I think that it is too bad that political cartoonist Rivers felt the need to draw the cartoon featured in the Thursday Press Herald (Feb. 3, Page A6), showing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Biden and making reference to Biden’s prospective Supreme Court nominee.

I had to go online and look at some of Rivers’ work to make sure that the cartoonist wasn’t just some hack who you had to feature on a slow day. I found myself surprised by the quality and insight of many of the cartoonist’s works. It is a pity that, in this cartoon, Rivers picked up the tired and insulting trope that people who are taking steps to address racism are themselves racists. Gaslighting 101, I guess.

Perhaps if Rivers could have read Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column on the opposite page (Page A7) of the same edition, describing what the state of Virginia’s 1950s-1970s seventh-grade “history” textbook had to say about the supposed joys of human enslavement, the cartoonist would have rethought their own Black History Month submission.

Michael F. Conley Jr.

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