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MAD Magazine Updates Famous Norman Rockwell Painting To Slam President Trump’s Latest Decision
8 months ago

While Hurricane Harvey dominates the headlines, President Trump on Monday, August 29th, quietly rolled back Obama-era restrictions on local police buying and using military gear. Obama's executive order from 2015 prohibited "the transfer of a host of equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms following controversy over the 'militarization' of the police response to unrest in Ferguson, Missouri." President Trump apparently disagrees with this stance, and has lifted the ban. MAD Magazine published a piece of cover-art inspired by both Norman Rockwell and Donald Trump:

The image is especially timely:

Though it was later revealed to be re-published from an earlier issue:

MAD Magazine ran a similar feature in 2014, prior to Obama's executive order:

People are applauding the cartoon:

At the time of his executive order, President Obama had this to say on the subject:

We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there's an occupying force as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them. It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.

Civil rights groups have also been quick to condemn the roll-back on restrictions. Vanita Gupta, former head of DOJ's civil rights division under Obama and who now leads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, commented:

These guidelines were created after Ferguson to ensure that police departments had a guardian, not warrior, mentality. Our communities are not the same as armed combatants in a war zone.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told law enforcement officials during a meeting on policy changes:

We are fighting a multi-front battle: an increase in violent crime, a rise in vicious gangs, an opioid epidemic, threats from terrorism, combined with a culture in which family and discipline seem to be eroding further and a disturbing disrespect for the rule of law...The executive order the President will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence and lawlessness to become a new normal.

At times like these, it's important for the artists and satirists at publications like MAD to continue giving us perspective. Otherwise, who knows where we may end up.