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Comic Book Artist: Kickstarter Rejected Campaign for Showing Hero Beating Up MS-13 Like Thugs

By  Christian Toto
DailyWire.com
A member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS-13) stands behind bars in a cell at a detention center on February 20, 2014 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Although the country's two major gangs reached a truce in 2012, the police holding cells currently house more than 3000 inmates, five times the official capacity. Partly because Mara gang members did not break with their criminal activities, partly because Salvadorean police still applies a controversial anti-gang law which allows to detain almost anyone for suspicion of gang membership. Accused young men are held in police detention centers where up to 25 inmates may share a cell of five square metres. In the dark overcrowded cages, under harsh and life-threatening conditions, suspected gang members wait for trial or for to be transported to a regular prison. (Photo by Jan Sochor/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Jan Sochor/LatinContent/Getty Images

Some Leftists blew a gasket last year after President Donald Trump referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals.”

What, you say men who torture, rape and kill with abandon deserve a sub-human label? Have you no decently, Mr. President?

Even the Speaker of the House got into the act.

“Does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?” Rep. Nancy Pelosi said at the time.

Could that same thinking be lurking within a powerhouse crowdfunding site?

Mike S. Miller, a right-leaning comic book artist with 27 years experience, designed a crowdfunding campaign for his hero, Lonestar. He describes the character as a “super patriot” who battles evil alongside fellow warriors.

The character isn’t partisan on paper, although he says superheroes who are unabashedly heroic and believe in self-sacrifice are suddenly viewed from an ideological prism. A future “Lonestar” comic will take on an Antifa-style group, says Miller, who contributed to the Injustice Series for DC Comics, among other gigs.

He initially wanted to use IndieGoGo.com for “Lonestar’s” crowdfunding launch, knowing the site has an apolitical reputation. Miller decided to give Kickstarter.com a chance first. The latter site boasts a broad cultural footprint, even though some conservatives fear it tips the scales in favor of the Left.

Miller noticed the site’s “things we love” category routinely highlights campaigns with “left-wing” agendas.

“They push those projects hard and often,” he says.

Miller’s worries had a little history on his side, too.

Phelim McAleer famously sparred with Kickstarter in 2014 when he tried to spark his “Gosnell” film project at the site. The film, which eventually hit theaters last year, focused on the monstrous crimes committed by Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

Team Kickstarter threw a red flag on the Gosnell campaign at the time, noting its indelicate language.

Phelim McAleer …switched to IndieGoGo at the last moment because, he says, Kickstarter was insisting on changes to the wording of his campaign and engaging in other delay tactics. In the end, Kickstarter approved the project but stipulated, as it says is customary, that McAleer agree to allow the company to yank the project from its site if anything “objectionable” was added to its web presence.

McAleer, who most recently staged a reading of texts from disgraced FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, later launched a billboard campaign near Kickstarter’s New York offices to denounce its “censorship.”

More importantly, McAleer revealed other, more graphic Kickstarter campaigns at the time that, apparently, sailed past the site’s censors.

Miller says Kickstarter initially approved his “Lonestar” campaign. Later, after he began uploading a few sample pages from the project, the company changed course.

“However, after a careful review, we’ve determined that your project cannot be approved for launch,” Team Kickstarter said.

Miller combed through the site’s rules of conduct, making sure his story didn’t run afoul of any existing guidelines. He even removed comic book pages featuring an MS-13 style group getting beaten up by his hero. Part of the story in question found Lonestar coming to the aid of a black woman caught in the gang’s clutches.

That tweak didn’t help. In fact, Kickstarter later rejected the campaign outright.

As a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to battling inequality and creating a more equitable world, Kickstarter does not allow discrimination, subjugation, or intolerance towards marginalized groups.

Like … MS-13?

This decision, the note continued, is non-negotiable. Miller shared screen shots of the Kickstarter responses and the comic panels in question with The Daily Wire. This site reached out to Kickstarter.com’s press contact for a response but didn’t receive one before deadline.

Miller, who is half Japanese, thinks the only reason Kickstarter would nix his campaign is if it thought the gang criminals represented a “marginalized group.”

“It’s clear that they put their political ideology above their desire to serve artists, creators, and customers.  This is not how you should do business in America. It’s shameful,” Miller says.

The “Lonestar” project can now be found at Indiegogo.com.

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