From the Opinion Editor

New racist cartoon attacking diversity paints an ugly picture for Idaho

Editor’s note: This column has been corrected to reflect that Daniel Brannan is no longer affiliated with the Constitution Party of Idaho.

Another bigoted cartoon postcard has been disseminated, this time in North Idaho, apparently from the same guy who brought us the anti-diversity cartoon postcard mocking new Boise State University President Marlene Tromp over the summer.

AR-191109977.jpg
This cartoon postcard, shared by Coeur d’Alene City Council member Dan English with the Coeur d’Alene Press, was mailed to households in north Idaho. Courtesy of Coeur d'Alene Press and Dan English

This latest postcard mocks the president of the Kootenai County Human Rights Task Force and Coeur d’Alene City Council candidate Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer and Love Lives Here CDA founder Laura Tenneson, according to a story Friday first reported by the Coeur d’Alene Press. They’re holding balloons that have a hammer and sickle symbol and one that reads “Degeneracy is mandatory.”

The cartoon is apparently based on a photograph of the three from a news story covering Widmyer’s proclamation affirming Coeur d’Alene’s dedication to an inclusive community.

The drawing shows the three as clowns along with a series of figures depicting a drug addict, a gang member, a member of the transgender community, a homeless man, a suicide bomber, a racist depiction of an African-American with the face of a primate and a woman wearing a burka. The postcard is titled “Clown World” beneath the image in cartoonish balloon lettering.

If it looks and sounds familiar, it is apparently the work of Daniel Brannan, a freelance illustrator in North Idaho and the former Kootenai County chairman of the Idaho Constitution Party whom Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press identified as the creator of the “BSU and Idaho Ed. clown world” cartoon in July, based on his posting of the image on his social media accounts as a commissioned work.

Both that cartoon and the newer cartoon appear on Brannan’s Instagram page. The newer cartoon, which carries the tagline “Another commissioned cartoon for the local political scene,” was posted three weeks ago and has 60 likes and two positive comments.

The back of the postcard calls the Sept. 17 declaration a “freak show,” labeling it a “Perversity Proclamation,” according to the Coeur d’Alene Press.

The postcard says the future will bring diversity crime, diversity homelessness, diversity taxes, diversity voters, diversity street feces and, once again, diversity perversity.

“Why go to Spokane, LA or San Francisco when we can have our very own Freak Show CdA?” the postcard ends.

These people, for some reason, seem to be really, really obsessed with diversity efforts. Their attempts to connect diversity efforts with drug use, crime, homelessness and street feces are suspicious at best. I guess their argument is that minorities, Muslims and transgender people cause crime, use drugs, become homeless and defecate in the street? Is that the line of logic here? Did I get that right?

There is room for reasonable debate and discussion about diversity efforts, as evidenced by a forum hosted last month by college students at Boise State University.

Unfortunately, this childish foray into the debate is neither reasonable nor productive. I’m sure reasonable people on both sides of the debate will dismiss this for the trash that it is. People on the side that opposes diversity efforts, though, should realize that this kind of thing only hurts their argument. Guilt by association.

Beyond that, this also gives Idaho a bad reputation. We don’t need more of this kind of garbage here. I guess my message is, if you don’t like Idaho’s embracing of diversity and inclusion, you can move somewhere else.

Scott McIntosh is the opinion editor of the Idaho Statesman. You can email him at smcintosh@idahostatesman.com or call him at 208-377-6202. Follow him on Twitter @ScottMcIntosh12.
Related stories from Idaho Statesman

Always full of opinions and tolerant of others, Scott McIntosh is the opinions editor for the Idaho Statesman. He has won dozens of state and national awards, including Best Editorial from the Idaho Press Club for 2017.
  Comments