On Diversity, The New York Post, and Cartoons That Just Aren’t Funny, Man.

My partner-in-crime, Sarah Jaffe, is on deadly point re: cartoonist Sean Delonas and the now-infamous New York Post race fail:

Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post said on MSNBC (at about 3:55 of the video) that the problem might’ve been caught if there was better diversity in the workplace. For example, I’d be willing to bet that many of the people who defended the cartoon on [Newsarama blogger] Caleb’s post [link added–mb] were white. I’m not trying to beat up on anyone for being white–I’m white. But the thing is, being white, we simply don’t deal with racism the same way. This is what diversity does: it provides multiple viewpoints, multiple frames of reference for the same subject. This doesn’t mean controversial subjects should be avoided at all costs, but that fraught images like this one can be examined from different perspectives, and that perhaps a better critique of the stimulus package could’ve been produced.

Exactly so. And it’s not simply mainstream/right-leaning media outlets that could greatly benefit from a more diverse selection of voices.  Check out this wanktastic basket of white liberal fail at Mother Jones (yes, that Mother Jones) from some douchebucket named Daniel Luzer (”It’s pronounced Loot-zer”), who says that Al Sharpton should just, like, STFU “because the cartoon isn’t offensive, unless you’re an ape.”

Luzer digs his trusty shovel in deeper:

This cartoon has nothing to do with the ethnicity of Obama’s father and everything to do with the fact that the stimulus bill is messy. So messy, in fact, that it could have been written by a chimpanzee.


You many not even get the cartoon at all (stimulus=monkey?), but that’s understandable because it’s not that funny; it’s just not racist either. Sometimes a joke about monkeys is, well, just a joke about monkeys.

And sometimes a privileged hotshot straight outta Columbia J-School is simply a clueless tangle of unexamined privilege and egoverridden certaintude. But, hey, thanks for explaining to us dumb apes what is and isn’t ‘racist.’  If there’s one thing every (needlessly!) aggrieved negro needs it’s a walking whiteboy encyclopedia of TRUE bigotry to calmly and rationally tell us to, um, chill the fuck out, man.

Me and my elevated blood-pressure are simply overcome with gratitude.

DJ rewind:

[B]eing white, we simply don’t deal with racism the same way.

Rewind, my selekta:

[T]he cartoon isn’t offensive, unless you’re an ape.

Yeah, that.

Related: Bil Browning and Erica C. Barnett note that Delonas has a longstanding history of being an “equal-opportunity asshat”, as Barnett aptly dubs him–so much so that GLAAD has compiled an ongoing dossier of his greatest defamatory hits.

Barnett wins the intertubes for the day:

So, for the record, here’s a (presumably noncomprehensive) noncomprehensive list of groups Delonas hates/considers worthy of mockery: the womenz, the gays, the blacks, the fatties, the handicapped, the oldsters, and the blind. Given that list, I’m thinking Delonas’ only audience is, what, angry white male misanthropes with body anxiety and mommy issues?

Yeah, AKA the core subscriber base of the Murdoch Post.

One Response to “On Diversity, The New York Post, and Cartoons That Just Aren’t Funny, Man.”

  1. Great post. I agree. There are many white people who do not believe that racism exist. They just don’t see it. But it never occurs to them that they don’t see it because they are not typically on the receiving end of it. Even when they are guilty of it, they don’t acknowledge it for what it is.

    I am not trying to argue that white racists are the only racists in the world. Minorities can be racist too. But I would argue that the majority of minorities who are racist tend to stay in very insulated environments. It is really impossible to succeed and get along in America when you fear or hate white people. If you are a minority, you have to get over that crap pretty early on in life if you want to get anywhere in the world. Know what I mean?

    And then there is an entire other level of racism. There is that sort of covert, everybody is kind of racist, when you think about it kind of racism. And the truth is, if you really start to parse words, that is true. But that kind of racism rarely turns people into raving A-holes. It’s more about assumptions we make about others because pretty much ignorant about their cultures.

    But, you know, the thing about the cartoon that is really interesting to me, is that once again we are being forced to talk about race and racism. This is a topic that few people are comfortable with. And I am not white, but I would argue it is a topic that most white folks are just tired of talking about. In fact, I am kind of tired of talking about it myself. I think it is often misrepresented — or at least when I hear either black folks or white folks talk about it, I realize their take is different from mind. And I also realize that somehow it is often talked about in this black and white kind of dynamic that seems to completely ignored all the other ethnicities that make up this country. And then, there is the whole immigrant thing to consider. How they are viewed by both blacks and whites. Then, you have to think about how immigrants view us. They tend to come here with very poor images of black folks generally speaking. I have talked to friends about this. They say it is often based on what they see in the media in their homes countries and what they see in film, and the fact that many other cultures still have complexes when it comes to complexion. Lighter is better.

    It all really gets complicated. And ultimately the more we talk about it, it never really seems like we get anywhere. So, no wonder, people are tired of talking about it.

    But, here we are with a black president. And believe me, the right wing is never going to live that fact down. So, we are going to be talking about it quite a bit over the next four years.

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