Graeme_MacKay
September 23rd 1968  (Age 49)
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Hamilton

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Random Thots is brought to you by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist at the Hamilton Spectator, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Website: mackaycartoons.net.

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Monday, October 16, 2006
Caledonia Freedom March

REUTERS/Jim Ross

The Leader of the Freedom March - Gary 'Martin Luther King Jr.' McHale

Reaction from the Freedom March leader, on his website caledoniawakeupcall.com (whose site has violated my rule that asks bloggers to credit my name with a link back to mackaycartoons.net when posting my cartoons):

...The Spectator now takes a serious event about Two Tier Justice and makes fun of me. In fact up to this point the only people who were making fun of my size were the Natives. Has the Spectator decided to become the new spokesperson for childish Native behaviour?

The Hamilton Spectator is not just making fun of me - in fact I don't care what they think about me - but you can see that they show the people of Caledonia following me to the hotdog stand. While the residents live in fear and serious crimes have taken place the Spectator believes it is time to make fun of the people who have been most effected by the terrorist methods of the occupiers. One only needs to read their story beside this photo to see how much they are against people expressing their Free Speech in a Democratic society.

Let's just see who believes that the Two Tier Justice is a reality in Caledonia. Mayor Trainer has said many times there is a Two Tier System in Caledonia. Toby Barrett stated quite clearly that there is a Two Tier System. The President of OPPA stated back in June that there was a Two Tier System. There have been stories by OPP officers who admit there is a Two Tier System in Caledonia.

But the Spectator doesn't believe there is so it is okay to make fun of the people who are terrorized without police protection. Maybe the Spectator is trying to get a greater share of the Native market? Maybe they are just upset by our Boycott story?

But one thing is for sure - the People of Caledonia deserve better.

More commentary from a blog that calls itself the voiceofcanada.com:

The Spectator included an editorial cartoon that is a disgusting personal attack on Gary McHale and all the citizens who came out to stand against the evil that is attacking our democracy. The cartoon personally ridicules McHale’s weight as it shows him standing at a hot dog cart, saying “Got any pogos? I’m hungry.” Behind him are a bunch of rednecks in lumber jackets. One holds a pitchfork, another a confederate flag(!).

I spoke to Gary McHale today, and he asked me to pass on his thanks to the Spectator for lowering itself to personal attacks on his weight because it just gave him more credibility and ammunition. As he said, “That’s the best they’ve got? Our justice system is under attack, and the Hamilton Spectator is reduced to personal attacks on me and the people of Caledonia?”  Indeed; what happened to journalistic integrity? Does the Hamilton Spectator write about the inspiring speeches and brave words of two of the most courageous women I have ever met, AnneMarie VanSickle and Mary-Lou Pratt? No, they decided to pretend that McHale was leading a bunch of rednecks in a lynching party instead of telling the truth: that several thousand average, law abiding citizens came out to peacefully protest against criminals and the inaction of police and their politicians.

If the Hamilton Spectator actually had a reporter there that day they know the truth. Shame on them for not telling it! Our media are supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy; instead the Spectator allowed a silly and unnecessary quarrel to drag them down into the gutter. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.

P.S. If anyone in Hamilton/Caledonia wants to organize a boycott of the Hamilton Spectator, I would LOVE to write about it and link to it.

Posted at 09:46 pm by Graeme_MacKay

Anonymous
October 19, 2006   08:57 AM PDT
 
your cartoon makes no sense unless it is to show how your editors choose to take such a serios event that was to show demacrate and apeasfull rally tobe ajoke  I wander why not one of natives in pick up truck disturbing arally no were near DCC property  you sir should be a shamed you are a racist of the worst kind one who chooses to creat news rather then report facts 
K. Sorrell
October 19, 2006   08:58 AM PDT
 
Dear Sirs:

I promised myself back in August I would stop writing to your paper as your
editorial staff seek only to inflame the Caledonia situation in their choice
of the letters chosen for publication. I resented my opinions being
manipulated while you sit back thoroughly amused by the responses you get. I
tried for a long time to believe that you may be honestly trying to present
a balanced approach to the news but your coverage of this past Sunday's
march, both before and after, showed your true colours.

Tuesday's cartoon and the condescending editorials of the past few days
finally show us once and for all what our local daily newspaper (our only
local daily, aren't we lucky) really thinks of the people of Caledonia. So
we're all hicks dressed in plaid and wielding pitchforks, huh? Thanks very
much, and this from a paper that goes out of its way to fight Hamilton's
lunchbucket image. A person's appearance apparently has some bearing on
their politics or opinions? You can't be overweight and credible at the same
time? Gary McHale has done more to bring this situation to public attention
and has shown more compassion than your paper ever has. His appearance and
the fact that he's from Richmond Hill has no relevance whatsoever to his
message, which is for all Ontarians.

And no doubt Lee Prokaska will continue to address Caledonia residents as if
they were eight year olds, telling us not to attend the big bad rally and
than metaphorically giving us all gold stars for behaving ourselves when we
did. All the while expressing an insincere empathy for what we are enduring.
Come and spend a few days here then sit down to write one of your
editorials.

It took our true local paper, the weekly Regional News to sum up Sunday's
march in one terse headline - "Police continue to act out double standard."
What a shame a paper with such influence as yours and with the potential to
do so much more finds it so impossible to take a stand. I doubt you'll print
this because it's critical of yourselves or if you do, it'll be heavily
edited. Such is the power of the media. Of course, if you do print it, I can
then look forward to native response branding me a racist that you will
print the next day. Yawn.

At least Gary McHale's website allows us to read the editorials other, more
in touch papers from elsewhere in the province because if I had to live by
what you tell us, I'd be trading in my PDA for a pitchfork.
C. Cooper
October 19, 2006   09:01 AM PDT
 
As a resident of Caledonia, I take great offence to the editorial cartoon by Mr. McKay about the march in Caledonia on Oct. 15. Mr. McKay painted all the people of Caledonia or at least those who went to the march as a bunch of red neck idiots. One of his characters held a pitch fork and another had a Confederate flag. All were wearing plaid jackets. None was present at the march. Although there were a few small minded people that would offer racial slurs and signs that were anti-native, most of the marchers were very peacable.

I would like to invite Mr. McKay to come to my home for dinner and meet some of my neighbours. People who have university degrees and own their own businesses. People that are executives in their professions. Let me introduce him to business owners that have had to lay off staff. Even some police officers. Please come and see the effect that this protest has had on our little town. How two tier policing has frustrated us. How the government has forsaken us.
G. Thompson
October 19, 2006   09:03 AM PDT
 
 This is a complaint about the cartoon in the front section of your October newspaper, it features Gary McHale, leading the March of protesters in Caledonia. For a newspaper to poke fun at someone's weight, creed or colour is disgraceful and tacky, The Spectator should hang their head in shame.

 We live in Stoney Creek and attended the Sunday protest we seen a lot of residents from Caledonia, and three little incidents at the police brigade, not like at the speeches when a pickup truck  full of natives sped through the site yelling racial remarks at the non natives.

 We also witnessed the non natives were not allowed past the Police barricade, but the natives were allowed to walk up the street, past the police barricades, and get their coffee at Tim Horton's, an return

 My wife questioned a OPP why this was, and he explained, he did not know. If one can't see their is a two tier justice system in Caledonia then they are blind .
W.L. MacKenzie
October 20, 2006   11:06 PM PDT
 
The stereo-typed depiction of the marchers as ball cap and hunting shirt-wearing, pitch fork wielding, slack jawed rednecks following a man whose moral compass is depicted as being guided by personal gluttony, was not lost on me.

I think I was probably more offended than the people depicted. Perhaps I expect too much from a media that seems to sell its favors like a street walker.

It is a stretch to dismiss the type of character assassination and elitist bigotry depicted in the Mackay cartoon as just artistic licence or free opinion….I don’t know any one at the march but unlike the Spec I have the integrity not to make libelous pronouncements on their personal character and motives. I fail to see what a man’s weight or choice of apparel has to do with their ability to detect official corruption or their right to protest it.

Of course the underlying snide implication in the Spec’s cartoon was that anyone who follows Gary is a low brow parochial bigot or simple minded bumpkin….. that Gary is so weak of character he cannot control his eating let alone a civil rights movement and that makes him incapable of understanding the higher civil ethics (of which his illuminated Spectator detractors are the sole guardians) which you need to feel comfortable with the 9 months of lawlessness…. or to feel comfortable with the government direction of succumbing to criminal intimidation and blackmail….or the enlightend intellect to support unconstitutional closed door “dealing” with the law breakers……Yes indeed anyone who does not see the logic in the constitutionally compromised civilly disasterous stalling of the government must naturally be a intellectually challenged bigoted redneck endomorph… and as such, assasination of their character and motives is justified by the paid assassins of our compromised mass media.

That cartoon spoke volumes about the philistine debased mindset that produced it. A truer example of personality transferrence would be hard to find.

All the same I bet Gary wasn’t anywhere near as indignant as I was when I saw it.

WLSM
October 21, 2006   06:26 PM PDT
 
Mr./Ms Anonymous should be ashamed of himself/herself for all the misspellings and grammar mistakes in his/her posting! Grab a dictionary or run some sort of spell check why don't you?!
 

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