Racism on the left

This is quite funny to me. When commentators on the right make supposed racist comments, they get hammered. When cartoonists or columnists on the left make outright racist statements, they get published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the UK Mirror. Don’t believe me? I submit to you these links:
Pat Oliphant
UK Mirror

I find this funny because of the hypocricy of people that tear into one side and not the other. I don’t find the cartoons funny at all. Maybe I should have said “ironic” or something else.

Regarding the article from the Mirror, it makes a reference to Condoleeza being a “monkey” at the beginning of the article. Last time I checked, most African-Americans don’t like that.

31 Replies to “Racism on the left”

  1. Why do you say it’s racist ?

    the first seems to make a fool of Condoleezza Rice and her loyalty to Bush (as a totally mad parrot)

    the second seems to make a fool about some "I don’t know al quaeda" stuff. "brown sugar" is racism ?

    I don’t understand the third (I’m not american, maybe it’s cultural)

    the fourth seems to not like the bush administration and criticize Condoleezza Rice’s choices but I don’t see racism, (she is the "baby" "because" only 50) and she is Strong, to much strong for the author I think)

    I think it’ not fair. racism is not a value of "left" or "right". but some people seems to concentrate "racism" and create more mockery. some others less. but it’s not a reason to be less forgiving.

    racism is too much dangerous to try to insinuate it’s a left or right fight. If some people do that, criticize them. if some left or right people are racists ? criticize them

    but it’s not a game about "ha! you see left are bad as right, ha ha ha".
    it’s not funny 🙁

  2. Limbaugh is not reknowned for his subtlety but his comments in the incident mentioned do seem to have been blown out of proportion.

    As for the cartoons the first one is not racist, insulting yes but not racist to suggest that Bush is stupid and that Ms Rice is a parrot telling him what he wants to hear. Maybe you are taking offense at the charicature?

    The Doonesbury strip could I suppose be considered racist, but that suggestion that Bush would might have such a sexist attitude is probably just as worrying. The artist is suggesting that Bush might hold that attitude, the words although of questionable taste dont necessarily reflect his own personal opinions or make him racist.

    I dont get the Jeff Danziger cartoon perhaps the "Aluminum tubes" reference means more to Americans. it does seem rather racist though but mostly it just isn’t funny or informative or in any way challenging and that the artist was lazy enough to resort to old stereotypes instead of doing something more interesting.

    The Mirror is a British tabloid so I half expected to see a bawdy racist pun in the headline but I dont see what exactly you take issue with in the article you linked to.

    "We must not become so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance"

    From where I’m sitting the people you think are left wing are probably still right wing.

  3. I have read the coxandforkum comic that you link to, and it really, really makes me sick! Is this how an average american think? Several of the comics are directly racistly agains the palestinians and orher "non-american" groups.

    And they make fun of the abu-garcia accident, is this funny? And the american bastard of a soldier executing an irakian hostage?! Is this Funny.

    I have to say Bryan, your blog is really disgusting!

  4. The aluminum tubes one seems kindof racist to me, but I don’t understand it at all–even as an American. As for the others, I think they are only political jokes. I don’t see how they could be considered racist.

  5. The aluminium tubes one seems racist as it portrays Rice in a racial stereotype.

    I don’t really see how any of the others are racist though.

    The parrot one doesn’t seem to have any racial context.

    The Doonesbury one seems to be using the racial "brown suger" terms as a comment on Bush rather than as a derogatory term for Rice from the author.

    The Mirror article also doesn’t seem to have any racial context.

  6. *This is quite funny to me.

    Shame it’s for the wrong reasons, and that you didn’t even bother to read the strips/articles.

  7. racism.. none-acceptance maybe, but it has nothing to do with race.

    Regardless, Hustler Magazine, Inc. et al. v. Jerry Falwell – http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/av
    allows for that kind of expression, so it’s perfectly legal. Taste we can debate, but this is not illegal under the racial discrimination clause.

    *note I’m not an american so my grasp of your legal system isn’t perfect*

  8. <snip>"IF THERE were a monkey in the White House – and many reckon there is – then his trainer would be the world’s most powerful person.

    In the case of George W Bush, almost everything he knows about foreign policy has been learnt from Condoleezza Rice."</snip>

    Indeed, the Mirror article is calling Bush a monkey and calling Rice his trainer; indeed, it’s complimenting Rice, saying she taught Bush everything he knows about foreign policy. I don’t think there’s anything in the article that could be considered racist.

  9. This blog comment seems really bizarre. I read all four articles/cartoons you linked to, and didn’t see any examples of "racism". Public figures are commonly the object of criticism, ridicule, and mockery, and polical cartoonists ALWAYS draw caricatures of their subjects. I can’t see any evidence that these criticisms are race-related. Perhaps you are suggesting that ANY criticism of right-wing african-americans is "racist"?!

    Regarding the Mirror article you linked to, it reads:

    "IF THERE were a monkey in the White House – and many reckon there is – then his trainer would be the world’s most powerful person…"

    The "monkey" being referred to here is obviously G.W. Bush (unless you think Condoleeza Rice is a man, you could not possibly be confused). C.R. is being proffered as his "trainer". Maybe you should learn to read.

  10. As far as I could tell, the only one that could be construed as racist is the third one. In other words, you’re way off the mark. Try reading before writing.

  11. Calling someone "brown sugar" is certainly in bad taste… but is that racism? I guess racism means different thing to different people, but for me it means to pre-judge someone because of their race.

    I just do not see that occuring in *any* of the cartoons. Besides, cartoons are satirical, they are *intended* to provoke.

    The link you give to Limbaugh’s firing refers to an incident in which he commented that the media were giving a black football quarterback more credit for his teams sucess than he deserved. Because the QB is black. That is certainly a racist comment (the QB received accolade because of his race), hidden behind a thinly veiled comment that it was "the media" that was doing it.

  12. "Regarding the article from the Mirror, it makes a reference to Condoleeza being a “monkey” at the beginning of the article. Last time I checked, most African-Americans don’t like that."

    I’m not all that surprised about Americans suffering from reading comprehension issues, but how on earth did you stray onto a European news site? Was that link (and its shoot-blindly-from-the-hip interpretation) spread on some american right-wing religious fundamentalist media network?

    FYI, the vast majority of the world’s population seems to agree with Bush jr.’s depiction as a monkey so most non-americans would probably get the gist of that Mirror story without getting their knickers in a twist.

    Btw, does anyone in the United States of America still remember how the mainstream US media called the French "cheese-eating surrender monkies" and called for all kind of insane boycotts of all things french just because they didn’t support America’s war against Iraq?

  13. Explaining the third ‘racist’ cartoon: it is a reference to Gone With The Wind where a character ‘flip-flops’ on their knowledge of babies. Of course the character is black and black characters in films of that time, particularly set in that era, seem crudely racist to our ears now.

    However, I’m not convinced that accurately referencing the speech patterns of a black character in what is generally considered a classic film (and book) is really particularly racist. Most of the reactions I’ve seen seem to think that the words and caricature sprang entirely from the artist’s imagination and Ms Rice is being presented as "generic uneducated black woman" rather than a specific character.

  14. ok,
    You say that the left wing americans are racists because an english newspaper says that George Bush is a monkey?

    Who in Europe doesnt think that George W. Bush looks like a monkey?

  15. "cartoonists or columnists on the left"

    A quick search shows that these "cartonists on the left" also poke fun at.. the left! Could it be that they are political cartoonists, poking fun at politics?




    However, I’ve looked everywhere in Rush Limbaugh’s site… he seems fairly… um, consistent.

    Bryan, I’m curious, would you consider yourself a dittohead? For those of you not in the know, a quick google search for dittohead will probably scare you.

  16. Mr. Forbes’ "monkey" reference is a simple case of misreading the article. The "monkey" they refer to is Bush, not Rice. Now, Bush may not appreciate the reference, but it is not a case of racism.

    Perhaps if more people understood the facts, and had better reading comprehension, Bush would not have won the election.


  17. Sadly, I should also add that perhaps the real racism taking place here is when Mr. Forbes automatically assumes that "monkey" is in reference to the African American in the article.


  18. I just saw your clarification:

    "Regarding the article from the Mirror, it makes a reference to Condoleeza being a “monkey” at the beginning of the article. Last time I checked, most African-Americans don’t like that."

    Besides being an incorrect reading of the article, calling a black skinned person a monkey IS NOT RACISM. It is impolite and insulting but it is not racism.


    I do not like being called a gringo. Is it racism when someone calls me a gringo?

  19. The Mirror is calling Bush a monkey, note the word his in " then his trainer would be the world’s most powerful person." It is calling Condoleeza the trainer.

  20. Thanks for the explanation of the racism in The Mirror article. At least I can see where you were coming from even if it was due to a simple mistake on your part.

    Can you explain the "racism" in the Pat Oliphant cartoon now?

  21. come on, its so blatently obvious they arnt calling her a mokney as in "derogotory term for black", but laptop, etc. which she is. she barks whatever tune he signs… thats her job and she does it with gusto. this whole meme is REALLY REALLY stretching

  22. GNOME User: Planet Gnome is just a syndication of people involved in the Gnome Project. The individuals who are syndicated blog about a great many thing including Gnome, personal beliefs, happenings in their lives, and politics. Throughout this election season, Gnome developers have posted their views (both from the left and the right) and yes, they appear on planet.gnome.org. That doesn’t mean the individual is "using" planet to spread their views.

  23. Planet Gnome should not be messed with. I am glad there is a variety of content on Planet Gnome, and I am even more glad that some of the authors such as Bryan Forbes make the effort to allow comments so that opposing opinions can be expressed.
    As for the "Aluminum Tubes" (Aluminium) mentioned in the cartoon I have found out from reading some of this weeks newspapers that it is a reference to claims by Dr. Rice that Aluminium Tubes found in Iraq could only have been intended for weapons manufacture, a claim she insisted on despite advisors telling her that it was not the case.

  24. Could you be more ignorant? How could you not know that Bush is regularly compared to a monkey?

    Re-read the Mirror article after attending a class in basic comprehension.

    Your stupidity is breathtaking. Typical American.

  25. "Your stupidity is breathtaking. Typical American."

    …As though only Americans have ever misread something because of a pre-existing ideological bias.

    Further, do I really have to point out that tarring 300 million people because one guy–on the Internet–misread an article in The Mirror and a few cartoons is far and away *more* stupid than the misreadings in question?

    For the record, I’m an American, and I sharply disagree with Mr. Forbes’ political views.

  26. As an American, I think that I can give you some cultural information that will help you understand why these comments are racist. Actually, I voted for Kerry.. but I still find these cartoons, particularly the one with the tubes and the brown sugar one, to be racist. One of my best friends is black, and is a Democrat and she found them to be very insulting.

    Re the brown sugar comment. Some of you may recall the Rolling Stones song entitled "Brown Sugar." The song basically involves a situation (common in pre-Civil War America) where "massa’s" would have sex with their slaves, usually against the will of the slave. Therefore, for a Cucasian to call an African American woman Brown Sugar is deeply insulting.

    Re the cartoon involving the aluminum tubes…. This cartoon is a reference to a particulary ditzy slave in the movie "Gone with the Wind." This is a very famous movie about life in the American South before and after the Civil war. There is a well known and often quoted scene in the movie in which a particularly stupid "house slave" – pretends to know how to birth a baby but then panicks and changes her mnd saying, "No, I dunno nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies." This cartoon is therefore depicting Dr. Rice as a stupid, ditzy house slave.

    I find any cartoons which depict African Americans in this way to be offensive – I could care less who drew it . Try to put yourself in their shoes.

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