Obama-Joker Poster goes Viral/Denounced as Racist

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Cowboy, Aug 10, 2009.

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  1. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2009
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, it's racist.
     
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  5. original sine Registered Senior Member

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  7. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    How so?
     
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    The whiteface.
     
  9. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    It's clown makeup, which is necessary to make him (and pretty much anyone else) look like the Joker. How is that racist?
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It has that connotation, which I'm sure the original artist was aware of.
     
  11. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see that there is a connotation to racism. Clown makeup is hardly political in nature, since you would have to put the "whiteface" on pretty much everyone in order to get the proper effect.
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    It's actually a pretty cool moment in the Universe

    I don't think the racism is the big problem with that flyer. Rather, the problem is its inherent stupidity. Original offered a blog post that pretty much demonstrates the issue. Conservative mudslingers seem to see things according to words used, but overlook the details of actions.

    As agit-prop goes, that one's pretty good. The whiteface is obvious enough that the artist could not have overlooked it and made certain decisions.

    I rather like it because everything, from the socialist to psychopath to whiteface shows the grotesque fear a black president causes so many people. It's quite the symbol of our times.
     
  13. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    There is no way to know what was in the heart of the poster's creator. That said to assume that every black man in America will look at that poster and think "Oh, it the Joker from Batman" is to assume that all black men have the same geeky interests as the average internet poster, and is a mistake.

    For many Americans "the Joker" is a an extra card in a playing deck and if you say "No, the character," they will have no idea what you are talking about. From the perspective of black men within that subgroup (which likely includes a lot of, especially middle aged black men), the first impression is that is Obama in "whiteface."

    That said, if the poster maker did not realize that there was a "whiteface" element to portraying a black President this way, then he or she is not what one would call a "deep thinker." As it strikes me that it should take the most ardent Batman fanatic less than a minute after the skin re-toning process begins to think "Hmm....wait a minute...."

    Still, I cannot rule out the possibility the creator of the poster was simple-minded, so geekified that the existence of connotations outside of Batman never occurred to him, or that he did realize it and just didn't care (in which case, he racially insensitive, which may or may not be "racist", I could go either way on that one).
     
  14. Ganymede Valued Senior Member

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    Actually that's incorrect. In America allot of clowns were reinforcements of Black stereotypes. That's why you see them with curly affro's, painted lips to make them appear bigger, and large round noses. If you look at the old Barnum and Bailey circus clowns they painted their faces Black.
     
  15. Ganymede Valued Senior Member

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  16. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    He deserved it.
     
  17. mike47 Banned Banned

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  18. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    There is no comparison to depictions of Bush. The perceived problem is "criticism" or even "over the top criticism." Painting up Bush as Dracula does not suggest a racial stereotype in anyone's mind. (In fact, as he is a lineal descendant of Dracula...)

    The problem is that the country has a history of demeaning blacks with certain specific kinds of images. If you apply those same images to whites it is not the same, because there is not the same history of using them against whites. If you showed a picture of Bush eating watermelon with the caption "He really loves watermelon," there is a very different connotation than if you do that with Obama.
     
  19. countezero Registered Senior Member

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    And in the mind's of some, Obama deserves it.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That isn't true. The original joker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HeathJoker.png) is not wearing whiteface, and the uses of the meme by others (http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2009/01/our-sad-little-stoogeocracy.html) don't involve whiteface.

    And even if whiteface were on the original, the postermaker made several changes in the original Joker image - from the hair to the posture - to fit it to Obama. He was obviously fitting the image to his preferences, and whiteface was part of that. In the US right now, making up Obama in whiteface is racially loaded. It could have been blue, green, etc, if the poster designer wished to avoid the racial loading.

    Which he didn't, of course.

    And so there is no problem describing those "some" - the ones who look at Obama made up in whiteface and pretend to see nothing racially loaded in the image - as what they are.
     
  21. countezero Registered Senior Member

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    I don't care how you describe them. I don't care about the poster or the so-called racism some leap to claim the poster depicts. This is the sort of non-issue that pollutes the news stream and is forgotten almost immediately. Why invest the energy?

    I think, all in all, America has behaved a lot better about its first black president than I envisioned it would a year ago. I'm proud of the nation for that. I also think Obama -- and his people -- do not play the race card as often as I thought they would. I like that, too.
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The word, then, is "us" - not "them".

    To make it more difficult to forget. We have seen how that kind of forgetting leads to denial and massive error, say in the praising of Reagan's governance (overlooking his bitterly racial leveraging for power) leading to W&Co, or in people pretending the news stream was not polluted as seriously as it was.
     
  23. countezero Registered Senior Member

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    Whatever, Ice.

    I choose not to see racism and somehow I am condemned for that. I don't care about the poster. It doesn't affect me. Not in the way its makers or its supporters or its detractors want it to. That's my choice.

    And speaking of impact. I'm beginning to view your posts in about the same terms as what I flush down the toilet every morning. That, or they have about as much clarity and sense as the sound a hair-dryer makes. But by all means, keep on. I'm sure this is all very cathartic for you.
     
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