Thursday, November 18

Miss Rice, Racism, and Political Cartoons

There has been a certain amount of bother recently centered on political cartoons and their authors with respect their representations of Miss Rice, especially now that she is the Secretary of State nominee. The charge is that these cartoons are racist in nature.
I think two points can be made with respect to these charges.
  1. These cartoons may or may not be racist in origin, but perceiving them as such indicates an sensitivity to race which itself may be a form or racism. If it our goal to be colorblind shouldn't we try to act that way?
  2. Imagine for a moment, the furor if those cartoons had been drawn with depicting a highly respected minority female who is not a Republican.
I think my first point needs some explanation.
Examine for a moment, political cartoons over the last 300 years. Please demonstrate a time in their caricatures of the opposition, they didn't draw them in the worst conceivable way. Let's face it the political cartoon has ever been quite low in the realm of the acceptable and decent.

Next imagine a world without racism. You have a political appointee which is being opposed by the "loyal opposition", although in the light of some of the War coverage I'd quibble with the term "loyal". Anyhow, in such a world, then all stops would be pulled and the portrayal of Miss Rice would be quite abominable. Note that indeed that is what is occurring. This is why I wonder if the racist claims are undeserved on the face of it. Perhaps we have arrived at a place where we can say whatever we want, because race isn't an issue.

So in order to remain logically consistent, it would behoove the left to either denounce the cartoons and continue claiming race as a burning issue or drop it as an issue and also stop playing the race card. But logical consistency never has seemed to be a strong point of either party these days, so I won't hold my breath.