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The Artist Behind This Election’s Most Controversial Image Is Back

The Crow here for c4oc radio

He was in the midst of responding to a question that was, well, not about his penis. Donald Trump was participating in March’s GOP debate when he alluded to his penis size. “He referred to my hands,” Trump said, referencing insults lodged by Senator Marco Rubio. “If they’re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee it.” Trump’s not-so-subtle nod at genitalia in such a professional ― even presidential ― forum shocked the entire nation. But perhaps no one was more surprised than 24-year-old artist Illma Gore. Just a month earlier, Gore had posted a drawing to Facebook titled “Make America Great Again,” depicting the former reality TV star completely nude. His penis, as rendered in the drawing, is quite petite. “No matter what is in your pants, you can still be a big prick,” Gore wrote alongside the NSFW piece. Gore explained in an interview with The Huffington Post. “If I had drawn him with a big penis, you’d associate that with the qualities of a powerful leader. A small penis, you think, ‘Oh, that’s an excuse for why this person is the way he is.’ But that’s wrong.” Gore intended to challenge preconceptions about gender and sexuality through her drawing, illuminating the problems with a culture that equates a small penis with weakness. “It’s about this pseudo-masculinity that this man, I feel, just exudes.”

In a statement on Instagram, Gore expanded upon the idea motivating the work: “Society treats effeminacy like it is bad in comparison to the idea of a ‘real man.’” The piece was therefore meant to attack these ingrained preconceptions, not affirm them. The body depicted in Gore’s drawing belongs, in real life, to one of her friends, who served as her model. “Someone I believe to be masculine and beautiful,” she explained. “All the sudden, with Trump’s head, everything changed.” “I never expected it to go as far as it did,” she said. “I lost my voice in there.” Gore uploaded the image to Facebook with absolutely no idea how much it would blow up. The image gained traction on Reddit and various websites around the web, while Gore’s own social media accounts were disabled as a result of the nudity. The original message of the work became overshadowed by the country’s brewing Trump hate. What was initially an attempt to praise unconventional bodies ended up resembling body-shaming. Not long after her artwork went viral, Gore began receiving phone calls from people claiming to work for Trump’s legal team. She was slapped with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice demanding she remove the image from her accounts. And then, the death threats started rolling in. Hysteria surrounding Gore’s artwork reached a bizarre peak one day in Los Angeles when the artist was walking through a neighborhood close to a Trump rally. Having recently appeared in a few televised interviews regarding the piece, she was more recognizable than your average well-known artist. While walking by herself down a side street, a car slowed down alongside Gore and a group of young men started yelling at her, calling her a bitch and cheering for Trump. Eventually one of the men jumped out of the car and punched Gore in the face. The men then, laughing, reportedly sped off screaming, “Trump 2016!” “Is it weird to say I’m kind of proud that someone punched me in the face because of one of my drawings?” Gore laughed, clearly overwhelmed by the weirdness of it all.

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Trump A Flat-Out ‘Racist’: Says Sherrod Brown ‘He Built His Political Career’ On It

The Crow here for c4oc radio

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“I think this country hasn’t dealt well with the issues of race,” the lawmaker told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “We have a president who’s a racist.” When it came to addressing President Donald Trump’s history of racism, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) didn’t mince words in a “Meet the Press” interview Sunday. Noting Brown’s frank description of Trump, Todd paused for a moment, asking him to explain. “I know that he built his political career knowing what he was doing on questioning the legitimacy and the birth place of the president of the United States,” Brown said, referring to the birther conspiracy theory Trump promoted staring in 2011, using it in an effort to undermine Barack Obama’s credibility. Brown also pointed to housing discrimination in the Trump real estate empire, adding that violence at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, told the country even more about the president’s beliefs on race, appearing to be alluding to Trump’s weak response to the chaos when he had initially skirted around denouncing neo-Nazis.

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Most recently, Brown, who is considering a run for president, has called for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam following the Democrat’s admission that he had once worn blackface in a dance contest in which he impersonated Michael Jackson. Controversy has brewed steadily over the governor since last week, when a photo of a man in blackface next to another individual dressed in a Ku Klux Klan uniform surfaced from Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook. While Northam has indicated he has no plans to step down, Brown called on him to resign and consider participating in discussions on race “as a private citizen.” “Charlottesville was only a symptom and a more public viewing and outing, if you will, of president Trump’s views about race, and racism” Brown said.

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In Utah: Mormon Church Is Thrilled To Endorse Deal To Legalize Medical Marijuana

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Related imageSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church joined lawmakers, the governor and advocates to back a deal Thursday that would legalize medical marijuana in conservative Utah. After months of fierce debate, the compromise comes as people prepare to vote in November on an insurgent medical marijuana ballot initiative that held its ground despite opposition from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If it passes, it will be revised under the terms of the deal. It if fails, the Legislature would consider a law under the new framework. Gov. Gary Herbert said he’ll call lawmakers into a special session after the midterm election to pass the compromise into law regardless of how the initiative fares. Medical use now is legal in more than 30 states and also is on the November ballot in Missouri. The agreement in such a conservative state underscores the nation’s changing attitude toward marijuana. So-called recreational marijuana goes before voters in Michigan and North Dakota. If passed, it will be a first for a Midwestern state. The Utah-based faith had opposed the ballot proposal over fears it could lead to more broad use, but ranking global leader Jack Gerard said they’re “thrilled” to be a part of the effort to “alleviate human pain and suffering.” The deal has the key backing of both the church and leaders of the Republican-dominated Legislature, who said the regulations in the hard-won agreement have their seal of approval.

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Unlike the ballot initiative, the compromise won’t allow people to grow their own marijuana if they live too far from a dispensary, plus it doesn’t allow certain types of edibles that could appeal to children, like cookies, brownies and candies. Utah Senate president Wayne Niederhauser said, “I will do everything in my power to ensure this compromise passes in the special session.” The two sides agreed to scale back media campaigns supporting and opposing the ballot measure known as Proposition 2. Not all medical-marijuana advocates were convinced: Christine Stenquist with the group Truce said she remains skeptical about the deal and urged continued support for the ballot proposal. The LDS faith had long frowned upon medical marijuana use because of a key church health code called the “Word of Wisdom,” which prohibits coffee as well as alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opposed the ballot measure, leaders also made first-ever public statements supporting the use of medical marijuana if prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy.

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