Poor choice of political cartoon

Janet Hernes Mathistad

Minot

I was dismayed by the political cartoon you chose to run in Tuesday’s edition of the Minot Daily News: an African American couple holding a newspaper headlining Chicago weekend deaths, and then asking, “And we’re upset about statues?”

The cartoon presents a false dichotomy – implying that one cannot be upset both about death and about statues honoring those who supported white supremacy in the South. By setting up statues as a trivial thing to be upset about, it betrays the long history of oppression and injustice meted out to minorities throughout the history of our country. It minimizes the fact that those Confederates honored in the statues went to war against the United States in order to preserve their right to keep slaves.

When the Civil War was fought, it was about slavery. It was only later that it was whitewashed with the idea that it was merely about states’ rights.

Dylan Roof wrapped himself in the Confederate flag and then shot and killed 9 African Americans in a church. The fact that it was white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis who descended on Charlottesville demonstrates that it was not merely innocent history they were defending. Racism and white supremacism permeate the Confederate statues. It is indeed something to be upset about.

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