Friday, September 18, 2009

Followup on the Race Issue

While perusing the news, found this pic from a Tea Party rally (full image below). Since I dealt with what is racist in the last post, I'm going to leave this up and ask the following question without commenting until a little ways into the comments (although I already know what I'm going to say).

Is this simply using mocking images (the Obama logo, the Soviet hammer and sickle, and the image of a crazy witch doctor) or the sign of overwhelming racism? And please explain why it's racist or why it's not (without attacking the people holding the sign).


Dave Miller said...

Patrick, if people don't know why, or do not believe it to be so, there is absolutely nothing one can say that will convince them otherwise.

To be quite honest, the simple posting of this is offensive on so many more levels than most people will ever have to deal with.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

This a terribly offensive picture.

The sign shows ignorance.

dmarks said...

I can take a stab at Patrick's question. It's a "savage African" stereotype. The only thing to be said in its favor is that they did not portray him as a monkey.

Z-man said...

My library session is almost up but I'd have to go with it's racist, overwhelmingly so.

Patrick M said...

Dave: I'll address the reason I posted this. As I had just done a post on race, I came across the CNN article I linked to. And because I could see both sides easily, I thought it was worth posting to see the reaction.

That's why I didn't render any judgment, simply asked the question.

Now, everyone, my thoughts on whether the pic is racist:

It depends. If the race issue was simply not an always out there omnipresent thing, the pic speaks to the insanity the creator saw in what Obamacare would bring. It uses imagery that invokes backwards medicine (witch doctor) and communism (hammer and sickle).

However, as the race issue is out there, it's tasteless and provocative to be trumpeting this in a rally if you're white. Again, I don't make the leap immediately to racism, but these things hurt the cause more than they help, because people on the fence can easily be swayed to view this as the work of racists.

Gordon said...

I can see the parodic intent behind the imagery. In one sense, portraying the president who wants socialized medical care as a witch doctor, and using communist logos, is fair commentary. Certainly such techniques were used to parody the previous president.

But we haven't reached a point in our history where this particular parody can be used on a black president without raising racial hackles. Perhaps someday we will reach that point.

Z-man said...

Honestly Pat I thought you had a trick up your sleeve and would come out with it's not racial for the following reasons:) I personally like to view things from as many angles as I possibly can but I'm with ya, it hurts the cause more than it helps. The most charitable spin I can put on the picture? We'd be practicing primitive medicine under ObamaCare? I even thought of the theory that conservatives have been accused of racism so much that why not just go with it but that humor would be too subtle to get so what would be the point? Mind you I absolutely hate pc but ya gotta wonder about the folks who made the sign.

dmarks said...

I never saw "witch doctor" when I saw this image. I saw a desparaging African tribal "jungle b*nny"-type stereotype picture, and saw the "Obamacare" as something tacked on.... a word that could have been another, or left off.