Political Cartoons will test the funny bones of African-Americans


Political cartoons are an American staple. From an early age I followed Reagan and Bush 41 cartoons in the Paris News. As I got older I was partial to the cartoons that appeared in Newsweek.

Some are subtle in their humor and some hit you right over the head with their intent. Rarely do any of them strike readers the same way, mostly because they’re…well…political.

The cartoon at the top of the page was forwarded to me by a reader who wanted to get my opinion after i appeared in this week’s Greenville Hearld Banner in Greenville, Texas.

Now you have to know, the person who I received the cartoon from would remember the days (not as far back as the postcard below) when Greenville was known as having “The Blackest Land, The Whitest People.” So her eyes are viewing this image in a way that mine is not.

There’s no doubt that we have to be doubly vigilant in monitoring images regarding this President and First Lady (see Michelle Obama Watch). The email greeting card sent by the former mayor of Los Alamitos and the New York Times Post cartoon are examples of a racist joke gone bad and unnecessarily disturbing attempt at humor respectively.

When it comes to the Barack’s Saloon/Obama Gospel Church, I think it’s acceptable satire. Seems more appropriate for The New Republic than a local rag, but what can you do? If someone thinks that the image is a little harsh the I believe they have every right to send a letter to their editor letting them know.

There will be many more cartoons where “Barack’s Saloon” came from, and I’m not mad at anyone who’s keeping score. African-Americans don’t mind playing the dozens, but there’s a bit of added tension when there is “mixed company.” And when it comes to this President, many African-Americans -especially the old school- want the joking kept to a minimum.

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