liberals to invent a victim hierarchy based on race. Let me state the obvious: The Straits are not the victims of a hate crime, they don’t even exist and count for nothing in the cynical calculus that animates the mainstream media and the politicians who feed on politically correct corpses. As for President Obama, you can be sure he does not imagine Bob or Nancy Strait as his parents." If you want to know more, google Bob and Nancy Strait – just as I did. The thing in Florida has nothing to do with race, however, if the President of the United States is going to comment on something he considers horrible, then he'd better damn well comment on something that is without a doubt, horrible.

Some of the comments on here are laughable,. "Bush murdered thousands" etc. Sad what the country has become. Liberal loons and Righty Retreds. The politicians have so many of you under their spell, it's pitiful. Ever think of putting the country first?
Cartoon was spot on though (In my opinion) Remember that THING we are all allowed to have? Wow what a mess.

Please try and remember that what you wish on others is generally gifted to you two-fold – as it should be.

This cartoon is spot on! Let's remember the response this same President gave to display his grief at the loss of innocents massacred at Ft Hood. Anyone? Crickets chirping……Oh yeah, those 12 innocent peoplekilled, and 32 injured didn't look like him, so they didn't matter. And even after the evidence was presented in the Ft. Hood case, which has not happened in the Treyvon Martin case, and it was proven that the murders at Ft. Hood were a crime of hate based upon religious ideology? The President and his administration termed it as "workplace violence". Really? So if it was merely workplace violence when 12 Americans were murdered, and 32 injured, then does it follow that the loss of 1 life is an "oops, my bad" and no more? Oh, never mind, not when the loss of 1 life in this case "looks like my son", and the losses in Ft. Hood did not "look like my son" and were military people.

Simple test for the liberal mind…..Let's say George Bush was on TV was commenting on the death of a white young man that had been apparently shot by a black man and he was to say "that boy looks like my son". Picture the slobbering outrage, the racism calls, the bursting blood vessels in the necks and heads of libtard commentators. Now tell me……if we are truly color blind……what is the difference?

I sure don't like it when you make funny of my president. I think the man is close to perfect!! Truth be known I'm not perfect either–How 'bout You??

How was it 'veiled?' It deemed to me to be raw, exposed splash of vile and venom. It was the product of a low and hateful bigot exposed to yet another display of grace and decency by our president. Shameless!

Great points Deb. Obama only comments on the things that fit the narrative: the college professor case, the occupy movement, and rationalizing the same war he was so against as he thumps his chest and claims arrogantly that he was the one to kill Bin Laden. The media does the same thing. Obama (born of a black father and white mother) is black. Tiger Woods (born of a black father and Asian mother) is black. But Zimmerman (born of a white father and Hispanic mother) is either "white" or a "white Hispanic" as you have mentioned. We associate one's race with the minority parent until it goes against the narrative. It's never a hate crime when the victim is not a minority… it doesn't help their political agenda.

No, Fran…it is not funny. A young man was killed. That's not funny. I felt outrage and grief. The President felt outrage and grief (which he might not have expressed publicly if not specifically asked about it). I personally think you are kind of weird to think the cartoon was "biting and funny."

Bridget R,

I'll quote the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy for you: "Willie Horton or will he not get elected?"

"This is a racist hateful cartoon…"

Leave it to a liberal to see racism in everything. The cartoon speaks about Obama's propensity to take advantage of every crisis that comes his way. Remember his comments that he later retracted regarding the police arrest of one of his buddies?

Oh, he can comment. The problem here is that he is using it galvanize his base. A little selfish, don't you think?

It goes without mentioning in the posting made by the cartoonist that the President was commenting on the Martin situation after being questioned about it by someone in the White House media pool during a previously scheduled (the WH didn't put it on the calendar so the President would have the opportunity to comment on THIS situation) press conference. The cartoonist also failed to mention other things which we know about Mr. Zimmerman: 1) He is not a member of the Neighborhood Watch in the gated community in which Martin was shot, 2) He was instructed by the 911 dispatcher when Zimmerman called-in his 'suspicious person' report to NOT get out of his SUV, and NOT approach the 'suspicious individual.' With all due respect to those who post about other tragic deaths caused at the hands of criminals, and how the President has not said word-one about them

What a douchebag you are. You come off like a racist, and the worst part is your shit looks like it was drawn by a third-grader with minimal talent. Go flip burgers somewhere and quit annoying civilized people with your inane juvenile cartoons, eh?

President Obama was asked a question about it and he commented. Funny how anything HE says is politicizing it and anything the right says is just "telling it like it is" or some such nonsense. President Obama spoke honestly. If he had a son, he WOULD look like Trayvon. Put ANY black kid in a hoodie and the likes of Zimmerman, Rush and like minded bigots would deem them "suspicious" by default, simply because of the color of their skin. This kid was unarmed. Zimmerman followed him, against what he was told by the dispatcher. He had a gun, convicted the kid in his mind and it all ended in this kid's death. This cartoon only goes to show what a small minded person the cartoonist is. I leave him to his smug scotch soaked grin. (Wow, that'll really show us! He drinks scotch! On the rocks! lmao) To Deb, is the President supposed to know and comment on every crime committed by a black person? If the kid has gotten off, like Zimmerman has, by all means drum up outrage and get twitter behind you. Demand the press get a statement from President Obama about it. Otherwise, he has no responsibility to address every horrific crime by a black person, just as white Presidents' have no responsibility to speak out on every horrific crime a white person commits. That's just ridiculous. Seriously. Get a grip. This case seems to have had some serious missteps and there is nothing wrong with people demanding some answers.

Oh wow, is this another case where an armed man chased down and murdered someone that had no weapons, and then the police just let him walk free because he was "defending himself"? I'll just have to assume that is the case, and not that you completely missed the point of why so many people are upset about this current case. They should really charge and arrest that Tyrone fellow.

I would say he wouldn't have weighed in if Trayvon wasn't black, but not because Obama is also black. He weighed in because of the inherent racism involved in the killing, and any self-respecting politician would do the same. Yes, as a political figure, he needs to do whatever he can to show the public he is a caring human being, but any president needs to do the same.

I don't see it. People of import often make comments of "that could have been my child" of "it could have been me" when talking about tragedies and trying to empathize with those affected. But now making such a comment is race baiting?

"I think the president had no reason to speak out on this. If it were a white child he never would have spoken up."
Yes, exactly. If it were a white child involved, the president wouldn't have said anything. The president spoke up about it because the crime has inherent racism; an idea that a black kid in a hoodie is up to no good when he's out late at night around a rich neighborhood is obviously a discriminatory stereotype. Z. wouldn't have killed a white child in the first place, and if he did, he might have had less of an excuse for it (not that it was an excuse at all).
Furthermore, your implication that a group of black people assaulting a white man is definitely discriminatory is a bit inaccurate. The only reason Zimmerman's case is significant is because he thought Trayvon was dangerous due to his skin color, and he used it as an excuse. If Zimmerman was a violent gang member who killed a black person, he would be rotting in jail, same as the aggressors in your story, and any racism involved would just mean a longer jail sentence.
Yes, all violent crimes are terrible, and in your case it might have been discriminatory, which is even worse. I just want to posit a different viewpoint.

Yes, Obama does grandstand a bit. And yes, the issue is significant due to Trayvon's race, not the possible hate crime aspect of it. But Obama's comments certainly were heartfelt, even if he does use it to gain support (he is a politician). This cartoon is insensitive because it implies that Obama has no consideration for other people and solely wants to use Trayvon's death as a means of publicity. And never mind that Obama was asked about the incident.

I agree with you that, while there is a stereotype that black men are likelier to be gangsters, there is also a double standard in which any possible racism in violent crimes committed by black people on white people is ignored for some reason. But a white person being killed by a black person is also not always a hate crime. While this story is saddening, it also perpetuates the aforementioned stereotype.

I would agree with you Don except…..the President only comments in matters when the dialogue is that white racists are killing innocent black children. How many times has the President commented about the reality that a young black man is far more likely to be killed by another young black man than by the hand of a white person? That is a far more real tragedy in this country, and should be addressed instead of being swept under the rug. Just like when the President spoke out about the black professor and the police, and then had to backtrack and hold a "beer summit"-this is another example of how the President seemingly only weighs in with an opinion in matters that he perceives to be a white on black racism situation. Oh, and he weighs in before all the facts of the matter are in as well. And he doesn't weigh in on how the Black Panther organization has issued a bounty, dead or alive, on the head of Mr. Zimmerman, again before all the facts are even in.

And ironically, absent from all the debate is the fact that Mr. Zimmerman is of mixed race as well, and therefore has similarities to the President too, yet the media is painting him as a white man. Why is that? Because he has light skin? Judging whether someone is white or not and slapping the label on them based on the lightness or darkness of their skin sounds remarkably like racism in and of itself. Or that Mr. Zimmerman is a registered Democrat. If he were a registered Republican or member of the Tea Party, you can bet your house we would be having that headline night and day. I detest the hypocr

Yes, and this just in from Florida…..there are eye-witnesses who have given their statements verifying that Mr. Zimmerman was being attacked-6 eye-witnesses. Remember the Tawna Brawley "rape" trial circus that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were at the forefront of a decade ago? Protests, outrage, and later proof of what was said from the beginning. How about everyone wait for the facts? And if not, how about we show some outrage for black on black crime which is far more common, or black on white crime, or hey, any crime by anyone, because we should truly advance beyond assessing a life's value based upon skin color-in any way.

nobody yet has pointed out that –
A – neighborhood watches are specifically forbidden to pack heat of any kind;
B – neighborhood watches are specifically forbidden to confront; and
C – he was specifically ordered to STAND DOWN.
Mr. Zimmerman was wrong on all three counts.
no racism here . . .

Just as in the Prof. Gates arrest, the Resident jumps in and makes this racial, before all the facts are in. The "white boy" he is blaming may not be white, but the whole white community is being blamed. Where was the Resident when the 13 year old white boy in Kansas was dowsed with gasoline and set on fire by two black 15 year old punks a few days later? Why isn't he jumping in to defend this boy? I guess we can truly judge who our Resident considers worthy of his defense. ( "P" was left off intentionally, due to the fact that I don't believe him to be a legal resident of the White House, therefore I will from here out refer to him as the "Resident".

The resident of the Whitehouse is RACIST along with most of his cohorts .. So what do you expect of him ??

THE cartoon is right on ,Shows a hypocrite racist in action . Blacks killing Whites is OK blacks killing blacks in Chicago,Detroit , Pittsburg ,Washington DC no problem.. Back to the plantation with all of them LOL

Bush "murdered" thousands? Really? OK, How many additional thousands has Obama "murdered" in the last three years? Double the number of drone strikes, a surge in Afghanistan, releasing enemy combatants from Guantanamo (you know, the prison Obama PROMISED to close within a year, over THREE years ago), a general continuation of every single Bush policy that Obama condemned while he was campaigning, and yet still, hacks like you continue to beat the "Bush murdered" drum. Open your eyes, you fool.

Saying that the president does not mourn the death of a young boy but instead jumps on it as an opportunity is just cruel. Obama's a normal human with emotions, OK?

Woodsman, the people Obama killed were trying to hurt us, OK?
Purple Heart, calm down a bit, you're making us liberals look bad.

It's amazing. Most of his cartoons on the Cagle have AT LEAST a thousand, if not more, downvotes. Once I saw one with 2000 or so. I think it was the Sandra Fluke one.

This has been publicised much, much more. Obama wasn't the first to comment on this story.

I'm a liberal and I don't think a black guy on TV is racist. Your argument is invalid.

I don't think it was politically motivated anymore than when President Bush traveled to Virginia to console the the famlies of the victims of the shootings at Virgina Tech. I never liked Bush but I did admire how he could step into a disaster and make people feel good. When something like this happens then I think it is correct for the President to speak.

Gary McCoy is a low life. I don't care what they say, if I have a gun and the other person doesn't I'm sure not going to be in fear of my life. If he was attacked and his head was being bashed on the ground as he says, how did he get his gun out? Already out?

Wow man. So many people with their shorts in a knot about this. Obama is a politician, using stuff like this is natural for any of our elected overlords. Didn't one of his foremost minions say 'never let a good crisis go to waste?' Martin of reality was a young adult. of 17 years old and over 6 feet tall, heavily tattooed, and very much enamored with a criminal subculture. Not the clean cut boy that media has portrayed. Obama didn't bother waiting to do some research into the facts before he made his statements. Get over it people, both political sides are scum. Its like saying that the man or woman raping little girls is morally superior than the man or woman raping little boys.

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