Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Crazy Governor, Angry Police, Timid School District and a Great Cartoon

Here is a column that I wrote for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram; see it on their site here. The column will run in their print edition Wednesday or Thursday. The Star-Telegram is the major metro daily newspaper in the area of the Wylie School District, in Texas.


A testy confrontation has developed in the Wylie Independent School District about an editorial cartoon included in a lesson plan, with Gov. Greg Abbott demanding that a teacher be fired and police insisting on an apology. Cartoons can indeed drive people crazy.

A few months ago, a flood of similar editorial cartoons were published, criticizing police brutality after George Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons drew a cartoon showing white oppressors over the years, ranging from a slave trader to a member of the Klu Klux Klan, kneeling on the neck of a Black man who is saying, “I can’t breathe.”

The final panel in the cartoon shows the infamous image of a Minneapolis officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck.

I run a newspaper syndicate, CagleCartoons.com, that distributes Fitzsimmons’ work. Over half of America’s daily, paid-circulation newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, subscribe to our service. Fitzsimmons is one of the most popular editorial cartoonists in the country.

A teacher posted Fitzsimmons’ cartoon on the Wylie district’s website as part of an assignment for eighth-grade students. In a letter to the district, National Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Joe Gamaldi demanded an apology for posting a “abhorrent and disturbing” cartoon.

“We are willing to sit down with anyone and have a fact-based conversation about our profession, but divisiveness like your teachers showed does nothing to move that conversation forward,” Gamaldi wrote.

Fitzsimmons noted that the day after he saw Gamaldi’s indignant tweet, a Wisconsin cop shot a Black father several times in the back. In front of his children.

“This cartoon was my response to the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police officer, diagramming the historic roots of our systemic racism,” Fitzsimmons said. “Perhaps it requires too much moral courage or honest clear-eyed reflection for the National Fraternal Order of Police to funnel their fury at the few racist police officers who disgrace their oath and their badges by disproportionately murdering African Americans.”

Abbott tweeted that the teacher should be fired and called for the Texas Education Agency to investigate. Fitzsimmons called Abbott a “red meat vampire.” “Shame on him, calling for that teacher’s head on a pike.”

The interpretation of an editorial cartoon is part of state-mandated AP History testing in 8th and 11th grade throughout America. School textbooks that “teach to the test” are big clients for editorial cartoonists. Some of Fitzsimmons’ best clients for licensing cartoons are test-preparation companies.

It is the role of eighth-grade teachers to prepare students for these tests and teach them to evaluate controversies in the news by exposing them to different points of view about the issues of the day. There’s no better way to do that than through editorial cartoons. Fitzsimmons’ cartoons are widely used in middle and high school curriculums, not only in the U.S., but around the world.

David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson

Fitzsimmons is among the most republished editorial cartoonists in the country, and this cartoon in particular was printed widely in newspapers.

The visual metaphors that editorial cartoonists use can be difficult for some students to understand, and the study of cartoons in schools most often involves the “interpretation” of the cartoon. Cartoonists’ email boxes are filled with variations of a common message: “Please explain your cartoon to me. My paper is due tomorrow.”

Classroom discussions of “what did the cartoonist mean by this?” effectively engage students and prompt them to think about issues from different perspectives.

The Wylie district apologized for using the cartoon. But Fitzsimmons asked: “And what did we learn, children? We must not criticize law enforcement. Ever. Sacred cow.”

Cartoons about issues that don’t evoke passionate views on both sides of an issue don’t provide valuable lessons. The school district is teaching the wrong lesson by removing Fitzsimmons’ cartoon and apologizing.

Fitzsimmons and I give the teacher who used this cartoon an “A” for her assignment. The timid school district, the National Fraternal Order of Police and Abbott each get an “F.”

This is what the column looked like in the newspaper:

 


This article from television station WFAA tells much more about the school assignment that included David’s cartoon, among others. The assignment “was designed to start a conversation about the Bill of Rights, protests, democracy and freedom of speech.”


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


Please forward this to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! Join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Raw Police Nerves, a Texas School District and a Cartoon

Update August 25, 2020: I wrote an expanded and updated column about this incident for the Ft Worth Star-Telegram newspaper after Texas governor Greg Abbott called for the teacher to be fired and the Wylie school district to be investigated for using the cartoon below in a school assignment. See the column here in my blog and here on the Star-Telegram site.


There has been an interesting, testy confrontation at a school district in Texas about this cartoon by Arizona Daily Star Cartoonist, David Fitzsimmons.

My syndicate distributes David’s cartoons to over half of America’s daily, paid-circulation newspapers who subscribe to our service, including The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, not far from the Wylie Independent School District. A teacher posted David’s cartoon on the “Wylie ISD” Web site as part of an assignment for 8th grade students.

Testy police were quick to denounce the cartoon and the thin-skinned school district responded by taking the cartoon down and apologizing. In a letter to the school district, Joe Gamaldi, of the National Fraternal Order of Police, asked the district for an apology for posting this “abhorrent and disturbing” cartoon, writing, “We are willing to sit down with anyone and have a fact-based conversation about our profession, but divisiveness like your teachers showed does nothing to move that conversation forward.” The police organization then tweeted that the district had apologized and would also apologize to parents.

Here is some news coverage from TheTexan.com, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and NBC Dallas-Fort Worth station KXAS.

Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons responded,

“This cartoon was my response to the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police officer depicted in the cartoon, which diagrams the historic roots of our systemic racism. I’m impressed the National Fraternal Order of Police is directing its fury at an illustration revealing how our present horrors are mere echoes of our cruel past. Perhaps it requires too much moral courage, or honest clear-eyed reflection, for the National Fraternal Order of Police to funnel their fury at the few racist police officers who disgrace their oath and their badges by disproportionately murdering African Americans.”

The interpretation of an editorial cartoon is part of state mandated AP History testing in 8th and 11th grade throughout America. Some of David’s biggest clients are the test preparation organizations, like Pearson Education, that license his editorial cartoons for these tests. It is the role of 8th grade teachers to both prepare students for these tests and to prepare them to evaluate controversies in the news by exposing them to different points of view about the issues of the day; there is no better way to do that than through editorial cartoons. David’s cartoons are widely used in middle and high school curriculums, not only in the USA, but around the world. David is among the most republished American editorial cartoonists. This cartoon, in particular, was widely reprinted in newspapers across our nation.

Cartoons about issues that don’t evoke passionate views on both sides of an issue don’t provide valuable lessons. The school district is teaching the wrong lesson by removing David’s cartoon and apologizing.

I give the teacher who used this cartoon as a teaching tool an “A” for her assignment. The timid school district and the National Fraternal Order of Police get an “F”.

 


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


Please forward this to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! Join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Can’t Get Away From Coronavirus

We had cartoons about nothing but the coronavirus for months and this week the cartoons abruptly changed to the George Floyd protests. Today I went back to the coronavirus with a silly cartoon that expresses no opinion, like newspaper editors prefer.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do the editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


I drew a sad couple at the TV yesterday. A goofy TV couple is more typical for me. This nice gag came from a comment on my wife’s Facebook page, so, thanks to whoever wrote that.

Even with the protests, some cartoonists managed to sneak the coronavirus in. Here are five nice ones from our Cagle Cartoonists …


Jimmy Margulies


John Darkow


Pat Bagley

Milt Priggee


Please forward this link to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Sad to Watch

I watched George Floyd’s funeral on television today; it was moving and sad to watch. For my cartoon, I thought I would just reduce it to the fact that it was sad to watch. Editorial cartoonists like to complain about cartoons with big teardrops that are drawn with every sad, national event. The statue of Liberty with a big teardrop, the Lincoln Memorial statue with a big teardrop, Uncle Sam with a big teardrop, the American Eagle with a big teardrop. Readers respond to the teardrop cartoons even as cartoonists complain about them and continue to draw them.

So I went with an “everyman” couple watching the TV (which I draw often), this time with a mixed race couple and the teardrops. It may be unclear and too reductionist, and big teardrops may be trite, but I felt sad and I went with it.

Steve Sack’s cartoon is better.

Jeff Koterba went with a heart …


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


Please forward this link to your friends. They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Best of the Protest 2

Here’s my latest cartoon about the media focus on looting along with my recent protest favorites from all of the CagleCartoonists. Passions are running high on the right and the left, which makes for some great cartoons and many angry readers who object to the cartoons, including my own cartoons. Many of the cartoons, like my cartoon today, are not likely to be reprinted in newspapers. Editors don’t like cartoons with poop and with criticism of other media.

My cartoon is about how looting steals the attention of the media, especially the conservative media, but all of the major media.  Here’s are a bunch of great ones from the past couple of days.(I wouldn’t call my cartoon “great,” it is kind of stinky.)

Daryl Cagle

Adam Zyglis

David Fitzsimmons


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!



Dave Whamond

Daryl Cagle

Nate Beeler

Adam Zyglis


Please forward this link to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Best of the Protest

Here are some of my favorite cartoons about the ongoing protests. We see a big divide in the news coverage between Fox News and conservative media vs the rest of the media; we see the same divide with the conservative cartoonists drawing about law and order, and the rest of the cartoonists drawing about racial justice.


Please forward this link to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Jeff Koterba

I updated this cartoon from Ferguson five years ago. Things don’t change much.

Daryl Cagle


Pat Bagley


RJ Matson


Dave Granlund

Dave Fitzsimmons

 


Dave Whamond

For a contrast, here are a couple from our conservative cartoonists.


Rick McKee


Gary McCoy


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Protests, Riots and Police!

This is the cartoon I drew today about the nationwide protests …

Police violence is contemptible, but police are protecting our burning cities across America – the contradictions are showing up in cartoons as the cartoonists respond to the ugly scenes on television by drawing.

Here’s a cartoon I reposted for newspapers this morning. I drew this one five years ago for the Ferguson riots/protests. Regrettably, this cartoon doesn’t go out of date. Perhaps five years ago police seemed more concerned about being caught on video.

Since this is all happening on the weekend, and cartoonists and newspapers work on weekdays, we don’t have many cartoons yet. Watch Cagle.com where we’re collecting them all.

Here are my favorites from today …


Marian Kamensky


Daivd Fitzsimmons


Gary McCoy

See the first cartoons about the George Floyd murder in my post from last week.


Please forward this link to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!


 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

George Floyd

The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, while three other policemen stood by, has horrified the nation. Here are some of the first responses from our cartoonists.

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune


Bob Englehart


Jeff Koterba

Emad Hajjaj


Stephane “Stephff” Peray


Bill Day


Chris Weyant


Dave Whamond


Adam Zyglis


Please forward this link to your friends – tell them our Cagle.com email newsletters are FREE and FUN! They can join the newsletter list at Cagle.com/subscribe.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!