Friday, April 30, 2021

Q Toon: The Transgender Menace

I wouldn't keep harping on this subject if Republican state legislators all across the country weren't so doggoned dogged in their persecution of transgender persons. It is as if there were some tightly-run conspiracy coordinated out of the basement of a Colorado Springs pizza parlor, zealously followed by minions from Maine to Montana. 
According to data from the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation's largest LGBTQ advocacy groups, at least 117 bills have been introduced in the current legislative session that target the transgender community. It's the highest number the organization has recorded since it began tracking anti-LGBTQ legislation more than 15 years ago.
The majority of bills would affect transgender youth, a group that researchers and medical professionals warn is already susceptible to high rates of suicide and depression.  

Punitive anti-transgender legislation has already become law not only in Arkansas, but also in Alabama, Missisippi, and Tennessee, and enacted into law by executive order by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. And it doesn't stop there.

This legislation targets everything from transgender youth participation in sports to hormone therapy treatment — banning both. I think you could even include Republican efforts to restrict voting rights: iinsisting upon deadnaming (or dead-signaturing, or dead-photo-IDing, etc.) transgender voters effectively disenfranchises them.

I suppose there must be a transphobic Democrat or two in somebody's state legislature, but anti-trans policy is overwhelmingly a priority of Republicans. Here in Wisconsin, our Republican legislature may well pass the "Protect Women in Sports Act" authored by Rep. Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc), but it's unlikely to get past Democratic Gov. Tony Evers's veto. In Maine, Rep. Beth O'Connor (R-Berwick) has submitted a nearly identical bill, but there is no chance of that legislature's Democratic majority or Gov. Janet Mills approving it.

This map from Wikipedia shows that Republicans control 30 of the 50 state legislatures in this country (and half of the chambers in two more). Of those, only Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have Democratic governors potentially standing in the way of anti-trans legislation.

For now.

All of those governors are either up for reelection next year or term-limited shortly thereafter.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Toon: Cooler Heads Must Prevail

It is nearly impossible to satirize the level of desperation at Fox News.

This week, they got caught lying about President Biden's putting America on a vegan diet, and about every immigrant child receiving Vice President Harris's book as a welcome gift. 

Then, perpetually perplexed Tucker Carlson actually urged his viewers to report to the police any children wearing protective masks in public. Because, I guess, the police don't get in enough trouble responding to non-emergency calls.

No, it's because COVID-19 is safe and effective, and has been since Easter of last year, just like our Trump and Savior promised it would be. Or something like that. Anyway, as any parent knows, you can't catch diseases from children. 

It's masks that are dangerous. Them and vaccines.

In my inked version of this cartoon, I had Larry Kudlow offering Tucker Carlson a "bacon-based beer," but I decided I had better change it in Photoshop.

I've watched enough episodes of "Chopped" to know that someone has undoubtedly produced and sold a beer made with bacon. 

And some Connor Sewer undoubtedly buys it.

Monday, April 26, 2021

This Week's Sneak Peek

It's back to serious business this week.

In other news, since I haven't seen my own cartoons in print in six or seven years, I often wonder whether I'm colorizing my cartoons in a way that translates as well to the page as it does on the screen. I was reminded of the possible pitfalls when I saw this cartoon by Michael Ramirez in the Chicago Tribune last week:

Okay, the contrast was a little better in print than in this photograph. I tried scanning the page for this post, but since I have set my preferences to heighten contrast, the scan actually looked better than the printed copy in the Trib. You'll just have to trust me that there's an awful lot of the same shade of dark gray on the page, and it's quite difficult to discern the shape of Doc Brown's DeLorean.

In a newspaper that doesn't print color on its editorial page, this cartoon must be virtually incomprehensible.

The last time I saw one of my own colorized cartoons in print, I was fairly pleased with how it came out. Admittedly, however, that was on glossy paper instead of newsprint, and I tend not to cram anywhere near as much detail into the background of my cartoons as Mr. Ramirez typically does in his.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Remembering Fritz Mondale

in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., Nov. 1, 1984
The news was quickly overshadowed — perhaps even in Minnesota — by the Derek Chauvin verdict this week, but we lost one of the good guys this week. Former Vice President Walter "Fritz" Mondale passed away Monday at the age of 93.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to honor the man by pulling up some of my old cartoons in which he was featured — with the recognition that, like most editorial cartoonists, I tend not to draw a lot of cartoons about what a swell person the object of the cartoon is.

July, 1978
This unpublished cartoon from my notebooks is the earliest Mondale cartoon I have. It was not necessarily the first Mondale cartoon I ever drew; I lost a folder with four years' worth of these sketches while I was in college, and I couldn't possibly tell you what I drew about the 1976 Democratic ticket.

I can tell you that Mondale, with Washington experience that his president lacked, was a vital asset to the Carter administration, which gave him an office in the White House and sent him on important foreign trips such as this one to Israel. Menachem Begin was not particularly receptive to the U.S. administration's criticism of its settlements on territory seized in 1967 and 1973.
August, 1980
This is another unpublished cartoon from my notebooks. Curiously, I don't seem to have drawn Mondale in any published cartoons during his vice presidency, in spite of my stint as editorial cartoonist at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, during those same years. Even when Mondale came to our campus to install College President Sidney Rand as U.S. Ambassador to Norway — the political highlight of the year at St. Olaf! — what did I draw for the Manitou Messenger?

I drew one cartoon that week about John Anderson's campaign for president, and another about the possibility of reinstating the draft (neither original of which I still have, nor any other cartoons from that semester).

Oct., 1983; in UW-Parkside Ranger, December 15, 1983

Drawing for another school newspaper, I took plenty of opportunities to draw Walter Mondale during his 1984 presidential campaign. I drew this one in October, 1983 when the movie "The Right Stuff" seemed tailor-made to benefit the campaign of Democratic astronaut John Glenn (although the cartoon only saw print as part of a "Berge's Year In Review" feature).

As a note of explanation for you youngsters, "Look for the Union Label" was an advertising jingle for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in the 1980's, pleading with consumers to buy union-made clothing rather than the cheaper imports that soon put the union's members out of work. And to you oldsters, I apologize for the earworm.

Dec., 1983; in UW-Parkside Ranger, January 19, 1984
Going into the 1984 campaign, Mondale had the endorsements of most of the major unions and liberal interest groups in the country.
July, 1984
What was a decided advantage for Mondale in the Democratic primaries (and even moreso in the caucuses) became more of a liability in the general election.

July, 1984
Even breaking ground by naming a woman, Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY), as his running mate, failed win him the sort of credit it ought to have. It came off instead as catering to yet another interest group.

A lot has been made of Mondale's vow that because of Ronald Reagan's ballooning federal deficit, "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did." He was right, of course: Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all had to raise taxes before the budget would balance. But it wasn't something Americans wanted to hear in 1984.

More significantly, the U.S. economy was on the rebound. A decade of escalating energy prices had come to an end, double-digit inflation was in check, business was picking up as interest rates fell; and Reagan was only too happy to take credit for it all. Reagan contrasted this renewed sense of optimism with the national "malaise" proclaimed by his predecessor, which he pinned on Mondale's tail at every opportunity.

in UW-Parkside Ranger, October 4, 1984
Reagan recovered from a shaky performance in the candidates' first debate with the quip during the second one that "I will not make age an issue in this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." It was a scripted line, but Mondale reportedly knew at that moment that the election was lost.

The media had already come to that conclusion. Given television journalism's obsession with polls and sound bites, the only question about the outcome of the election was just how badly Mondale would lose.
in UW-Parkside Ranger, September 13, 1984

All things considered, it isn't fair to remember Fritz Mondale only for ending up on the bottom of the biggest electoral landslide in U.S. history, so here are just a few accomplishments from his career:

As a young senator, he co-wrote the Fair Housing Act of 1968, a pillar of federal civil rights legislation. He later engineered a 1975 bipartisan deal that ended the two-thirds rule for stopping filibusters, so that 60 senators instead of 67 could cut off debate.

Under President Jimmy Carter, he became the first vice president with a day job, as adviser to the president, not just a bystander. He called it the “executivization” of the vice presidency.

And as a Democratic presidential nominee, he chose the first female nominee for vice president from a major party.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Q Toon: Changing Channels

After so many weeks cartooning about the right-wing assault on transgender Americans, and a week that saw a mass shooting just about every day, I felt the need to draw a little fluff for a change.

A recent contestant on ABC's The Bachelor, Colton Underwood, came out as gay last week. The former NFL linebacker (Chargers, Raiders, Eagles) had previously been one of the bevy of male contestants on The Bachelorette before becoming the focus of The Bachelor's season 23. In case you're unfamiliar with the franchise, there's a houseful of people who are the opposite sex of the season's bachelor/ette, who goes on a series of dates with them and winnows them down to a final, er, winner.

The object of the game is supposedly matrimony, which is as bad an idea as has ever emerged from a producers' brainstorming session. (The two shows nevertheless have a combined 42 seasons between them.) Happily, Underwood's star turn did not result in wedding bells, although there was a restraining order involved.

We all come to grips with our sexuality at our own pace and on our own terms. Some people make and embrace the realization in childhood, while others do so only later in life. There are still, moreover, a wide variety of pressures to deny oneself, whether from church, family, or the locker room, so I don't wish to second guess Mr. Underwood's choices. 

His choice now to share the reorientation of his life on a Netflix series seems ill-advised, I suppose; but on the other hand, famous people don't get the luxury of coming out quietly — what say you, Ellen DeGeneres, Greg Louganis, Lance Bass, Kaitlyn Jenner, Elliot Page? 

Besides, the phenomenon of newly out LGBTQ+ going kind of overboard in the process is fairly well known, even without the celebrity factor.

Of all the other LGBTQ+ celebrities, activists and mavens who have had anything to say about Underwood, whether supportive of his coming out or attacking him for "monetizing" his experience, perhaps the most insightful was 1990's NSYNC heartthrob Bass, who told the Daily Mail,

"So when someone comes out as a public figure, so many people immediately go, 'It's too late.' They don't like to support it because they don't feel like you know what you're talking about yet.

"But I don't think Colton is trying to lead that charge of trying to be the spokesperson for the LGBTQ community." Lance, 41, added.

So perhaps ABC could sign him up for a same-sex season of The Bachelor instead.

Monday, April 19, 2021

This Week's Sneak Peek

After last week's cartoonis horribilis, I had to come up with something friendly, wholesome and, ooh, just nice for this week.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Rotten Easter Egg

In another on-line forum this weekend, I egged on its readers to look for an "Easter egg" in last Thursday's cartoon; so in fairness, I feel obligated to reveal the answer this morning.

"This Is Her First Lynching" by Reginald Marsh in New Yorker, Sept. 8, 1934

The woman in the red hat in my cartoon could well be the daughter of the little girl in Reginald Marsh's 1934 cartoon.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Yap Flap

A tiny island group in the western Pacific was a big deal 100 years ago.

"Once We Couldn't Find Yap with a Magnifying Glass" by Homer Stinson in Dayton Daily News, April, 1921

Chances are that most of my non-Filipino readers couldn't find Yap on a map, either. (It's a cluster of four islands in the Carolines at 9°32′N 138°07′E, if you must know.) Pertinent to our discussion today, Wikipedia reports that:

Yap was a major German naval communications center before the First World War and an important international hub for cable telegraphy, with spokes branching out to Guam, Shanghai, Rabaul, Naura and Manado (Sulawesi's North coast). It was occupied by Japanese troops in September 1914, and passed to the Japanese Empire under the Versailles Treaty in 1919 as a mandated territory under League of Nations supervision.
"He Wanted Only One Thing..." by John T. McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, ca. April 23, 1921
The U.S. and Japan had fought on the same side in World War I, but their pre-war military and economic rivalry in the Pacific was quickly rekindled afterward. U.S. commercial concerns worried that they would be frozen out of commercial rights at the island; and as a cable communications hub, Yap played an vital role in the American administration of the Philippines as a colonial possession.

Meanwhile, the month-old Harding administration had just made official U.S. rejection of the League of Nations and with it the Treaty of Versailles, so McCutcheon's Uncle Sam ought to have considered himself lucky that he got a table in that restaurant at all, to say nothing of trying to order a la carte.

"Yapping" by Daniel Fitzpatrick in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April, 1921

"Jingoes" was the name for self-styled patriots vocally pushing for war, in this case over that little Pacific island group. You would think that so soon after armistice was declared in The Great War, people on all sides would have a healthy aversion to war talk... and you would be right.

"Suppose We Close the Window..." by Haydon Jones in New York Evening Post, April, 1921

So, at the risk of dredging up some hateful images of Asian/Pacific islanders, who were those American Jingoes, and what were they drawing?

"The Lengthening Shadow" by Wm. S. Warren in Chicago Tribune, April, 1921
Judging from this cartoon, as well as John McCutcheon's above and a Carey Orr cartoon I had posted last month, the isolationist editors at the Chicago Tribune were nevertheless content to rile up their readers against the "Yellow Peril." This is hardly an original image (see Homer Stinson's cartoon here), but it is one that would come up again and again over the next 24 years.

I believe that this cartoonist was William S. Warren, described in a news report of his death as having been an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, Buffalo Evening News, and Philadelphia Public Ledger. He retired from newspaper cartooning in 1939 to draw children's books, and, according to the October 20, 1968 Long Beach, CA Independent Press Telegram, committed suicide at age 86. 
"Don't Overlook This Frog" by Orville P. Williams in New York Journal, ca. April 2, 1921

Anti-Asian hysteria at Hearst newspapers goes back long before U.S. entry into World War I; we've shared some cartoon doozies from Harry Murphy, for example (and spared you some others). If the tune in Orville Williams's cartoon is as catchy as it looks, small wonder that it is completely unfamiliar today. There is a similar quotation attributed to Mark Twain, although I can't vouch for his reputation as a singer.

"The Importance of Yap Island..." by J.N. "Ding" Darling in New York Tribune, April 28, 1921
Well, as I hope you already knew, the U.S. did not go to war with Japan over the isle of Yap; even in World War II, the U.S. bombed the island, but did not attempt to occupy it. A 1922 treaty between the U.S. and Japan guaranteed American commercial rights on the island, and it returned to its status as someplace most Americans could not locate on a map.

The tedious business of drawing crowds is a topic that comes up often in cartoonist circles (Jeff Parker brought it up this week with a Facebook memory of a 2014 "Dustin" Sunday cartoon set in a busy airport). Perhaps the task was easier in a day when everyone wore hats, but this cartoon is still pretty impressive work.

It does depend on one's being able to draw hats.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Q Toon: Casscoe at the Bat

The Arkansas legislature overwhelmingly overrode a veto by Governor Asa Hutchinson of its new punitive bill banning any and all therapy for transgender youth in the state. The vote in their Senate was 75 to 25; their House voted 25-8.

Hutchinson, no friend of the LGBTQ community in the first place, complained that the law steps over the line: it contains no "grandfather" provision for transgender persons who have already begun treatment, and it is antithetical to the theory of small government.

Perhaps the governor fails to appreciate that "small government" ideals appeal only to conservatives who want the government out of their own business. Conservatives have been only too happy to have government intervene in the affairs of other people.

But what really bothers me most is how easily I could simply repurpose this cartoon to be about state governments in South and North Dakota, Mississippi, Montana, West Virginia, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Iowa, North and South Carolina, Tennessee — and I haven't even gotten to the states that do have Major League Baseball franchises.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Kurds in the Punchbowl

in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., April 18, 1991

Continuing last Saturday's review of my cartoons from April thirty years ago, this post mortem on President George H.W. Bush's stratospheric post-war popularity starts with my one and only ever Brackets cartoon.

Bush looked unbeatable going into April, 1991. Doubters of his invasion of Iraq had expected a long, drawn-out desert war on the model of the 1981-1988 Iran-Iraq War, but the difference this time was that Iraq didn't have the benefit of U.S. support. Quite the opposite. 
in UW-Parkside Ranger, April 4, 1991

Quickly yielding Kuwait to the U.S.-led coalition forces Bush had meticulously assembled, Saddam Hussein almost immediately turned his toxic attention to the Kurds in his own country's north. During the Iran-Iraq War, Hussein had answered a Kurdish rebellion by gassing the town of Hallabja, killing 5,000 residents. 

in UW-M Post, Milwaukee Wis., April 18, 1991

My cartoon here was a play on Bush's "New World Order"; but if Bush didn't actually place this order, he did, in fact, encourage Iraqi citizens "to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside..." 

Once Hussein's army no longer had to defend Baghdad against foreign forces, they quickly went to work brutally putting down uprisings in the Kurdish north and in the south. Unable to hold onto cities and villages, the Kurdish militia holed up in mountains and caves, eventually protected by U.S.-enforced no-fly zones.

Unpublished. Hey, lookie! A world premiere!

I drew this cartoon for the UW-M Post's April 25 issue, but they re-ran a year-old cartoon about northern Wisconsin protests against Chippewa fishing rights instead. Whether this cartoon was spiked or simply late for deadline I don't remember.

Hey, thank you for coming along with me trudging through the sands of time. Look for some older than dirt cartoons next Saturday at this same dusty corner of the internet.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Q Toon: Just As They Am

This argument came up in a couple different on-line discussions about transgender rights on Transgender Day of Visibility last week: God created you as your birth gender, so it's sacrilegious to change to another gender.

Since the people who made that argument have nothing to do with each other, I have to assume that it comes from the right-wing media echo chamber. Given how readily right-wing politicians parrot their given talking points, I've made the logical leap that some Republican office-holder somewhere has repeated it.

Whether they care about not appearing to bully transgender persons is debatable. Republicans like to pretend that making it more difficult for darker-skinned persons to vote isn't racist (why, they're making voting more difficult for college students, people who don't drive, and recently married women, too! See?), but I guess they're more proud of being anti-trans.

Now, I realize that this week's cartoon might rankle members of the differently-abled community who are proud to be born this way or that. For that matter, LGB persons have used "Born This Way" and "God Doesn't Make Mistakes" to push back against the canard that we are unnatural, or not living as God intended.

So allow me to clarify that my imaginary Republican here is talking about conditions from the cosmetically challenging to the life-threatening. From cleft palates to congenital heart defects — if God doesn't make mistakes, you have to wonder what sort of god would think they're a good idea.

I referred a few weeks ago to this Twitter thread by a biologist explaining why there are any number of freaky things that might happen on a chromosome level to complicate whether a person is biologically male or female. We don't think of a piece of an X-chromosome breaking off as being a birth defect, but isn't their a degree to which it's as consequential as other chromosome changes?

And if so, isn't legislating against transgender individuals as wrong as legislating against persons with Down's syndrome?

I'm looking at you, Arkansas Republicans.

And wondering what's wrong with you.

Monday, April 5, 2021

This Week's Sneak Peek

 I had an unusual cup of tea with breakfast yesterday.

It's something called lapsang souchong, a smoked black tea. Twinings prints a warning on the package: "Dare to try one of the world's oldest and most distinctive black teas." It is certainly an acquired taste.

Just one cup made our kitchen smell as if we'd been grilling smoked sausage in the house, and the taste was about what you'd expect from the smell.

It might be suitable as a breakfast tea if you were out camping in the woods. I suppose you might enjoy it if you were the designated driver at a tailgate party.

My better half didn't like it at all. There's not much chance of having it in the house again unless it comes in another assortment package.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Gonna Cartoon Like It's 1991

Our Saturday flashback will begin after this brief public service announcement.

in Journal Times, Racine Wis., April 1, 1991

For today, I'm just going to dig up some of my old cartoons from 30 years ago this month. This selection of cartoons from a generation ago is more or less random. Here is probably the one and only cartoon I have ever drawn about Albania.

in UW-M Post, Milwaukee Wis., April 4, 1991

Remember when we could ridicule foreign countries for their elections? Oh, what good times those were.

But there were serious issues back then, too. Crime was a big deal, and there was serious talk of Congress doing something about guns. The Brady Bill, named after the Press Secretary for President Ronald Reagan who was seriously wounded in the assassination attempt on the president ten years earlier, included a provision requiring a seven-day "cooling off" period for the purchase of a firearm, in part so that a serious background check could be run before the weapon changed hands. And the National Rifle Association was seriously alarmed that the bill might pass. I'm serious.

in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., April 11, 1991

The U.S. government started collecting data on hate crimes in 1991, although by the end of the decade, half of local authorities were not complying with the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990. Democrats proposed additional hate crimes legislation in the 102nd Congress, which failed to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

UW-M Post, April 16, 1991
I misdated the above cartoon and for years had a photocopy of it in the wrong folder in my files. (The original had disappeared from the Post offices by the time I delivered my cartoon for the April 18 issue.) Only after trying to find it in the UW-M Post on line archives when I was putting together another one of these retrospective posts last year did I discover my mistake. 

Maybe the original got sucked into a temporal anomaly.

Anyway, a letter writer to the Post had quoted then Congressman Thomas Petri as having answered question about gay-bashing by boasting, "I was one of the ones who voted against legalization of homosexuality. It's wrong. You know, you do have to set some standards." The other Wisconsin Congressman in the cartoon, Jim Sensenbrenner (who just retired Congress this January), was then and remained until retirement opposed to federal hate crimes legislation to protect LGBTQ citizens.

in UW-Parkside Ranger, April 25, 1991

A generation ago, the nation was bracing itself for a high-profile trial of Los Angeles police officers accused of brutality against a Black man. Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind were indicted on March 15 for beating and kicking Rodney King, who had attempted to flee a traffic stop and had led them on a high-speed chase, on March 3. The assault, which continued well after King was lying on the ground, was filmed by George Holliday, a resident of the apartment building where King had finally stopped his car.
A year later, a jury found all four officers innocent of almost all charges (the jury failed to reach an agreement on one excessive force charge against one of the officers), sparking five days of rioting in L.A.

We now have another high-profile chance to see whether things have changed at all a generation later.

I'll have some more cartoons to share from 1991, but for now, let's break for another word from our sponsors.

in UW-M Post, April 30, 1991

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Q Toon: Erase to the Finish

Requblican-ruled states, especially in the South, have been rushing like mad to pass legislation against their LGBTQ+ citizens. New laws forbidding transgender students from participating in school sports have gotten a lot of attention; and Arkansas is the latest state to create a right of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs and other medical workers to deny health care to us.

On another front in Requblicans' culture war, Tennessee State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) proposed a bill last week to ban public schools in his state from authorizing any kind of educational materials that in any way address LGBTQ+ history, health, literature, current affairs, etc., etc., etc.:

 “LEAs (local education agencies) and public charter schools shall not locally adopt or use in the public schools of this state, textbooks and instructional materials or supplemental instructional materials that promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender issues or lifestyle,” the bill reads.

When I first pitched this cartoon to Q Syndicate, what was being reported to Mr. Griffey in the third panel was going to be the tearing down of a Confederate general's statue, a common controversy last year. As I sat at my drawing board, however, I changed it from tearing down statues to renaming schools because I thought that made for a better analogy. And that was before I read about exactly that generating controversy in Florida this week.

As a Trumpster firebrand, Mr. Griffey has proven to be hotter than his own party's leadership is comfortable handling ― the Speaker of the Tennessee House, a fellow Requblican, kicked Griffey off all his committee assignments this week ― but his bill is merely one of many in Tennessee that the Human Rights Campaign calls a "Slate of Hate" ("Cancel Culture" having been already claimed).

Today, the Tennessee House passed HB 1182 (SB 1224), a discriminatory bill that aims to prevent transgender people from using restrooms aligning with their identity by requiring businesses with ‘formal or informal’ policies of allowing transgender people to use the appropriate restroom to post offensive and humiliating signage. This bill, along with the anti-transgender sports bill that Governor Bill Lee signed into law last Friday, are part of the 2021 “Slate of Hate” — anti-equality bills pushed by national extremist groups and peddled by lawmakers in Tennessee in an effort to sow fear and division.

In addition to these two anti-transgender bills, the legislature is considering SB 1367 (HB 1233), another ‘bathroom bill,’ HB 578 (SB 657), an anti-trans medical care ban, SB 1229 (HB 529), an anti-lgbtq parental notification bill, HB 800 (SB 1216), a bill that would prevent schools from providing an LGBTQ-inclusive education, and HB 372 (SB 193), a bill to permit all government employees, including teachers, first responders, and public officials to opt-out of diversity training.

And you thought editorial cartoonists weren't going to have anything to draw about once Donald Joffrey Trump was gone.