Islander cartoonist offers context for his use of swastika

I am pleased that so many readers responded to my cartoon that dealt with President Trump and the First Amendment.

The partial swastika was not meant to offend. It was cartoon shorthand for what can happen when we ignore dangers the Constitution protects us from. Had we heeded the warning signs, 6 million Jews might not have died. By sheer will, Hitler took Germany from a democratic republic to a murderous dictatorship within a few short years.

If you think that could never happen here and are not old enough to remember, I urge you to google “McCarthyism.” Sen. Joe McCarthy showed how easily Americans can be manipulated by fear and division.

Hitler brought calamity to the world. While most were silent, Churchill saw the warning signs. We would do well to pay attention to them, as he did, not lament them after the fact.

This is not political. I have lampooned both parties during the 24 years I have cartooned for the Islander.

John Bolton’s new book alleges that President Trump agreed with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to allow concentration camps to inter a million Muslims in exchange for helping Trump get re-elected. Is that not a warning?

The First Amendment gives us the right to assemble for a “redress of grievances.” President Trump used the National Guard to clear peaceful demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd in Lafayette Square so he could cross the street for a photo oportunity.

Memories are short and new generations disregard lessons of the past. Having lived through the Hitler and Mussolini era, Nazi bombs, and visiting the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp shortly after WW2, I am extremely mindful of the dangers we face if we are not watchful.

I, too, believe the swastika symbol is detestable. I used it only to show what can happen when we allow charismatic leaders to sow division and hate.

Peter Evans is the Islander News editorial cartoonist.

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