Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rudy CAN Fail

Another quick Op-Ed piece running in today's New York Times. This one for a piece on Rudy Giuliani's recent comments regarding crime and violence in the Black community. They serve mainly to deflect attention away from the spate of high profile police shootings of African American men, and the continued racial bias in policing.

 Many Black men have commented on their experiences with police, and the feeling of being under constant surveillance, and the threat of harassment. Statistics bear out this truth, that African Americans are far more likely to be stopped by police, yet less likely to be carrying drugs or weapons than Whites. A police hat hanging overhead like a black cloud worked out as a simple way to show this omnipresent feeling.

Also in today's paper is a new report showing data that suggests police are bias against African Americans in the use of force, but not in shootings. Some people are using this report to further obfuscate the truth behind police racial bias (despite the fact that it still shows police are more likely to use force of all kinds against African Americans). This new report only takes into account data from 10 major cities, only 4% of the U.S. population, and relies solely on police testimony. It also stands at odds with other sources, like The Washington Post and The Guardian, which show just how disproportionately Black men are killed by police compared to White men. In 2015, based on all reported police killings in the U.S., Black males from age 15 to 34 were killed by police at rates five times higher than White males age 15-34.

Thank you to my AD, Sarah!

Monday, July 11, 2016

NY Times Op-Eds

I've been doing some Op-Ed work for The New York Times lately. Here are a few recent assignments:

This was for an Op-Ed on the recent Baghdad suicide bombing attack that killed over 200 people. It explains how ISIS is changing tactics in desperation as the group loses territory.

 This one detailed the recent police shootings of innocent Black men in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, and how although these types of incidents have been happening for a long, long time, they are now widely caught on video.

This piece accompanied an Op-Ed on the first fatal crash involving any kind of automated vehicle. Although the Tesla involved was not a "driverless" car, the article mentioned some of the things automakers and regulators should do to keep this technology safe, and prevent more fatalities.

Figured I'd add this one in, another Op-Ed piece on the truck attack in Nice, France, and the resilience the French have shown after 3 major tragedies in 19 months:

These Op-Ed assignments are always a fun challenge. With a deadline of only a few hours, they force you to think quick, and keep it simple. It definitely keeps you on your toes. Thank you so much to Nathan and Sarah!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Grand Old Pity Party

A couple months back, before we moved, I got a commission from The Atlantic magazine for a feature on the current state (as well as some history) of the GOP. It was highlighting how the Republican party, under the banner of Trump, has become the party of White rage. When Republicans in California turned to White Nativism in the 1990s (by bashing Mexican immigrants), the party all but disappeared from the political map in that state. History seems to be repeating itself with the rhetoric of people like Trump, as he plays on the fears of some Whites that their country has been taken from them.

As is occasionally the case, the magazine ended up going the route of photography instead of illustration, but I was so excited about a few of my sketches that I decided to finish them, just for fun.

The red/white/black color palette is meant to evoke a connection to the fact that several prominent White Power/Supremacy groups have voiced support for Trump.

As the Latino population in the US continues to grow, anti-immigrant rhetoric and proposals such as the "wall" at the Mexican border, causes Republican support to dwindle. As the article states, even among GOP members, the "wall" was the most important factor dividing pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans.

The piece likened this "White Strategy" to another infamous election scheme: Nixon's "Southern Strategy." Both played on White fears of a particular minority, and the anger at a perceived loss of position in the social hierarchy, as a way to move White voters to the polls.
Thank you to Darhil, for the original commission! 

It's only speculation

This little piece is in the current issue of Mother Jones magazine, for an article on the proposed Financial Transaction Tax, which is a tiny tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and derivatives. Unlike sales taxes generally, which are basically regressive, an FTT would largely only affect the rich.

The tax is seen as a simple way of generating revenue, as well as curbing more destructive Wall Street behavior, like speculation via high-frequency trading (which was the culprit for the flash crash in May 2010, and others like it). The article even mentions Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (who I linked to in a previous post about an FTT in Italy), who believes the tax could raise over $130 billion a year. Pick up a copy of Mother Jones and read all about it, along with some great stories, including Shane Bauer's experience as a private prison guard.
Here's my issue:

Thank you so much to my wonderful AD, Ivy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

On No-Fly, No-Buy

I would have liked to post this in a more timely manner, but I had to take a brief hiatus from work while we moved across the country to our new home in Cambridge, Mass. We're not sure how long we'll be here, at least a couple years, but it's a nice change from a place I've never really lived outside of since I was a kid.
Anyway, this piece appeared in the L.A. Times Op-Ed, shortly after the Pulse massacre in Orlando. It's a debate arguing whether having one's name on the No-Fly list should prevent that person from purchasing guns.

It was a super quick turnaround because it was going in the Sunday paper, but it was such an important subject to undertake after such a horrific event, I was honored to get the opportunity. This idea was one of the first I had, and it easily won out. My AD Wes gave me the whole page for it, and his layout looks great. I hope to post other recent pieces when I get some spare moments- there's a bit of a backlog. Stay tuned...