Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
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."