Is this Obama cartoon in the New Yorker playing on stereotypes?
To me, the image [above] looks an awful lot like an anthropomorphic chimpanzee (sorry for the lousy screen cap). But that’s silly, of course, because it’s Barack Obama! Brought to you by the New Yorker! Right on the magazine’s home page! Actually, the image is a tease for a video about drawing the presidential candidates, including a meditation on Obama’s efforts to cast himself as post-racial. Still, it strikes me that this caricature — and perhaps the video as well — suggests one or more of the following: 1) I’m too sensitive. 2) Editors at the New Yorker aren’t sensitive enough. 3) Having an African-American man run for president will present extraordinary, and likely salutary, challenges for our culture. To be clear, 1, 2, and 3 are in no way mutually exclusive.
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Rhubarb Koznowski - 6/16/2008
Actually, it seems to resemble a pseudo Sphinx with big ears to me...
By the way, why is there no discussion in the mainstream media of Senator Obama being biracial rather than "African-American"? Obama has said that he is Black because he claims to be so. Does that mean I can identify myself as a Native American? After all, I was born here. For that matter, I guess I could also claim to be African-American, as could any other member of Homo Sapiens that migrated across that particular land bridge. I just don't get it. Those who most loudly claim to be against racism are the first to invoke it in labeling themselves and others.