Confederate Flag

Racist Mississippi


cjones07042020

It’s time for another racism test, kids. If you’re upset about the Confederate flag being removed from the state flag of Mississippi…and you don’t live in Mississippi, then you’re probably a racist. In fact, if you’re upset and you actually live in Mississippi, yup. You’re still a racist. Also, if you’re still supporting Donald Trump, you’re a racist.

After 126 years of being on the state flag, Mississippi is finally removing the Confederate emblem. Yesterday, the governor signed a bill making it official.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter, or in the wave of it, Confederate emblems are coming down. Lady Antebellum is now “Lady A.” The Dixie Chicks are now just “The Chicks.” Aunt Jemima is saying good-bye with Uncle Ben and Mrs. Butterworth soon to follow. Confederate statues are being removed officially or by the brute force of protesters. NASCAR has removed the hate flag from its venues, but not all the nooses apparently. Soon, the only thing left will be a hate president and a few of his Senators.

There is a lot that’s great about Mississippi. It’s where I started my career and sharpened my teeth in this business. I had the best teachers in Mississippi and I can’t think of a better place for a journalist to start their career. I worked for a weekly newspaper for five years, a daily for eight months (they fired me), and I freelanced several years for the Mississippi Business Journal while self-syndicating to over 40 papers in the state. I worked and lived in the state for seven years. I still have great friends there. My son was born there. In fact, I’ll be back there for a few days next month…even after publishing this cartoon.

If you don’t live in Mississippi, then let me explain this to you: It’s kinda like the biggest small town in the world. And in journalism circles, everyone knows everyone. If you’re in the journalism business, you will not impress another journalist by telling him or her that you had the governor in your office last week because he’s been in their office too. One governor was almost my personal lawyer before he ran for the top job. I once sat on the benches of a little league game with a different governor who, like me, had a newborn at home and we showed each other pics of our babies. Back in the 90s, it was not uncommon for me to run into the state’s attorney general (who was once in my office going through a stack of cartoons looking for himself) and for him to call me by my first name. How small of a town is it? People in the state know who their agriculture commissioner is. Here in Virginia, most people don’t even know we have a black lieutenant governor (he’s the one who actually has a black face).

It’s not that people in Mississippi are smarter than people in Virginia. God no. It’s just that it’s more close-knit. Plus, when the agriculture commissioner is in office for two decades, at some point you learn his name. And there are fish fries. You meet every politician in the state at fish fries. I can’t tell you how many times I met former Senator Trent Lott, mostly at fish fries. It got to the point that when I was told to cover something featuring Lott, my response was usually, “again?”. Oddly enough, in my seven years in the state, I never did meet Thad Cochran.

I mentioned the training I received in Mississippi. Two lessons that have stuck with me over the years are: There is almost never too close with a camera and you rarely need “that.” Also, my publisher once told me he wanted to see more irony in my work and I scoffed because I was sure there was plenty of irony in my work. Then I went to my office, had to step around a governor, and looked up the definition of “irony” just to be sure.

But, there is amazing talent in the state. It gave us William Faulkner, Willie Morris, Eudora Welty, and Marshall Ramsey (though he’s actually from Georgia…another state that had the hate emblem on their flag). Mississippi gave us Elvis. It gave us Oprah.

But I bet when you think of Mississippi, the first thing isn’t Faulkner, plantations, antebellum crap, cotton, Oprah, or even “O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?”. I bet the first thing you think of is racism.

Mississippi arguably has the most hateful past when it comes to racism. Even as recent as 2018, while appointed Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was running for her seat, she joked about public lynchings. On the day Trump visited to help her campaign against a black guy, nooses were hung on the grounds of the state capitol. As Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said of racist Strom Thurmond at his 100th racist birthday party, “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.” I don’t think he meant we wouldn’t have had “all these problems” because Thurmond was a great race uniter.

And about those lynchings in the south, between 1882 and 1968, there were 539 documented lynchings in Mississippi which were even more than Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida, all states with over 200 lynchings each. And who were they lynching? It wasn’t white people. So when it’s 2018 and a candidate for the United States Senate is still making lynching jokes, your state is racist.

Before you argue the state isn’t racist, it’s 2020 and the Confederate emblem is just now being removed from the official flag of a state where 38 percent of the population is black.

Also, another little test for you: If you don’t believe the Confederate flag is racist, you’re a racist.

It’s great the hate emblem is being removed. Georgia removed it. South Carolina removed it off the grounds of their state capitol after a brutal murder in a black church in 2015. But, the Confederacy is still represented in state flags. Georgia’s flag still has 13 stars and is modeled after the actual Confederate flag (it’s like when David Duke stopped wearing Klan robes and started wearing suits). Alabama’s and Florida’s flags were influenced by the hate flag. The Arkansas flag has four stars that represent the nations the state belonged to, Spain, France, the U.S., and the Confederacy…with the Confederacy’s star being on top.

There’s still a lot of hate, not just in the south but in this nation. Removing these symbols and emblems are only the first steps. The biggest thing we have to change are minds. When can we do that? After we stop teaching our kids to hate. Just yesterday, here in my little liberal city in Virginia, I heard a guy drop multiple N-bombs while talking about Black Lives Matter and his support for Donald Trump. Obviously, he was from Stafford County.

Like Donald Trump, Mississippi is synonymous with hate. Donald Trump’s not going to change his name because he’d still be racist. Mississippi won’t change its name either, but it can eventually cease to be synonymous with racism. But it has a LOT of work to do. That will be proven in November when they return Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate and go red for Donald Trump.

Maybe someday when you think of Mississippi, the first thing that comes to your mind won’t be hate.

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Mississippi White Vote


cjones11262018

Once upon a time in Mississippi, general elections were mere formalities. If you won your party’s primary, you won the election. That is if your party was the Democratic Party.

My career started in Mississippi and I lived there from 1990 to 1997. Once, I was present when some Democrats were on trial for something related to voting in a county supervisor primary. Two of the witnesses were Republican poll workers. When the defense attorney challenged their credibility by asking, how could they witness anything while keeping track of their own primary voters? One of the witnesses explained, “We only had two voters all day. We’re Republicans.” It wasn’t like they had a lot to do but sit at their table and watch all the people, who were their neighbors, working and voting at the Democratic table. The entire courtroom knew this.

Because Democrats had a lock on the state, that doesn’t mean it was a liberal state. If anything, it was more conservative then than it is now. Republicans started to move the state in the early 90s with the election of Kirk Fordice to the Governorship. Today, it’s a solid red state. My point is, Democrat Mike Espy is not going to win in Mississippi for the U.S. Senate Seat.

Espy’s opponent, Cindy Hyde-Smith, is the incumbent Senator, appointed to the post when Thad Cochran retired. She is a terrible candidate. She was caught on a microphone joking about attending a lynching, made another joke about voter suppression, and was photographed wearing Confederate battle garb at the home of Jefferson Davis. But, Mississippi still has the Confederate battle flag as part of the state flag.

The battle flag flag became the state flag in 1894 and was repealed in 1906, but the state ignored that and kept the flag flying for nearly a hundred years before there was a referendum to remove it in 2001. The referendum failed and the state legislature acted swiftly to make the battle flag flag the official state flag. Mississippi voters, by 64%, voted to keep a hate symbol flying.

You would think that Mississippi, which has more African-Americans per capita and more black elected officials than any other state in the nation and had 581 lynchings between 1882 and 1968, would be able to reject a horrible candidate like Hyde-Smith.

The Republican was unable to debate Espy without an advantage. The debate was sponsored by her campaign contributors, and Hyde-Smith demanded that there be no live audience or outside press in attendance. She also demanded that the candidates have access notepads during the debate. And she demanded that a planned segment in which the candidates would ask each other questions be changed, with the questions submitted beforehand and asked by the moderator. It was worse than the new rules Sarah Huckabee Sanders has for White House press briefings.

And yet, even with it scripted, she had difficulty with her apology for the lynching joke. After stumbling over the words (because reading is hard), she blamed others for “twisting” her words and “using them for nothing but political gain.” Previously, she blamed others for making something “negative” out of a lynching joke. Seriously.

Major donors, including Walmart and Leidos, are asking the Hyde-Smith campaign for their money back. The white supremacist who gave her $2,700 has not.

This looks pretty bad for Republicans. It’s shaping up to be another Alabama, where voters rejected the accused pedophile and sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. Even then, the pedophile still got 49% of the vote. But, this is Mississippi, where a joke about something as horrible as lynching will not sway the majority of white voters to vote for a Democrat, and a black guy at that. Mississippi hasn’t elected a black candidate to a statewide office in the more than 140 years since Reconstruction.

There are good people in Mississippi. Some of America’s greatest writers have come from the state. There are liberals and enlightened people. Some of the most talented people I ever worked with are from Mississippi. But, they’re outnumbered.

This is the state where it took three trials to convict Byron De La Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers, killed Emmett Till for flirting with a white woman, and killed three Civil Rights workers for helping blacks register to vote. Their former Senator, Trent Lott, said Strom Thurmond was right with his racism. Mississippi has changed a lot since those days, but a lot hasn’t.

Mississippi is still burning and it’s going to send a racist laughing about lynchings and voter suppression to the United States Senate.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
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Haters In Mourning


cjones12182016

A federal jury in South Carolina only needed two hours to convict Dylann Roof for murdering nine black parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last year. Dylann pulled the trigger 77 times.

Roof, who is only 22-years-old, is a self-radicalized white supremacist. The same jury that found him guilty on 33 charges will also be the one that decides if he will be sentenced to death or face life in prison without parole.

Racists and anyone who patronizes and tolerates their hatred created the atmosphere for Dylann Roof to kill. You don’t hear conservative politicians campaign and scream for more laws to prevent terrorism by radicalized Christians, like Roof and Robert Lewis Dear.

Dear killed three people and injured nine more when he attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last year. The abortion clinic attack was encouraged by fake videos accusing Planned Parenthood of selling body parts from aborted babies. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina spurred on the accusations against PP before and after the attack, even after the videos were debunked. What’s a few deaths compared to what plays well politically in Peoria, or on Breitbart and Infowars?

South Carolina was so distraught over the murders in Charleston that they finally took down the Confederate flag from the grounds of their state capitol building. Why does it take spilled blood before you realize something is a bad idea? They acted swiftly on the flag issue (after decades of complaints) and ignored the one on guns.

The people who fly the flag and encourage the likes of Dylann Roof and Robert Dear are the types who voted for Donald Trump, our next president. They’re the same types who are spraying Swastikas on black churches and intimidating gays and minorities. They feel empowered. We need more people to speak out against them instead of a president and the controlling political party silence. They would rather scream about radicalized Muslims while ignoring the fact that more people in this country have been killed, and will be killed, by white Christians than brown Muslims.

Dylann Roof deserves to die. Someday he will but I hope it’s not by the hands of the government. Death is not a punishment for a crime like this. It does not discourage lunatics from committing terrible acts. I believe a government by the people should be better than those who murder. Dylann Roof deserves to rot in a tiny cell for the rest of his life and think about what he did. Maybe at some point in his remaining days he’ll understand what a horrible person he is and that he let hatred not just destroy his life, but also nine others who were innocent.

Maybe while we’re fighting the voices of hate we can do something about this gun problem and prevent someone in the future from entering a church and shooting parishioners 77 times.

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Last Image Of Racism


cjones07102015

I have a buddy that I’ve known for over a decade. He’s always been a rock star who’s never been on stage. Tonight he debuted for the very time as a band member (vocalist/frontman) and I went to check it out. The room was packed and really hot. The music was really rocking though I couldn’t hear my buddy’s vocals. He still impressed as a frontman.

The opening band consists of other friends of mine and I always enjoy them, though I hear every. single. one. of their practices so there wasn’t anything new there for me. They’re a cover band and they did rock. One of my buds in that group has a new Les Paul and I got to check that out for the first time (I’m a guitar geek).

The middle act was a chick named “Monster” on acoustic guitar. She was really cute but didn’t really know how to play live (I’ve been there with less cuteness and more not knowing what I was doing). I had to tell the sound guy not to put her acoustic guitar into a ’65 Twin Reverb as acoustic guitars and tube amps don’t play nice together. We put her guitar through a power speaker and there was still feedback.

I miss playing live music.

Anyway, I still had a cartoon to draw so I brought along my trusty notebook. Somewhere between the loudness, beer, bourbon, heat, crowd, old friends I haven’t seen in a really long time, toilets without toilet seats, inattentive bartenders, being overcharged,  hot girls overcompensating with too many tattoos, and a room full of body odor, I sketched out this idea.

Terrible thing is I still have to draw one more cartoon by noon and it’s now close to 6:00 A.M. Somehow I’ll get it done though I really want to go to sleep now.

Here’s the rough.

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Freedom Of Cake Expression


cjones07022015

A Wal-Mart employee didn’t recognize an ISIS flag. Is that so shocking? Even CNN had a recent problem differentiating the flag from a giant dildo (seriously).

So some right-wing goober tried to order a Confederate Flag cake at Wal-Mart and the store’s bakery refused. He wanted to make a point of some sort so he showed the employee an ISIS flag and ordered a cake with that design. I’m sure he didn’t tell the employee it was the logo for an international terrorist organization with a fondness for beheadings. The store delivered. I’m not sure what flavor the cake was but I’m sure the party was a blast. Get it? Blast!

Personally, I think the bakery should make a Confederate Flag cake if someone orders it. I think the flag is a symbol of racism but it’s really no skin off my hide if you have serve cake at your KKK party. I also don’t have an issue with private businesses selling the flags. I don’t care. Someone is going to sell them. Freaks are gonna fly them. I just don’t think they belong on government property.

Here are the roughs. I changed the art and text.

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Good Flag, Bad Flag


cjones06292015

It was a huge landmark decision when the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all of the United States. A couple of southern states (it’s always the south) are still resisting.

There’s a lot of rejoicing out there and a lot of bemoaning. I find it funny that the same people who complained about “activist judges” on Friday didn’t use that term for “Citizens United.”

There are two arguments being made right now that are seriously flawed.

Regarding those defending the flag: Yes, the flag is representing racism and hatred. It doesn’t matter what it means to you. To the majority of black Americans, and to many others, it represents hate. Your flying it shows a huge lack of empathy on your part.

The flag wasn’t even popular until the Civil Rights era which is also when states like Georgia and South Carolina started flying it. Tell me how that’s not hate.

And stop saying the Civil War was not about slavery. OK, for the North it was about preserving the Union. For the South, it was about slavery. It’s mentioned in the Ordinances of Secession. The guy who designed that flag you love even said it represents white supremacy. You lost the war, let it go. You’ve lost the argument so it’s time for you to let that go.

That flag is not your heritage. I’m from the South and that flag doesn’t represent me. But then again, I’m not a racist.

Regarding the ruling on gay marriage: It’s the law. Get over it. The country is progressing. Just because you’re not doesn’t mean you can drag all of us to Hell with you.

Stop quoting the Bible to defend your opinion on gay marriage. Our laws are not governed by religion. If you want to live in a country governed by religion then you should move to Iran. Send me a postcard.

About creating the cartoon: Usually I like to storm out of the gate with breaking news and be one of the first ones to cover an issue. On Friday I wasn’t home for most of the day. It gave me a chance to see what everyone was saying, and other cartoonists were drawing. I was kinda glad to wait it out.

I’m totally sick of the flag issue. But that girl, Bree Newsome, climbed the pole in South Carolina and took the flag down. I do believe that at times a little civil disobedience is a good thing when it’s in the name of civil rights. It was bold but I think it’s a bad idea to break the law to take the flag down. It just gives the defenders an opportunity to play pretend victim. I didn’t think the event warranted a cartoon on its own but then I read about Justice Antonin Scalia’s freak out. How could I not?

I messed up on the flag. My first version had eight stripes. I had to destroy it and paste (literally on hard copy. Not in photoshop) a new flag on the drawing paper.

 

My Dixie Wrecked


utah06282015

Here is this week’s cartoon for The Independent in St. George, Utah.

Dixie State University is in St. George, Utah. Why is there a university named Dixie State in Utah of all places? That’s a really good question.  Utah was not even a state during the Civil War. It’s not anywhere close to be in the South or “Dixie.” Did some father of the university have an infatuation with the American South? Hell, the place used to fly the confederate flag.

There’s a bit of a movement for the place to change it’s name. Some find it offensive racially. I find it offensive geographically. You would think an institution of higher learning could locate itself on a map.

Plus, to a lot of people, “Dixie” does not give the impression of higher culture, understanding, sophistication, intelligence.

Change the name already.

Here’s the rough.

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Ditching The Flag


cjones06232015

The first response that Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, should have had after the massacre at Emanuel AME Church should have been to call for removing the Confederate Battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol. Haley and several GOP candidates for president spent a few days defending the flag or trying to avoid the issue.

On Monday Haley called for the flag to come down. Several Republicans have followed suit and in Mississippi a Republican in the legislature is calling for that state to remove the emblem from their state flag.
As Haley called for bringing the flag down she talked about understanding how many view the flag with pride, as a symbol of heritage and history. Of course she had to say that. That’s South Carolina. They once threw out a Republican governor for calling for the removal of the flag.
Will removing the flag stop racists from being racists? No but will stop governments from aligning themselves with racist movements, thus appearing to endorse them.
With the flag on top of the state capitol and then on the grounds, South Carolina was giving the finger to every black citizen of their state. They say there’s two ways to look at the flag and they were only respecting the one. The one that offended. For decades they ignored that the state house also belonged to the minority population in the state. That’s some serious racism.
A lot of people use the tired defense of the flag that it’s history, heritage, honoring those who fought for the South. I’m going to try to put this in a way those defenders can understand: It doesn’t matter what you think.
Why doesn’t it matter what you think? Because you are using lies and reinterpretations of history to base your argument.
The flag didn’t have anything to do with South Carolina (or Mississippi, or Georgia) during the Civil War. The present one on the grounds of the state capitol was the battle flag for the Army Of Tennessee. The one that was on their dome was the battle flag for the Army Of Northern Virginia.

It was adopted by the Ku Klux Klan when it formed in Tennessee. In 1862 the flag was put on top of the Capitol dome in South Carolina to rebel against the Civil Rights movement and desegregation. Nice.
Here’s another factoid for you: The Civil War was fought by the South to preserve slavery. South Carolina was the first state to attack the north (Southerners love to talk about northern aggression. That’s like saying Poland was aggressive to Nazis). South Carolina was the first to secede and in their statement of secession there is heavy mention that the reasoning was because the north elected a president “hostile” to slavery. The war was about slavery. End of discussion.
That flag is not your heritage unless you had a relative in the Army of Northern Virginia or Army Of Tennessee. Hang it in your yard or fly it from your mobile home. That’s fine. Do what you want on your private property. The only other way the flag is your heritage is if your ancestors were members of the KKK.
The Confederacy had a very short life. For Southerners wanting to be proud of their heritage why do they only cling to four years of it? The Nazis and the Swastika flew over Germany much longer and you don’t see that nation clinging to that as their heritage.
The Confederate flag represents hate, segregation and hate. Unless you’re for those, put the flag away.
The other thing is, why are you proud of being a traitor?
I’d like to congratulate the GOP on joining the 21st century, some what. Where ya’ been?
Here’s the rough.
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