Interpretation of Comic


One of the most affecting things we were exposed to in this course was a video of protestors someplace in California who were heckling and spewing hate at Muslims as they went to attend a dinner celebrating civic achievements by Muslims.  It was absolutely revolting, and made me feel terrible for those who had to experience such hatred, and that the protestors represented a not insignificant part of the population who shared their sentiments.  As I thought about it, one of the most terrible effects of the protestors’ hate was that it told the Muslims, ordinary families, that they didn’t belong, that they weren’t welcome.  This kind of exclusion is completely antithetical to all that America stands for as a place of freedom where we claim that anyone should be able to make what they want of themselves and not be prevented from doing so because of their race or creed.  I was horrified that anyone was meant to feel that they didn’t belong, especially as these people do belong here.  They’re just as American as anyone else.  The actions of the protestors were not only infuriating but also absurd.  Who are they to tell any other American that they don’t belong or aren’t welcome just because they hold a different form of belief.  I thought about how this would be a difficult experience for the Muslims who were protested to process from an identity stand point.  These people identify as Americans, and so to be told that they don’t belong to the place that they absolutely feel they do belong to would be painfully dissonant.  I wanted to get across the absurdity of the protestors and the poignancy of this effect on the poor Muslims who had to experience this terrible treatment.  I realized a political cartoon was a great way to do this, as cartoons are all about powerful brevity, making a strong point in a satirical way.  It was towards this end that I came up with this cartoon.  That the main protestor has USA on his hat emphasizes how absurd it is that he and the others think they speak for America or all Americans.  I especially like how it invites the person reading it inside the thoughts of the girl in the Burka, showing her internality and personality, that although she is covered and therefore often perceived as anonymous she has a vital inner life that is being effected by the hate she experiences.

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