Two events over the past two weeks showed the two sides of using Nazis imagery in editorial cartoons.
A cartoon by Peter Evans in the Islander News which included Trump wearing a swastika armband drew reader complaints—but also a stalwart defense of the cartoonist and the cartoon by the newspaper’s publisher.
Evans published his own response to the controversy. “The partial swastika was not meant to offend,” he wrote. “It was cartoon shorthand for what can happen when we ignore dangers the Constitution protects us from.”
The story eventually went national and Evans told The Washington Post: “The swastika is a detestable symbol. But it is only a symbol. I feel we should be more focused on what brought the symbol about.”
MEANwhile, a newspaper publisher in Kansas ran an anonymous cartoon on the paper’s Facebook page that, according to the Daily Cartoonist, “likened an order from the state’s [Democratic] governor requiring people to wear masks in public to the round-up and murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.”
The unsigned cartoon has since been deleted from the fb page of the Anderson County Review, but not before it drew swift international backlash against the publisher, who is also Anderson county’s Republican party chairman. (Conflict of interest much? — Ed.). The image itself was more meme than a proper editorial cartoon, mashing up a poorly photocopied photo from WWII with a drawing of Kansas Governor Laura Kelly “wearing a mask with a Jewish Star of David on it.”