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I watched that video, and I saw a fellow human being’s inherent rights being violated, a fellow American’s Constitutionally-enshrined rights being violated.

I watched that video, and I saw someone who has been entrusted with the overwhelming power of the state, hide behind his badge while committing a sadistic and depraved murder under the pretense of a possible fake $20 bill… while his fellows helped, or offered meek perfunctory “maybe we shouldn’t”.

I watched that video, and I don’t feel safe, or comfortable, because of the color of my skin, I just felt and still feel sick and outraged and a little scared. If they can do that to him, they can do that to me.

I want justice for George Floyd because he was my fellow human being, because he was my fellow American, because his family deserves it, and because I want people who do vile things like those officers did to pay for, and because I want a message sent that it can’t keep happening.

I want limits on how far police can go over minor issues, no more small fry crap used as an excuse for a response appropriate to chasing down a known murderer or rapist or whatever. Remember that this started over the question of a $20 bill that might have been fake.

And as an aside, I want an end to crap like civil asset forfeiture, and private for-profit prisons, and every other abuse of the sacred duty of the state to use its power for the good of the people, not its own enrichment.

I am well aware of the situation.
So is everyone else.
Obviously I abhor the horrible things that have been done.
This is a webcomic.
I come here for some healthy escapism.
Because reality is horrible.
When I want current events, I will go watch the news.
When I want to ESCAPE reality, I turn to entertainment.

…and the fact that I can’t even express that without fearing being attacked for it says a lot.

As someone in full support of Antifa, BLM and the revolution unfolding in front of us: I agree with you.

This comic pulled me out of a rut years ago, and Bart and I have been friends ever since. The need for escapism is very much real, and this comic is awesome for that. D&D and tabletop is equally awesome for that, too.

Even people actively involved in the protests; they will burn out and need to recharge. They’re not going to recharge mentally or emotionally if everything they see on the internet is all ‘hate, hate, hate! Fight, fight, fight!’

But at the same time they will appreciate support in all forms. Normal comic service will resume and this has taken none of its usual Monday upload slots. I am 100% with you on the need for escapism and this comic will continue to be there for you for that.

And if that’s not enough, re-evaluate why you’d rather the comic didn’t say anything at all.

If you do need to talk to anyone, reach out to anyone here. These are shit times and it’s okay to not be okay.

I have no idea why you are afraid of being attacked.

If you want to escape, go read one of the thousands of comics that haven’t made a BLM post, but do it with the realization that there isn’t a knee on your neck, and that if you’re afraid of hypothetical replies to the subtext of your messages, that’s something you brought to the table.

I would just add that being disagreed with, even publicly, is in no way the same as being attacked.

That being said, not all attacks are physical, and it’s entirely possible to be attacked in digital space. However, the authors have made clear the restrictions for posting here – no hostility. And I’ve seen them enforce that to at least some degree already.

So I suppose the question is whether any poster here trusts those in authority enough to believe they would fairly protect those present from verbal attacks and manage to restrain themselves from attacking as well.

That can be a potentially very uncertain, maybe somewhat unsafe, feeling, especially if you don’t know those authorities well, don’t know if they have your interest at heart, and don’t know if they share any of your values (other than, presumably, a love of D&D).

Now imagine how it feels when the authorities are armed and face relative impunity for their actions.

Being asked (not forced) to think, to consider, to imagine, is NOT brutality. Everyone still has the choice to simply ignore what they see here, click to another location, and decide whether or not to try again later.

Those hospitalized, imprisoned, or dead do not.

I personally don’t begrudge 10 seconds of reading someone’s opinion on the matter. It is almost literally the very least I can do. I owe – we all owe – so much more.

This will be deleted because you’ll claim it’s hostile but you don’t want a conversation. You want echoes parroting your statement and complimenting you. If you actually desire this uncomfortable confrontation of your beliefs and to accept reality I’m willing. Pretty sure since I have to enter my email that you have it. If not just let me know and we can go from there. Until then, ALL lives matter.

All lives don’t matter until black lives do.

I want to have a conversation about how to have actual justice in a country that claims to provide it for all of its citizens.

I don’t want to have a conversation about whether or not the protests and riots are palatable. I don’t want to have a conversation about what the dead black people did right before they died – police aren’t supposed to be executioners. I don’t want to have a conversation about why Trump isn’t as bad as people think. I don’t want to have any of the side-show conversations people bring to the table.

You wanna talk about police violence? You want to hash out how to actually fix this? Fine. Have that conversation here.

But I will continue to delete comments that whine about an artist having an opinion they don’t like, as well as the bizarre racist rants that have ended up here.

And for the record?

I don’t give a shit what people think about this. And I don’t care at all about the whiney “you’ll delete this…” tactic. Other people can do it right back. Watch:

Odds are I’ll never hear from you again, because you were here virtue signaling right-wing bullshit and not trying to have a conversation. If you wanted to have a conversation, you’d be having that conversation literally anywhere other than a webcomic’s comment section.

Stephen,

You say “all live matter” as if it’s an instead-of, rather than the thing that “black lives matter” is a subset of. All lives matter for the same reasons. The problem is that some people are being denied their rights, having their lives denigrated and devalued, because of stupid superficial crap like the color of their skin or where some bigot thinks the person’s ancestors might have been from. Denying people their rights or treating them poorly because of their skin color is just as ignorant and unethical as doing so because of their eye color.

I’m about to type something that’s probably not popular these days, but maybe it will get through to you. I hate identity politics and the whole privilege thing — people, and their rights and worth, are not defined by their skin color or where their great-great-grandparents were from. Rights are not privileges, a privileges are unearned advantages, and rights are not earned — they are inherent. When someone’s rights are denied, when someone is treated poorly or worse, because of something stupid and superficial like skin color, THAT is the problem.

Their lives matter BECAUSE all lives matter, not instead of it, and someone’s life is treated as lesser because of their “race” (which is a baseless construct anyway), that’s an injustice based on the perpetrator’s stupidity and ignorance and ethical failings. When individuals who have been given extraordinary power in the name of the people (police) abuse that power and commit that injustice, and are allowed to get away with it, that is a problem for ALL OF US. Because another human being, another American, has suffered that injustice. Because if we let the bad actors get away with it today and pretend it can never happen to us because the victim is “different” or we’re “different”, it’s only a matter of time before it DOES happen to the rest of us.

Anyone reading this, don’t imagine that it can’t happen to you, regardless of where your grandparents were from or what color your skin is or who you love or where you worship or don’t.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_

At the end of all of this the goal is reform of how the police operate and the laws that protect them. The protests may be rallying around the deaths of black people but that doesn’t change what people want: for people, whatever their identity, to be safe and for police to be held accountable for their actions.

I’m aware that the lack of punishment for police misconduct affects everyone. Heck, a police officer trying to shoot a kid’s dog hit the kid instead and couldn’t even be sued. The family trying to sue was white, too.

I don’t understand why it bothers you so much that people gather to demand some form of change under the name Black Lives Matter. Especially if race is a superficial thing.

Why be upset if people are finally fighting for the very thing that you want? For everyone to be valued in the eyes of police and in the eyes of our government.

It doesn’t bother me for the most part, please read my comment in the context of it being a reply to the post I was addressing above from Stephen.

It only bugs me in the very rare instances when it’s actually exclusionary, or when it gets finger-pointy in a dumb ironic way, casting blame at anyone who is white just because they’re white.

I take “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” as seriously as it can be taken.

Like Obama said:

“Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too: We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States, and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.”

For the record, I fully and completely support you and your comic, as well as your ability to use your comic as a place to make your own voice and opinion heard. This is my first comment on your page because I never had a reason to before, as I was enjoying your comic silently. But it’s sad to see so many people arguing a point that to me should be moot. Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Thank you for this post, Bart. I’ll continue to enjoy your comic, and I believe that more people agree with you than the ones that don’t.

Thanks for that, and thank you for chiming in.

The comments I’ve been forced to delete have been expected, but ultimately depressing. I’ve gotten a healthy mix of:

1) “shut up and make comics” (nah, fuck you, I’ll upload whatever the hell I want here)

2) “all lives matter you racist” (you know, except protestors, black people, and anyone who gets killed for being mildly abnormal at a traffic stop)

People have largely been smart enough to keep the KKK-esque racism out of the comments section here, so at least this hasn’t been cross-posed to 4chan.

Apologies for giving in to the urge to tell off that racist troll from earlier before his comment was deleted. I’ve been dealing with so many people trying to tell revisionist history about a certain flag (“it was only popular because of the Dukes of Hazard!”) and raging at artists/writers I like (“stay in yer lane, and stop making statements in this medium where you make statements I usually don’t disagree with!”) that it got to me. Sorry for adding to the noise.

Your message, passion, and art are personal, and I’m glad that you can not only share them, but are also brave enough to speak out about injustice and support when it’s most important.

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