It’s the Law! (Dec, 1936)

Two things:
a) I’m not sure they could have come up with a more offensive picture to represent the cook in the last panel.
b) Dick Hyman. Really?

It’s the Law!

BY Dick hyman

In Collingswood, N. J., dogs are forbidden by ordinance to bark between the hours of 8 PM. and 6 A.M.

An ordinance in Mt. Pulaski, Ill., forbids boys to throw snowballs at trees within the city limits.

It is against the law in Maryland to knock a freight train off the track.

Florida has a law forbidding you to hire away your neighbor’s cook

IT’S THE LAW appears each month in The American Magazine

17 comments
  1. Jari says: October 18, 20096:18 pm

    I wish that Collingswood decree would have enforced here a 3 years ago. (Fat change, in this side of the pond) Bloody yapping, neurotic small dogs with size issues….. Luckily now they are gone.

  2. nlpnt says: October 18, 20097:25 pm

    - So girls could throw all the smowballs at trees they wanted? Not to mention grown-ups of either gender? I call “not fair!”

    - Cook – wow. I don’t think even the tea-party protesters would go as far as that drawing.

  3. Firebrand38 says: October 18, 20098:34 pm

    nlpnt: Oh, so the Tea Party protesters are automatically racists?

    That’ll be news to this guy http://www.lloydmarcus…. genius!

    “Smowballs”, huh?

  4. Ted says: October 18, 20099:10 pm

    nlpnt, Pay attention, the page is from 1936 – that’s why it’s illustrated that way. I’m not saying it’s right, but it was common place at that time.

  5. katey says: October 18, 20099:46 pm

    Is the neighbor using CANDY to lure away the cook?

  6. Toronto says: October 18, 20099:52 pm

    Man, that’s the worst “gollywog” cartoon stereotype of a black woman I’ve ever seen. Even for 1936.

  7. Firebrand38 says: October 18, 200910:23 pm

    Toronto: Don’t sweat it. I still say that people 73 years in the future will look back on the likes of Flava Flav and take offense at him.

  8. GaryM says: October 19, 20096:05 am

    That last cartoon may well have reflected the intent of the law, if it was to take away the bargaining power of black people doing household jobs.

    nlpnt pulls a neat rhetorical trick. To illustrate it, I don’t think “even” nlpnt would cook babies and eat them — and in saying that, I’m technically making a (hopefully) true and complimentary statement about nlpnt.

  9. JeffK says: October 19, 20097:42 pm
  10. INFIDEL #2,097 says: October 25, 200910:26 pm

    Don’t sweat it FB38; having an Obama worshiper calling you a racist is like a Muslim terrorist calling you a sinner. I think it’s the inbreeding that makes them crazy hypocrites.

  11. Firebrand38 says: October 25, 200911:15 pm

    I wasn’t since I’m not a tea party protester. My amusement was at the tea party members who happen to be black themselves (thus the link I provided). It’s a sad thing when you disagree with a President’s policies and the cleverest thing anyone can think to say is to call you a racist.

    It’s like recently that flabby Congressman from Florida Alan Grayson was giving an interview and was smirking while addressing recent remarks by Dick Cheney. His idea of rational discourse was to bring up (yet again) Cheney’s hunting accident. Gee, how can you argue with that?

    It’s the same level of intellect demonstrated by Glenn Beck when he confidently states that the country’s current problems can all be traced to teaching evolution to kids in school.

    That’s what nlpnt was trying to get away with as well.

  12. ContentOf MyCharacter says: November 3, 20092:28 pm

    Re: A-

    It IS offensive-NOW. As others have pointed out, it was very much in keeping with the current view of the time. In fact, this cartoon would be unlikely to have been read by black people- not only were many of the ‘working classes’ functionally illiterate (all colours, and both sexes), but magazines of the time were marketed to the upper classes. The closest the maids would have been likely to come to them, is when they would pick them up whilst cleaning!

    It didn’t get much better, even during my own childhood there were ‘gollywogs’.(The babies/young children, of course, were ‘pickaninnys’) I’m not going to even START with the whole ‘Aunt Jemima’ thing- but, who doesn’t remember the woman in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons? She was some sort of domestic employee, and upon jumping on a step-stool, would gather up her (numerous) petticoats, revealing oft-mended and drooping stockings, before hollering “Thomas! Get that mouse!”

    Katey- I agree that it DOES appear that the woman is attempting to lure the cook with candy.(That was the most offensive bit, to me! lol)

    This is the sort of law which probably started from a dispute between two well-to-do white women, after one of them ‘stole’ a cook, who was in the other lady’s employ. The ‘injured’ party, was probably the wife of a man who sat on the city council- so when she said “There otta be a law…” he listened!

    Before I’m accused of ill intent, I’d like to point out that this is NOT racist, even though I mentioned that the rich women were white. At that time, it was HIGHLY unlikely that a black person would be rich enough to hire ‘help’-Of all the black people in America during that era, there were probably fewer than 500 of them who could have done so- AND, at that time, the lawmakers were mostly deaf to the concerns of the ‘Negroes’ (no matter HOW much money they had!), so would not have enacted a law on their behalf.

    *Stands on soapbox*
    I have always hated the PC movement…It makes it harder to KNOW what’s in a person’s heart. So, I’m one of those who think that if you’d like to call a spade, a spade- it’s fine. (Yes, it was MEANT as a double-entendre!)
    Put on a white robe and burn a cross, make speeches about how homosexual unions would end your own marriage, or spend your days armed to the teeth, along the USA/Mexico border, and there are VERY few ways to mis-interpret your feelings. Spout phrases like White Devil, Infidel, or Fair and Balanced, and the same thing applies.
    These things mean I have a WARNING, I KNOW where you stand on those issues. My response, (should always be) to allow you to go about your business, without challenge, PROVIDED you are not doing ACTUAL harm, or attempting to ‘recruit’ me or my family.
    I’m not talking about people who have hurt feelings-I don’t recall MLK needing therapy, because someone called him a name-I’m talking about the idiots who feel they have a right/reason/message from their gods-to end a life, cause physical harm, burn a building, or otherwise influence another persons actions, simply for not sharing the same viewpoint.
    *Steps down*

    Webmaster: Thank you for sharing the above content. I’m sure it would have been easy to exclude- especially with all the other fantastic content you offer!
    But, in a very real way- it’s cartoons such as this, brought back to light, which will teach those lessons of history that should not be repeated. That, alone, is worth any ‘PC outrage’ that it may cause!
    Thanks again, for your site- I’ve only recently discovered it, and have already set up camp here! (Please send marshmallows!)

  13. blokeice says: December 14, 20096:59 pm

    “10.Don’t sweat it FB38; having an Obama worshiper calling you a racist is like a Muslim terrorist calling you a sinner. I think it’s the inbreeding that makes them crazy hypocrites.”

    Let me go over a little lesson in logic. There are many fallacies that an argument can make. but to adress this particular one, i would like to go over the definition of an argumentum ad hominem-abusive (argument against the person abusive)

    This fallacy is defined in “a concise introduction to logic” as ” responding to the first person’s argument by verbally abusing them”

    This is not how you have an intelligent discussion. so learn some political tollerance or stop commenting on these posts.

  14. Firebrand38 says: December 14, 20097:44 pm

    blokeice: Seeing as how nlpnt started with a fallacy he/she/it wasn’t being rational in the first place so they got what they deserved from my “fellow traveler” (because I know that you weren’t talking to me like that).

    By the way, it’s not up to you to say who can and can’t comment.

  15. michael says: December 15, 200911:18 am

    I actually have a few books by a Dick Hyman. Children joke books in fact.

  16. Timmay says: February 2, 20123:19 pm

    The offensive illustration in question was drawn by cartoonist O. Soglow
    http://lambiek.net/arti…

  17. Timmay says: February 2, 20123:27 pm

    And another thing. Americans who support President Obama are not “Obama Worshipers”, they are called Democrats. They make up approximately half the country. Just because there is a Democrat in the White is no reason to hope for a new Civil War. Remember, those Obama worshipers, as you call them, are Americans and they are your neighbors. Living in a democracy means you don’t always get to have it your way, Sometimes the other side gets to be on top for awhile.

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