Michael Ramirez replies to that craven move from the Washington Post to cancel his cartoon
Michael Ramirez is the best political cartoonist in the world today, and a craven move by the Washington Post to cancel cartoon to depict the hypocrisy of a Hamas spokesman complaining about civilian deaths while holding Israeli child hostages, has drawn a reply from him in Newsweek.
Check out the must-read retort to the Post caving in to snowflake wokesters who claimed the 'toon was racist:
The gruesome details and brutal savagery of the October 7 attack launched by Hamas operatives on innocent civilians was shocking to even the most battled-hardened soldiers and war correspondents. Evidence of beheadings, babies shot in their cribs, parents shot in front of their children, entire families massacred, the torture and execution of the elderly, people burned alive, and hundreds of young people gunned down while attending a musical festival for peace, were widely reported and verified by video, audio, and forensic evidence.
Most people would be horrified. Yet in an interview on Lebanese television, Senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad hailed the brutal October 7 attack and pledged to repeat the October 7 attack again and again until Israel is "removed," claiming Hamas "was the victim," therefore "everything they do is justified."
That interview was the inspiration for a recent cartoon I drew for the Washington Post depicting Gazi Hamad and his human shields.
But my cartoon was pulled off the Washington Post editorial website amid an internal outcry. Critics claimed the cartoon was "racist" for stereotyping and demonizing Palestinians. They said the cartoon ignored the death of thousands and the suffering of millions of Palestinians as a result of the Israeli military response.
Which is laughable all by itself. Ramirez explains the main reason very well:
This cartoon was designed with specificity. Its focus is on a specific individual and the statements he made on behalf of a specific organization he represents—their claims of victimhood, and the plight of innocent Palestinians used as pawns in their political and military strategy.
That person is Ghazi Hamad. The caricature of the central figure looks like Ghazi Hamad.
The organization is Hamas. The main figure in the cartoon is labeled Hamas.Hamad's words and the innocents bound to him as human shields and their forced martyrdom reflect the official position of Hamas.
Hamas is a terrorist organization that blames Israel for the attack on civilians, but ignores its own complicity in their suffering. It was Hamas that first launched the attack on Israel, continues to use civilian infrastructure as cover, and restricts the evacuation of Gaza civilians from areas which Israel has given advanced warning of strikes.
Here is the cartoon:
This is the editorial cartoon which the Washington Post deleted.— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) November 10, 2023
The cartoon by Michael Ramirez, titled “Human Shields” depicted a Hamas leader using civilians as human shields.
The truth might hurt, but it’s still the truth.@washingtonpost @Ramireztoons pic.twitter.com/ZG1dUbUKau
As I argued earlier, the figure in the picture looked like the terrorist. It wasn't an anti-Semitic trope or whatever just because he had a big nose in it -- the thug really did have a big nose -- and a cruel eyes, a thug's lips, and a very evil demeanor, and the caricature reflected them well.
Then Ramirez blew them out of the water laying out side-by-side photos and caricatures of public figures like the Hamas spokesman, and photos of what they really looked like. He showed about a dozen figures, all of whom were caricatured to perfection and looked like creeps. Naturally, Democrats were among them, but Michael also included a caricature he did of Donald Trump to shut them up.
He also did a retort cartoon depicting the Hamas spokesman with a cartoon happy face, commenting on the Post's critique of the cartoon as racist. Happy now?
It's not just that the claim of racism is refutable on the hard facts. The thing that makes the racism claim really hypocritical is in the identities of the interested parties. Washington Post op-ed editor David Shipley is a pasty middle-aged white man who made the decision to pull the cartoon to satisfy the woke mob. Michael Ramirez is a dark-skinned American of Mexican and Japanese origin. A fat white guy is calling a Mexican-American cartoonist a racist? Somebody here's looking a little embarrassing and it's not Michael.
Michael's response was strong, able to roll with the punches, full of integrity, and full of a strong understanding of what effective journalism is about, including op-ed journalism. He concluded his piece with class:
I do not mind being attacked for my cartoons. People should be emotionally invested in their politics. While the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, it does not insulate you from the consequences of your speech. I accept that. It is part of the job.
I stand by the cartoon—and I stand by my critics' right to condemn it.
Sometimes, the truth hurts. Journalists have an obligation to keep the lights on and not kowtow to the voices of dissent who want to extinguish the free exchange of ideas, and hide in the darkness.
From my perspective, I think it hurt the Washington Post far more than me.
He concluded it in a classy way because he is classy, quite unlike the cowardly weasels at the Post. I know that because I know him as a longtime colleague at the old Investor's Business Daily editorial page. Michael made a stellar defense of the First Amendment and made the wokester cancel culture that is trying to stomp it out look like jackasses.
Read the whole thing here.
Image: Twitter screen shot // Michael Ramirez // fair use