No Laughing Matter: President Obama Depicted As the Joker

by Special Correspondent Wendi Muse

Since President Obama’s earliest moments in office, one of the biggest issues on the agenda has been healthcare reform. Yet as the clock ticks, many Americans have expressed disappointment, asserting that the healthcare goals are far from having been met and that they may have even been poorly planned and misguided from the start. As a means of voicing criticism, the word “socialism” has begun to create a loud whisper, but the assertion is not without visual aids, the most recent of them being President Obama depicted as the Joker.

Some consider the image insulting and disrespectful in a general sense, yet others have alleged that the image is racist “because it shows Mr Obama as a black-and-white minstrel in reverse.” Blogger Steven Mikulan of LA Weekly wrote:

“It has a bit of everything to appeal to the drunk tank of California conservatism: Obama is in white face, his mouth (like Ledger’s Joker’s) has been grotesquely slit wide open and the word ‘Socialism’ appears below his face . . . The only thing missing is a noose.”

the artist of the image is unknown, but it has been found posted in cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta

Others, particularly those from more conservative circles, believe that the image is one of the first examples of tangible evidence that the public is suffering from national regret and a lack of belief in the hope-heavy platform around which President Obama built his campaign. Conservative blogger Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker wrote:

“It is starting. Open mockery of Barack Obama, as disillusionment sets in with the man, his policies, and the phony image of a race-healing, brilliant, scholarly, middle-of-the-roader.”

What do you think? Is this image racist or is it simply a typical  example of political satire? Beyond simply race, what other issues are important for us to discuss in relation to this image?

Hat tip to Adam over at Eyes on Brazil for this topic!