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Nast won’t be in New Jersey Hall of Fame

The Star-Ledger is reporting that for a third straight year, the legendary Thomas Nast will not be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame after a few politicians and the Ancient Order of the Hibernians publicly objected to Nast’s anti-Irish and anti-Catholic views of his day.

From the Star-Ledger:

The main reason Nast went after the Irish, Smith said, was that they were the main supporters of New York City’s Tammany Hall political machine. And he noted that it would be hard to argue that Nast hated the Irish for having spent 20 years in Morristown, sometimes known then as “Little Dublin.”

Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer), who protested the nomination, said he’s glad Nast is out. “I would think after three times … you should be excluded from it,” he said. “I don’t know what their policy is.”

Community Comments

#1 Gerry Mooney
January/30/2012
@ 4:46 pm

Too bad people from a century ago or more have to be judged by today’s morals. What to make of our slave-holding Founding Fathers? Are they exempt?

#2 Mike Peterson
January/31/2012
@ 4:21 am

When I’ve taught Nast to students, I’ve said that he was a Republican pit bull and Tweed was a corrupt Democrat — and thus a slice of meat for the doggie. Same applies to the Irish, who were a major factor in the Democratic party. But knowing that he was simply attacking them reflexively seems worse than thinking he did it out of some animus or even logical thought process. And, whether or not he hated them, they actively hated him.

As said before, I think he belongs in any serious discussion of great cartoonists, and he probably belongs in this hall of fame. But I would say the same of DW Griffith and film, and that still doesn’t excuse the outrageous, blatant racism of “Birth of a Nation.” Nast was a vicious racist, even for his time. And a helluva great cartoonist.

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