Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 09/12/01

Artist's Statement

Hopefully readers who live in the South, or, like the author, backward areas of the Mid-Atlantic, are familiar enough with the use of this slogan on flags and bumper stickers in juxtaposition with the old Stars 'n' Bars to understand that this is meant to be a cartoon about American racism, and not, as I fear some will think, just pro-National Socialist. Sorry to pick on you guys in the South again. Actually, I was inspired to draw this one because of a guy here in my own county in Maryland--which is south of the Mason-Dixon line but was Union in the War--who flies a big Confederate flag right by I-95, basically advertising to everyone traveling by car up and down the eastern seabord: "We Are a Bunch of Ignorant Hicks--Keep Driving." So I'm aware that you don't have to be a Southerner to be a bigot. I just think it's not so easy to separate the "heritage" of the South from its history of slavery, any more than it's possible to separate the history of the United States from its own history of racism and imperialism.

But hey, this is not a week to be dwelling on the evils and failings of the U.S., or arguing about old regional grudges and differences. Regular readers of The Pain may be surprised to hear its bitter and cranky artist sound mawkish or patriotic, but if anything good did come out of the Civil War, it's that we are all Americans--South and North, black and white. If you'd asked me just Monday, I would've said that the sorts of people who work in the World Trade Center are corporate assholes with whom I have nothing in common, and people who work at the Pentagon are just evil. But watching them die horribly on Tuesday--goddamnit, those were my people.

As Charlie Daniels once said, "We may have done a little bit of fightin' among ourselves,/ But you Outside People best leave us alone."