Tag Archives: imagery

How The Left Enables the Right’s Racism: The Obama Rape Comic

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

(TRIGGER WARNING)

Well, this is a fine way for me to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

I survived a young Black man raping me when I was five years old, and I’ve been subjected to decades of the stereotype of the Black male rapist and the racism behind it.  So, this cartoon triply triggered my reaction.

Obama As Rapist Cartoon

I rubbed my hands.  I walked away.  I wanted to cry but couldn’t because I was at work when I clicked on the link.  I shook inside, back to that frightened little girl who couldn’t possibly tell my mom the truth about what happened.  (I eventually did, about a decade later.)  I didn’t want to reflect on my experience—not like this.

But there it all was, splayed on my screen, demanding some sort of order, some sort of reason for it all.  To deal with it. Again.

As does the cartoon itself. Why this scenario? Why these stereotypes? Why all the justifications—again? (Yes, the poster said it can’t be racist because the woman is green.)

I’d love to say this cartoon was aimed at me, a Black woman who survived a rape, but I may be a side audience for this.  This cartoon’s intended audience is for people intent on holding onto their unchallenged notion of all Black men—as both capable and very willing to rape, even symbolically.  And their victims are always stereotyped as that embodiment of all that is ideally and virtuously feminine in the US, white women. Even symbolically, such as the paragon of US freedom and rights, the Statue of Liberty.  So, this cartoon is the wet dream—and dog whistle—to those folks who need to believe that a single Black man being president is using that power to rape “their” beloved country and the rights and entitlements this country (ostensibly) offers. Continue reading

Die Already, King Kong Racism: Lady Gaga Edition

by Deputy Editor Thea Lim

Why oh why does the King Kong image and its attendant suggestions of pure white goodness and evil black barbarism keep on rearing its ugly head?  Sent to us by reader Ruth, this photo is one of a series done by celeb art photographer David LaChappelle, for special editions of Lady Gaga’s new album.   See the whole series here.

You may remember this image from the 2008 Lebron James & Gisele Bundchen Vogue Magazine cover:

Or you may remember it and its ilk from the Amanda Marcotte/Seal Press debacle, where Seal Press used images such as the following to illustrate Marcotte’s book, It’s a Jungle Out There:

Or you may remember this image from this:

The list goes on.

In September, I linked to another Gaga/West image, which features a white lady (Gaga I assume) and a black person (West I assume) humping around.  I suggested that the image dehumanised both players in a sexist and racist way.  Mostly the reader response was: yawn.

This new King Kong photo of Gaga being the white virgin for West’s primal altar is problematic just to look at: a naked blonde woman with a perfect body is being stolen by a dark-skinned tropical heathen with dead eyes.  Aiyeeee.

But the shot is even problematic in the context of the Iconography of Gaga.

Continue reading