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February 23, 2012

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John

Cain was a GOP frontrunner at one time. Once is chance but twice is a trend:)

Howard Wasserman

Alternatively, have cartoonists and commentators stopped using arguably racialized imagery while referencing to the president? And were they more likely to do so in the first month of the presidency, when his race was novel and heightened. After all, the issue that led to thoughts of racism is not only the monkey, but the depiction of violence against the person writing the bill.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I'm far to the Left of Obama, extremely disappointed by his foreign policy and his deference to the National Security State in a way that trumps the principles and values of our Constitution. Nevertheless, I think racism with respect to the President is ubiquitous and racism generally is a recalcitrant problem in our country. One has only to register the vociferous and angry vitriol directed against Obama from the right side of Mirabeaus' "geography of the assembly" to see this. Listen to the voices of those who oppose Obama and their reasoning is often utterly irrational and emotional, vindictive really, displaying an animus and anger that reeks of racism, however disguised, or lurking just beneath the surface sentiment. Just the fact tha Obama is blamed for our economic woes is evidence of this irrational sentiment and scarcely latent racism. Social norms are fairly entrenched against honest or blatant expressions of racism, so most folks are reluctant to express their feelings forthrightly, but how else can one account for the wildly absurd and completely nonsensical things said about Obama (e.g., blaming him for the economic mess we're in and failing to credit the Administration for keeping us afloat if not beginning to turn things around). It's quite dispiriting if not depressing. So, yes, RACISM is alive and well in this country, if not flourishing, and I, for one, am utterly fed up, at wit's end, and don't see signs of anything changing anytime soon.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

erratum: Mirabeau's

Patrick S. O'Donnell

For further evidence of this racism, look closely at the workings of the criminal (in)justice system.

Derek black

Smith,
Thanks for the link to the images of Bush. When the controversy arose, a frequent argument against racism in the Obama cartoon was Bush had been caricatured as a monkey often. This complicates the inference, but I am not sure it necessarily changes it. Context matters and there is no historical context comparing whites as a race to apes and almost less than human. Likewise, it is offensive to ask people to attend separate bathrooms based on race, but the same isn't true with gender. In short, race is culturally contingent. The most poignant example was the fact that elementary and high school students didn't even understand the cartoon because they lacked knowledge of the historical context.

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