Monday, December 19, 2011

Should Famous Anti Catholic Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast Go In New Jersey Hall of Fame ( Links)

I have rather mixed feeling about this. Thomas Nast was of course one of America's most important political cartoon people in America History. He had a some good points, like being against slavery, and some rather bad points. Such has inciting fear of Catholics and immigrants through his work. Needless to say many people , including the Irish ,are not happy that he might be inducted in the New Jersey Hall of fame.

Ann Althouse links a short WSJ article on that gives the heads up before the rest goes behind their pay wall. See "He portrayed the Irish as drunken apes, and the image still remains today." As pointed "Uncle Sam" Santa Claus, and the symbols of both major U.S. political parties came from his talented pen.

I have to admit I am leaning more toward he should go in. While his cartoons against Catholics and immigrants were frightening ,I do get he was man of the time with all the limitations that brings. I also understand well these were the concerns and issues of the day. Nast was on the right side of things and very much on the wrong side of things too. However his influence in Americana , and political discussion should not be ignored.


B D said...

If they are going to make current era political correctness retroactive, then they will have to strip most of the former Presidents and founding fathers of any honor. But I am not worried about being politically correct myself, and I don't see that these cartoons are all that bad. The one where the European immigrants are mending the separation of church and state in America is really spot-on. A prophecy which has come to pass in my life-time.

James H said...

Yeah your point about the Presidents is right on. He has some other work that was a tad more inflammatory than What I posted but he was a man of his time