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Don Wright: “This is a hard time to be a satirical person”

Theh Dallas Morning News has a story of the affect of the Mohammad cartoons and interviewed Don Wright of the Palm Beach Post. The story in and of itself isn’t that special, but at the end it talks about an exchange Don had with the Muslim community. I’ve quoted that part below.

One American cartoonist with particular insight is Don Wright, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner at the Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Wright, 72, has been drawing since 1963. His cartoons have always gone for the jugular — or even a few feet farther south.

If he had been invited, would he have joined the Jyllands-Posten cartoon competition?

“I wouldn’t participate in such a thing,” he said this week. “I’m aware of the reaction it would have, and I’m very much aware of how it could be used to have the effect it had.”

In 1990, during the first Gulf War, he drew a cartoon of Saddam Hussein being visited by Muhammad wearing a gas mask. The cartoon provoked little reaction until the Chicago Tribune printed it.

The Tribune and Mr. Wright were inundated with protests. He said he hadn’t previously been aware of the depth of feeling many Muslims have about Muhammad.

“That drove something home to me,” the cartoonist said.

He decided he needed to learn enough about religions to know when he was hitting a particularly sensitive nerve — “but not give up on the principle that it [religion] is worthy of criticism.”

Community Comments

#1 Steve
December/11/2007
@ 7:59 am

Freedom of Speech is a tremendous gift, right, and responsibility. We must as a member of the life here on Planet Earth take ourselves less seriously when a little fun is poked at us. We must all be a little flexible with other people. When my wife was about to have her first child, I drove a little faster than normal on the way to the Hospital. People watching me would react not knowing that on the floor was a drama my heart could barely handle. No one should cower when it is time to make a joke.
Thanks, Steve

#2 don wright
November/23/2008
@ 6:47 pm

i have trouble using my name perhaps because there are so many don wrights.i have also studied art and sometimes draw cartoons but i hesitate to say my name since there are so many famous don wrights.any suggestions. sincerely don wright

#3 Telegenic Ted Dawson
November/24/2008
@ 9:51 am

Don, I say just use your name and don’t worry about it, or try the Marvel Nickname thing.

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