The cartoonist Keith Knight, a/k/a Keef is “the creator of three popular comic strips: the Knight Life, (th)ink, and the K Chronicles.” I haven’t followed (th)ink, which is a one-panel editorial strip, but The Knight Life is syndicated in several daily newspapers, including the local Times Union; you can read it HERE.
Arguably his best strip is K Chronicles. Keef says: “K Chronicles is like an indie film and the Knight Life is like a (good) network sit-com. Read his September 2015 strip Not Black. (I’ll wait.) I so relate!
When I was first working in my current job, we provided library services not just for New York State, but all around the country. In those largely pre-Internet, and even pre-email days, I would talk with SBDC counselors on the telephone, taking their questions. Then we would go to the national conference to tout our services. Invariably, I’d see white people, shocked that I was black. And black people, PLEASED that I was black.
More than once, I’ve gotten into debates with people about whether I “sound” black. My argument: I’m black, this is what I sound like. Ipso facto, I sound black.
Oh, the picture above is from a 2009 K Chronicles that created a kerfuffle. Students at Slippery Rock University in western Pennsylvanian school were “outraged” that “the black cartoonist Keith Knight dared to draw a black guy in a noose.” The objection is “extraordinarily stupid… once you read the actual comic strip in question.”
It’s that mindset that gives political correctness – whatever that means – a bad name, especially at colleges. In fact, The Atlantic had a lengthy article in September 2015, The Coddling of the American Mind. “In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.” So the idea of lynching is so offensive that when Keef is making an anti-lynching point in the drawing, the greater truth is lost.