Ya’ Don’t Say


This is the note that accompanied this cartoon to my clients today:

Dear editors,

Yeah, I’m a bad boy.

I didn’t do today’s cartoon lightly. I had serious doubts about this cartoon as soon as I thought of it and I wasn’t certain I would draw it. This is a curse word and for many, it’s equivalent to the n-word. It’s bad.

I also knew that if I did it differently that it would make the cartoon weaker, which is something I’m not fond of. So, I sent it to a few trusted individuals. Two of my friends who are straight said I should find another way to do this, although they did like it. One of my straight friends said, “Go for it,” though I had to factor in that she might be a bit crazy and she gets banned on social media a LOT. 

My cousin in Houston, who is gay, married, and is the same age as I am, said while it made him uncomfortable, that was the point and I should do it as is. As he said, it’s OK since it’s the elephants saying the bad word.

A fellow cartoonist, a Herblock Award and Pulitzer Prize winner loved it but told me to sleep on it. He was concerned it would be misinterpreted. His wife, another person I have great respect for, said the same thing. I slept on it and woke up with the decision to change it, to use asterisks in the word. 

But then…Laura Hutchison, a former editor from my last newspaper job, who is a high school teacher today and a board member of the Herblock Foundation (though not speaking for the board here), replied to a message I had sent last night.

She said she loved it and I should go for it. She said adding asterisks would only make it weaker and destroy the power and the point. We had a long conversation about it and she was more concerned about me taking hits for it, but believed in the cartoon without any changes. 

So, I know you probably won’t run this and I’m Ok with that. I just want you to understand where I’m coming from and that I’m not doing this lightly…and I fully expect to take some hits for it. I probably won’t have any Facebook access for the rest of the week.

In pushing me to do this cartoon, Laura, the teacher, wrote:

I’ve gotten to the f ‘em stage of life. We’ve been teaching the Harlem Renaissance. My kids have had some majorly deep conversations about race and change and the lack of change. I have a male student who has the most exquisite nails, and no one blinks an eye. Gay couples hold hands in the hallway. The “don’t say gay” law pushes people back into the closet and makes them feel “wrong.” Moll and I never hold hands in public, and when people ask if we are sisters, we usually lie and say yes. We came up in a different time. I didn’t come out until I was 31. I lived more of my life as a lie than I still have as who I really am. I hate seeing the clock turned back to a time like that.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402.

Watch me draw:

11 comments

  1. This is what editorial cartooning should be.

    In Indiana, if we were to run this, people wouldn’t understand because so many still use the word faggot. (And the n-word.)

    My wife, Erika, teaches media arts at a magnet school in South Bend, under the glow of the golden dome and Touchdown Jesus. One of her students (Hispanic, maybe a junior) came out to his parents over the weekend. They didn’t take it well at all. Now he is very down and depressed (and I would guess a suicide candidate). It didn’t surprise me because he was from an Hispanic family. Such a happy child before he showed courage.

    Their high school is very tolerant. There are many openly gay kids. The assistant superintendent is gay. (We know because he adopted a young man who we had fostered 75 miles away! Small world.)

    I asked Erika, “so would it have been worse had his sister gotten the COVID vaccine?” That girl, an anchor on their news magazine show, has not been vaccinated because the Hispanics don’t do that. Apparently getting the vaccine is not as bad, but she could not because her parents do not allow.

    OK, to bring this back around, all I can say is kudos, Mr. Jones. This is very bold, indeed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ok…… you said you will get some hits for this toon….so far…. you are correct… ALL THINK IT IS A BOLD CHOICE AND A HIT!!!!!! me included. Bravo Sir.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Good for you!

    Charlie -” That I can read and be happy while I am reading, is a great blessing.” — Anthony Trollope

    ________________________________
    From: claytoonz
    Sent: Friday, March 11, 2022 8:45 AM
    To: charliegirl299@outlook.com
    Subject: [New post] Ya’ Don’t Say

    clayjonz posted: ” This is the note that accompanied this cartoon to my clients today: Dear editors, Yeah, I’m a bad boy. I didn’t do today’s cartoon lightly. I had serious doubts about this cartoon as soon as I thought of it and I wasn’t certain I would draw ”
    Respond to this post by replying above this line
    New post on claytoonz
    [http://0.gravatar.com/blavatar/2229bf806c1897a254fbf3f516c546e4?s=32&d=http%3A%2F%2Fs0.wp.com%2Fi%2Femails%2Fblavatar.png]
    [http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/0ec8a22b1f4c5d9357e497d74314225b?s=50&d=identicon&r=G]
    Ya’ Don’t Say
    by clayjonz
    [https://claytoonz.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/cjonesrgb03122022.jpg?w=560]

    This is the note that accompanied this cartoon to my clients today:

    Dear editors,

    Yeah, I’m a bad boy.

    I didn’t do today’s cartoon lightly. I had serious doubts about this cartoon as soon as I thought of it and I wasn’t certain I would draw it. This is a curse word and for many, it’s equivalent to the n-word. It’s bad.

    I also knew that if I did it differently that it would make the cartoon weaker, which is something I’m not fond of. So, I sent it to a few trusted individuals. Two of my friends who are straight said I should find another way to do this, although they did like it. One of my straight friends said, “Go for it,” though I had to factor in that she might be a bit crazy and she gets banned on social media a LOT.

    My cousin in Houston, who is gay, married, and is the same age as I am, said while it made him uncomfortable, that was the point and I should do it as is. As he said, it’s OK since it’s the elephants saying the bad word.

    A fellow cartoonist, a Herblock Award and Pulitzer Prize winner loved it but told me to sleep on it. He was concerned it would be misinterpreted. His wife, another person I have great respect for, said the same thing. I slept on it and woke up with the decision to change it, to use asterisks in the word.

    But then…Laura Hutchison, a former editor from my last newspaper job, who is a high school teacher today and a board member of the Herblock Foundation (though not speaking for the board here), replied to a message I had sent last night.

    She said she loved it and I should go for it. She said adding asterisks would only make it weaker and destroy the power and the point. We had a long conversation about it and she was more concerned about me taking hits for it, but believed in the cartoon without any changes.

    So, I know you probably won’t run this and I’m Ok with that. I just want you to understand where I’m coming from and that I’m not doing this lightly…and I fully expect to take some hits for it. I probably won’t have any Facebook access for the rest of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When political cartooning is your bread and butter you walk that fine line between mass appeal (which means SSSSSSSS) and censorship (which means “no money”). A person has to eat and pay bills (unless you are Donald Trump … he eats but don’t pay no bills).
    It isn’t even a Freedom of Speech thing … It is a “making-a-living” thing. I would publish this cartoon without a second thought … but I have a back-up profession.
    The world has changed since McNelly, Paul Conrad, Bill Mauldin and the peak of MAD magazine. The public is fickle and way more sensitive and offended than I can recall from 70s, 80s, and 90s. It is also more openly willfully ignorant (Cult 45 Q-anon morons).
    As a business man as well as a political cartoonist, where can you reap the greatest financial benefit, keep your followers respect, and still look yourself in the mirror?
    If you publish and catch heat hopefully followers will send an extra few bucks to carry you through the controversy.

    Liked by 1 person

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