Just two-tenths of a mile from the White House an exhibit of anti-Trump political cartoons is going up. The exhibit is not just a protest against Trump, it is also support for free speech, because the cartoons to be displayed are all the work of cartoonist Rob Rogers, whose work critical of Trump was killed at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after that publication got a new, more Trump-friendly editorial director, Keith Burris.
Rogers was ultimately fired on June 14 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he had worked for nearly 25 years, most likely over this issue of his work being anti-Trump, but the newspaper will only say the firing was a “personnel issue”. Supporters of Rogers’s work then came up with the idea of having an exhibition of his work at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, part of George Washington University. The Corcoran School, according to Google maps, is just 0.2 mile from the White House, making its theme of protest against Trump all the more fitting. The exhibit will be up from July 18 – October 14. Ironically, by attempting to suppress the cartoons, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has actually ensured they will have a much wider audience. According to The Washington Post:
Now, 18 of those killed cartoons and sketched ideas will be put on display in Washington in a pop-up exhibit a stone’s throw from the White House. “Spiked: The Unpublished Political Cartoons of Rob Rogers” will open July 18 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design in Northwest Washington, George Washington University will announce Friday. The 18 works will be in the Atrium Galleries at the Flagg Building till October, when they will join a larger show set to open this autumn at the University of Pittsburgh… The pop-up was the idea of Sanjit Sethi, director of George Washington University’s Corcoran School… Sethi calls Rogers’s work “remarkable in its ability to perform this essential act of critiquing power and structures,” and he views putting these cartoons on display as a way to spark conversation about censorship, as well as freedom of the press and journalistic integrity being essential to democracy.
The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna tweeted an announcement of the exhibit, along with the Washington Post story about it, which featured one of Rogers’ cartoons, writing, “Just in: The spiked Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoons of @Rob_Rogers will be spotlighted in a new pop-up exhibit at the @CorcoranSchool near the White House.”
Just in: The spiked Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoons of @Rob_Rogers will be spotlighted in a new pop-up exhibit at the @CorcoranSchool near the White House. #Spiked @AAEC @PittTweet @AndrewsMcMeel @CRNetInt @NatCartoonSoc https://t.co/5NKYMo0CvQ
— Michael Cavna (@comicriffs) June 29, 2018
Some other examples of Rogers’s work from his Twitter page include this image of President Trump enjoying converting the Supreme Court into the Supreme Leader court:
A Trump Supreme Court? God help us … Here is my Supreme Court cartoon: https://t.co/9IRaBih5p0 #Trump #AnthonyKennedy #SupremeCourt #reproductiverights #RoevWade #GunControl #VotingRights pic.twitter.com/tcwsfWOsRw
— Rob Rogers (@Rob_Rogers) June 29, 2018
Here is another example, where Rogers makes the point that while the Trump administration has a Zero Tolerance policy for immigrants, Trump supports seem to tolerate anything and everything Trump doles out, from lies to tariffs to corruption, with the supporters seemingly unable to smell all the excrement coming out of the Trump administration. Along with the image, Rogers tweeted, “I will never understand how Trump’s base can stay with him when he lies constantly, kills their jobs with tariffs, maligns our allies, coddles dictators and creates baby prisons! Here is my Zero Tolerance cartoon:”
I will never understand how Trump's base can stay with him when he lies constantly, kills their jobs with tariffs, maligns our allies, coddles dictators and creates baby prisons! Here is my Zero Tolerance cartoon: https://t.co/xxD0Z2kbZo #Trump #TrumpConcentrationCamps pic.twitter.com/MqHGgqnfzK
— Rob Rogers (@Rob_Rogers) June 26, 2018
Increasingly, freedom of speech is something we have to fight to keep, as Trump and his supporters continue to claim that any news that is critical of Trump must be fake. That is the thought process of a dictator, not a democratically elected leader. Facing censorship, political cartoonist Rob Rogers thankfully has found new, and larger, venues for his work.