Robert F Kennedy Human Rights

RFK Bust

Not that I want to brag about this…again, but I want you to see this, And it’s not like it’ll get a lot of people gawking at it in my tiny apartment.

As you probably already know, I won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights journalism award for cartooning last May. They did a very nice online presentation since COVID denied us all an in-person awards banquet. Stupid COVID. I hate you, COVID. The check for winning arrived a couple of weeks ago and last night, or sometime during the day (I’m not sure when), the trophy arrived.

It’s a bust of RFK. When I first won the award, several of my colleagues were like, “and you get a badass trophy.” And I wanted this trophy. I told them, “I want the head.” I’ve seen photos of these before but they don’t do it justice. It’s huge and it weighs a little over 13 lbs, only two lbs if Dr. Ronnie Jackson weighs it. This will NOT fit on my windowsill with my Mr. Potato Head.

I had a very late night working on my CNN cartoon (Clay don’t sleep) and couldn’t come up for air or food until 10 p.m. I decided to go to McDonald’s and when I opened my apartment door, I found a huge and heavy box with my name on it in the hallway of my building. I was relieved it was by my door because sometimes delivery people leave packages for me outside the building or at the Chinese dumpling place downstairs.

I don’t have a place to put it. It sat on my work desk last night and on the kitchen table while I drew today’s cartoon. I have to buy a shelf for this and make room for that. I may have a plaque coming for winning the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (I hope so), so I’ll put that on the wall near it along with the few plaques and certificates I’ve won in state journalism contests (that have spent years in boxes). Maybe I’ll make a nifty Zoom background out of it.

This is my first national journalism award so it’s a big deal for me. But ya’ know, if I win any more awards in the future, they’ll be big deals for me too. I was never confident I’d ever win one, or if I’ll get any more. And this year, I won more than any other cartoonist in the country. Go figure.

I really wanted to win the RFK because you win it with your work covering human rights, which to me are the most important issues journalists can cover.

A friend of mine with the Herblock Foundation told me they have his RFK bust in their office, and knowing we both have one of these is so surreal to me. I’m really not worthy to be in Herblock’s company.

Thank you, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights people. You rock!

RFK Winning Entree

I promised a few friends and cartooning colleagues I would get around to creating a post of my RFK award-winning entry. I still feel weird saying that.

Each editorial cartoon contest requires a certain number of cartoons in an entree. The Pulitzer, Herblock, and RFK each require 15 cartoons. All the rest require less. It’s extremely difficult to select 15, or fewer, of your best from over 300 cartoons.

The RFK is special. While most of the other contests want your best, the RFK wants your best on a specific subject, human rights. I love that about this organization as human rights is my main focus. Some of these cartoons got me suspended on various social media platforms. Here are the “award-winning” cartoons.

I can’t thank the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization enough. I’m now on the list with the likes of Don Wright, Mike Peters, Paul Conrad, Clay Bennett, Mike Luckovich, Matt Davies, Doug Marlette, Signe Wilkinson, Dan Perkins, Jen Sorenson, Mark Fiore, Jack Ohman, David Horsey, Darrin Bell, Mike Thompson, Stephanie McMillan, J.D. Crowe (last year’s winner), and Herblock. Whoa. I came into this business looking up to these people. I still do. I was told the name of a couple of cartoonists who were in the running with me this year and they’re also people I greatly admire. So again, whoa.

This award means the world to me. It only took me 32 years to win a national award. I also want to thank everyone who’s ever supported me for helping me get here. From colleagues in Mississippi, Honolulu, and Virginia, to publications in other locations that have commissioned cartoons from me, to CNN, to everyone at GoComics, to all my newspaper clients, to people who comment, like, and share on social media, to everyone who’s contributed financially, bought a print, or a book, to everyone who views and comments here, to the family members who still talk to me (even my older MAGA sister who told me I “wasted my talent”), and even to those who’ve criticized, thank you. I hope you know how much your support has meant to me.

It’s so rewarding knowing my insane crazy style of weirdness has finally been validated.

You rock.