I had this idea for a comic in my sketchbook for several years, but it wasn’t focused enough and I never ended up drawing it. I knew it was something important, because we end up ascribing negative attributes because of race when the race is not our own but when the race is our own we tend to make the perpetrator a “special case”. Hence, white perpetrators of violence are often described in the media as having a troubled past, a lone wolf, or something else that isolates the person but is not indicative of being white. Perpetrators of other races do not get this treatment so much. It’s bad because it shows our racism for one, and it also shows how quickly we jump to mental illness as a reason people do bad things. In this way, we demonise both other races and those with mental illness at the same time.
I got some hate for this, and a number of arguments on Facebook as well. I knew it was coming. Strangely, I got very little hate from Tumblr, where I have the largest number of followers by far.
This week, we got to see this strip in action. More anti-Muslim rhetoric. But a white nationalist who killed two people didn’t get the terrorist label, with the media instead focusing on his previous abnormal behaviour than his racist beliefs. And when Kathy Griffin did a rather tasteless photo shoot with a bloody Trump mask, Melania Trump tried to pin Kathy’s behavior on mental illness — “a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it,” furthering the stigma against people suffering from mental illness.
In this strip, this is a new character, although I don’t know if he’ll show up again. He was fun to draw because I was trying to draw him in a more American way than my other characters.
See the comic here -> https://www.depressioncomix.com/posts/331/