When does it cross the line?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Lyle, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #1
    I've been watching the discussion in another thread about whether black conservatives (like Condoleeza Rice) are suitable heroes or role models, so this blog posting caught my eye. I think it's fair game for a political cartoonist to poke fun at Rice's (or any other politician's) political views, but I wonder if anyone else thinks it crosses the line to introduce racial stereotypes into the cartoons?
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    This is a very interesting topic Lyle. I actually read some of the cartoons mentioned in the blog this morning.

    I am somewhat conflicted about this, but I tend to side with the following opinion:

    Caricature is often by it's nature grotesque, and cartoonists have been portraying Bush as a monkey, or as a short guy in a cowboy hat for a long time. I do not read too much into the actual physical portrayal of Rice in any of these cartoons.

    As for the larger issues raised, such as whether Black Republicans are traitors to their race, this is probably because of the obvious irony of belonging to the party that was reluctant to give your race it's deserved writes half a century ago.

    Still, I happen to think it is a red herring. The feeling that Rice may be a yes-woman to Bush is somewhat reasonable and informed, as is the opinion that Rice may not be the most qualified for the position. This has nothing to do about Race. Many judge Powell to be a much more accomplished and skilled man as his history suggests, which again is somewhat verifiable and divorced from any ethnic consideration.

    This all brings up an interesting point that has been floating around in my head from posting here in this forum. Many of us criticize Bush, or other members of his Administration because we feel that he (or them) have made poor choices, from an objective point of view. Many Bush supporters seems to think that we are taking a partisan or principled opinion on the matters at hand, that we dislike Bush for being a Conservative or because of his "character".

    The GOP has been remarkably effectively a re-defining the debate on Politicians to a vague (and somewhat shallow) assessment of character rather than their legitimate or demonstrated ability to do the job.

    So to bring this back to Rice, I think this is all much ado about nothing. Personally, I couldn't care whether she came from the projects, Beverly Hills, was black, white, yellow or blue. I care whether she can do the job and whether criticisms of her are valid based on what is known about her record in Public Service.

    Hope I have been clear.
     
  3. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #3
    Actually, it is typical. If those in a minority don't agree with the majority of their minority, they are shunned. Wow, that was deep ;)

    The notion that Condi had never heard of Al Qeada is absurd. Question someones judgements, question their policy. But to attack a person based on their skin is racist, wrong, and narrow minded.
     
  4. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #4
    yes it does. Racism is unexcusable, no matter where it comes from.

    however that doesn't apply to the cartoons listed in the blog you linked other than the danziger one, IMO.
    The Doonesbury one is more directed at W's habit of assigning idiotic nicknames, the others would work the same if she wasn't black, only she would be depicted as white (or whatever).
    She happens to be a black yes-woman so she is drawn that way (same reason why W is not usually depicted as a rocket scientist ;))
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #5
    Same here. The Danzinger one crossed the line, and the Doonebury was questionable.
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    How about when Chappel does a sketch where white people can't resist dancing to a John Mayer guitar solo, compared to black people who can't resist dancing to drums?

    Is that racism? It's certainly racial stereotyping.
     
  7. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #7
    I think black comics "get away" with a lot more racist routines than white ones. Fair? Yeah, I think so. Self-deprecation is always more acceptable than deprecating others. It's kinda like the Jeff Foxworthy "redneck" routine. Wouldn't be cool if some yuppie comic like Ellen Degeneres did it.
     
  8. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #8
    Well, I spent some time composing a long-winded response to this and then the web site crapped out and lost it. So let me just post a short-winded response instead: Thanks for your thoughts, I agree with pretty much everything that you had to say (as usual). ;)
     
  9. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #9
    Yes, I agree. In my original response to blackfox, I opined that the Danziger cartoon was the only one that really crossed the line for me (as far as playing on racial stereotypes). A cartoon that, say, emphasizes that mesmerizing gap in Dr. Rice's front teeth might be a bit cruel, but (as blackfox noted) those kinds of caricatures aren't uncommon in political cartoons.
     
  10. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #10
    OK, I'll confess: Still thinking in terms of political cartoons, I scratched my head for a few minutes trying to figure which cartoonist named "Chappel" had drawn the "sketch" you described. ;)

    Yes, it's racial stereotyping; I'm not sure if it qualifies as racism or not. If I were to go with a strictly by-the-book definition of "racism" (i.e. with the associations of discriminatory or abusive behavior) I'd say that Chappelle's sketch isn't racist. Nevertheless, "racist" is (IMO) a somewhat loaded word -- it means different things to different people.

    P.S. If you're slow like me, mac was referring to comedian Dave Chappelle.
     
  11. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #11
    For me, the question of a cartoon being racially offensive comes down to this: would the cartoon be just as pertinent, or just as funny, if the subject were a white person?

    I looked at a number of those, and for most the answer would be "yes". The Doonesbury one, well, the cartoon is portraying Bush as a bit racist. So that one gets a pass. The Danziger one is obviously offensive, however, because it depicts Rice as some kind of southern "mammy". That's pretty damn bad.

    Now, stereotypes always have a little bit of truth at their core. They become bad when you apply that "type" to everyone in a race or ethnic group. But the idea that "white men can't jump", for example, is true often enough that we shouldn't take it too seriously, and should just learn to laugh at ourselves a little.

    Hey, remember those two black guys in the movie "Airplane", who placed their dinner order in jive-talk...and the subtitled "translation" they put on the bottom of the screen? Totally a racial joke...and totally one of the funniest things ever!
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    Think of the scene in Silver Streak where Gene Wilder puts on blackface.....
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    This individual overstates his case by around 90%. The Danzinger cartoon is pretty vicious, but I can quite readily point to equally venomous right wing cartoonists. Satire is often cruel, but cruelty can be forgiven (if not appreciated) if it makes a point, if it isn't vicious just for the sake of it.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    dont panic said, "She happens to be a black yes-woman so she is drawn that way..." (Yes-woman to Bush, I'm assuming.)

    Based on what was said of her views in 2000 and on what she said on foreign policy issues back then, I see dont panic as 180 degrees off course.

    :), 'Rat
     

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