What If All The Defaults Were Reset?

Cartoon by Barry

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Transcript of cartoon:

What If All The Defaults Were Reset?

Panel 1

(A suspicious-looking young white man in a sweater, arms crossed, is listening to a magical fairy, who is speaking earnestly to him while hovering in the air on her two small wings. The Fairy is dark-skinned, has her head shaved except for a little poof of hair on top, has no arms below the elbows, and has two little feathered wings.)

FAIRY: When you’re not the “societal default” – white, straight, male, cis, etc – it’s like a thousand little weights!

Panel 2

(Sweater-dude looks angry, and has lifted his arms in the air to make a point.)

SWEATER-DUDE: You minorities always make a big deal out of nothing… I’m sure it’s not hard to handle!

Panel 3

(The Fairy, a wild grin on her face, casts a spell – we know because a caption says “casting cool magic spell” – and a big cloud of magic smoke appears where Sweater-Dude was.)

FAIRY: Okay, let’s see!

Panels 4-13
(These panels form a giant circle. They can be read starting with any panel.)

Panel 4

(A man with an eyepatch puts his hands on his face in a gesture of astonishment.)

MAN: You identify as the sex you were assigned at birth? Whoa! So what does your junk look like?

Panel 5

(A fat woman with cat’s eye glasses and a striped crop top is giving instructions with a cheerful, helpful demeanor..)

WOMAN: If you’d just stop undereating you could be fat. You can do it!

Panel 6

(An irritated looking woman with curly hair, arms akimbo, is asking a question.)

WOMAN: ¡Habla español! Esto es América!

Panel 7
(An older woman with a punk haircut makes a shrugging “what can we do?” gesture.)

WOMAN: Sure, nearly all the Senators and CEOs are women. But how is that sexist against men?

Panel 8

(A young person with tattoos looks anxious as they speak.)

WOMAN: Have you tried being queer? Really really tried? I only ask because I want you to be happy!

Panel 9

(An older woman looks up from a TV Guide, looking puzzled..)

WOMAN: Why would anyone watch a TV show about young people?

Panel 10

(A cheerful man wearing a yarmulke is giving helpful advice. His hands are flapping in the air around his face.)

MAN: Couldn’t you just try making stimming gestures? You don’t want to seem weird!

Panel 11

(A woman holds her hand over her mouth in a gesture of dismay and astonishment.)

WOMAN: You like sex? That must be so hard.

Panel 12

(A man in a wheelchair spreads out his hands to indicate being impressed..)

MAN: You walk everywhere? Wow! I could never live like that!

Panel 13

(A young Black woman looks at the viewer with a friendly “just asking questions” expression.)

WOMAN: Why do white people talk with that accent? And can I touch your hair?

Panel 14

(This panel is surrounded by the circle formed by panels 4-13. It shows Sweater-Dude, wide-eyed and panicked, hands on the sides of his face.)

SWEATER-DUDE: What’s happening?

Panel 15
(This panel, occupying the bottom third of the comic, shows the Fairy speaking directly to the viewer. In the background, we can see Sweater-Dude, with the giant circle formed by panels 4-13 on his back. Sweater-Dude is trembling with the effort of holding up so much weight.)

FAIRY: If you have to lift this weight every day of your entire life…

Plus the weight of historical inequalities plus the weight of institutional oppression…

It can all add up to a crushing load!

If that weight looks petty to you … Maybe that’s because it’s not on your back.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Feminist cartoons, LGBT cartoons, Social Justice |

It’s Great To See Such Diverse Job Applicants

Cartoon by Barry

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Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1 shows four executives sitting at a desk. We can only see the backs of their heads; they all have the same height and haircut. The four executives are facing a large group of people dressed up for a job application. There are a similar number of women and men, who appear to be of a range of ages, races, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds. One applicant is using crutches to stand.
EXEC 2: It’s great to see such diverse job applicants! Rest assured, our firm does not discriminate against women or minorities.

Panel 2. We are now looking at the four executives from the front. They are all identical white men in business suits.
EXEC 1: But we can’t hire everybody, so… Anyone who didn’t graduate from the “right” kind of college, please leave.

Panel 3
EXEC 2: Anyone with family responsibilities that could interfere with work, please leave.

Panel 4
EXEC 3: Anyone without a recommendation from someone already in the field, please leave.

Panel 5
EXEC 4: Anyone whose accent or look or gender presentation wouldn’t be a “fit” for our firm’s existing culture, please leave.

Panel 6 shows the applicants again; only one is left. Other than being younger, he looks precisely like the four executives.
EXEC 4: Gentleman, we’ve found our new hire!

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Economic cartoons, Feminist cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

We Must Discuss All Possibilities… But The Most Likely One

Cartoon by Barry

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TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1

A close shot of a white woman in a striped dress. She is talking, although it seems a bit like lecturing. Let’s call her “Stripes.”

STRIPES: To have a real conversation about race, we have to consider all ideas in a neutral and calm manner.

Panel 2

STRIPES: For example, what if Black culture has made Black people lazy? We can’t refuse to even consider that!

Panel 3

WOMAN: Or… what if Blacks are born with lower IQs than whites? We should at least consider that, right?

Panel 4

The “camera” has backed up, and we now see that Stripes has been talking to a Black woman wearing a floral dress, who I’ll call “Flowers.”

FLOWERS: What if people who say Blacks are lazy and stupid are racist as hell? Shouldn’t we consider that?

STRIPES (yelling) ABSOLUTELY NOT! DON’T MAKE THINGS PERSONAL!

Panel 5 (a tiny “kicker” panel at the bottom of panel 4)

FLOWERS: Calling Blacks stupid isn’t personal?

STRIPES: It isn’t to me.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons |

Police Shootings, or, Oh The Tragedy!

Cartoon by Barry

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Transcript of cartoon

Each panel of this cartoon shows the same white dude in an armchair, from the same angle, watching the news on TV. Small details change throughout the cartoon – his hairline recedes, his drink changes, he switches from watching an old-fashioned thick TV to watching on a laptop to watching on a flatscreen – but the essential scene never changes. The man doesn’t seem very interested in the news, and in one panel he even dozes off.

Panel 1
TV: In today’s news, Prince Jones, an unarmed Black man, was shot to death when police mistook him for another man.

Panel 2
TV: Alberta Sprull, an unarmed Black woman, was killed by a concussion grenade thrown during a police raid.

Panel 3
TV: …almost ten percent of young black men are in prison, most often for non-violent drug offenses.

Panel 4
TV: …police say that Stansbury, age 19, was shot “by accident.” The officer was suspended for 30 days.

Panel 5
TV: …judge acquitted three officers who fired fifty shots into the car of Sean Bell, the night before Bell’s wedding.

Panel 6
TV: …despite economic growth, Black unemployment remains nearly twice as high as unemployment for whites…

Panel 7
TV: Deaunta Farrow, age 12, was shot when… Tarika Wilson, age 26…

Panel 8
This panel is divided into 17 sub-panels, getting smaller and smaller as they go on, implying a potentially endless number of panels. In each panel, the TV is speaking.
TV: …Oscar Grant was handcuffed face-down when police… Shem Walker… Kiwane Carrington… Manuel Loggins Jr…. Rekia Boyd… Reynaldo Cuevas… Kimani Gray… Eric Garner… Freddie Gray….

Panel 9
Suddenly the white dude looks engaged and outraged, leaping up from the armchair and pointing furiously at the TV.
TV: Private Property was damaged today when a protest turned into a riot…
DUDE: OH THE TRAGEDY!

* * *

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Posted in Anti-racist cartoons |

The Modern Sisyphus

Cartoon by Barry

PANEL 1
The first panel has a close-up of a Black person’s hands pushing a boulder uphill. The title of the strip, “Modern Sisyphus,” is written on the boulder.

PANEL 2
We see a black woman, wearing casual office clothing, pushing a boulder uphill. A few yards above her, at the top of the hill, a white man stands listening with his arms crossed.
WOMAN: I realize that you never owned slaves or raped anyone. I’m talking about systematic racism and sexism, okay?

PANEL 3
The woman has pushed the boulder to almost the very top of the hill.
WOMAN: Yes, I’m qualified to be in my job… No, I don’t hate white men… No, sexism and racism didn’t end thirty years ago…

PANEL 4
The woman has lost her grip on the boulder and watches, appalled, as it quickly rolls back down the hill. The man walks away, disappearing off the right side of the panel.
MAN: If you just stopped focusing on these things, you’d be happier… I gotta go now.

PANEL 5
The woman stands looking down the hill in the direction the boulder went, slumped a little.

PANEL 6
Still slumped a little, the woman tiredly walks downhill.
WOMAN: Sigh…

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Feminist cartoons |

Who To Blame?

Cartoon by Barry

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Script:

PANELS 1 & 2. The Federal Reserve, depicted as a professorial-looking man (bow tie, pipe), cheerily talking to a balding, working-class looking dude in an undershirt. Working class dude is listening without much expression.
FEDERAL RESERVE: hi! i’m the federal reserve! i practically run the economy! i COULD use my powers to lower unemployment, but INVESTORS don’t want that. in fact, whenever unemployment gets LOW, i make it go UP. because that’s what wall street wants. i purposely create unemployment!
PANELS 3 & 4 The Federal Reserve is gone, and in his place is The Banking Industry, depicted as a balding man in a vest, tie and jacket, and with dollar bills floating in the air around him. Banking Industry is even more cheerful than Federal Reserve was. Working class dude continues listening expressionlessly.
BANKING INDUSTRY: hey there! I’m the banking industry. i pack the government with my friends, and gamble wildly until i destroy the entire economy. after that, i’ll get bailed out with YOUR tax dollars. then i’ll foreclose on the horribly inequitable mortgage i sold you and take your home!
PANEL 5: Man wearing Uncle Sam hat has now replaced Banking Industry. Uncle Sam waves cheerily. Working Class Dude continues to listen expressionlessly.
UNCLE SAM: greetings! i’m your goverment!
PANEL 6: Uncle Sam leans in and whispers. Working Class Dude continues to listen expressionlessly.
UNCLE SAM: i make little GESTURES towards reform, but in the end i always take the banks’ side! because they totally OWN me!
PANELS 7 & 8: An Immigrant Dude replaces Uncle Sam, and speaks cheerfully. Immigrant Dude looks exactly like Working Class Dude, except his skin is a little darker. Working Class Dude continues to listen expressionlessly.
IMMIGRANT DUDE: hello! i’m an immigrant. i just want to work hard to feed my family.
PANEL 9: Working Class Dude yells very loudly and angrily; Immigrant Dude winces back in surprise.
WORKING CLASS DUDE: QUIT RUINING MY LIFE, YOU SELFISH BASTARD!!

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Barry's favorites, Economic cartoons |

Reassuring White People

Cartoon by Barry

Panel one: Two women are talking, one white, one black. The white woman looks annoyed, the black woman looks nervous.
WHITE WOMAN: so then HE said i was being RACIST! that’s CRAZY, right?
BLACK WOMAN: um… do you realize you’ve done this before?

Panel two
WW: Done what?
BW: Ask me to reassure you you’re not a racist.

Panel three: Close-up on the black woman, mockingly imitating a jubilant doctor.
BW: when i was BORN, the doctor didn’t say “oh, it’s a healthy BLACK baby! god willing, she’ll grow up to reassure WHITE people!”

Panel four: Close-up on the black woman, now with an openly angry expression.
BW: my PARENTS didn’t say “if we raise her JUST right, then SOMEDAY she’ll make WHITE people feel BETTER about themselves!”

Panel five
BW: do you UNDERSTAND what I’m telling you?
WW: I think I do.

Panel six
WW: just one thing… you’re not suggesting that I’ve been RACIST, right?

Tiny inset panel at bottom of panel six
BW: Do you even hear the words I say?
WW: The ones I like.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons |

Obama and The End of Racism

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons |

Maintain that Hierarchy!

Cartoon by Barry

This comic strip was a component of a larger page of cartoons originally done for Dollars & Sense Magazine. You can view the whole thing here.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Economic cartoons, Feminist cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Recession Funnies!

Cartoon by Barry

“Recession Funnies” was a 2/3 page group of cartoons done for Dollars & Sense Magazine. It’s too large to fit in this space, but you can view the whole thing here.

Posted in Anti-racist cartoons, Economic cartoons, Media criticism |