AlterNet’s passionate criticism of the “Obama as Rapist of Liberty Cartoon” points out racism as a form of psychopathology. Writer Chauncey DeVega responds to a sketch that paints President Barack Obama as an arrogant violator of Lady Liberty – we are to assume – on account of his policies and recent strides in health care reform. In DeVega’s words: Rape allusions? Check. Allusions to the myth of the black rapist? Check. Intentional provocation? (and denial…check out the comments section on the site that posted it) Check. Denial of racist intentions while all the while wallowing in racial provocation? Double check.”

The piece continues on to discuss the media’s coverage of the Tea Bagger movement as proof that the conservatives “have won the Language Wars in this country,” and their ability to convince like-narrow-minded citizens that “in the Age of Obama it is white men who are now victims of Jim Crow 2.0.”

Playing on deep rooted stereotypes and divisions seems to be an integral part of the fabric that which is the U.S.A. and with 3 more years in the White House, images such as this will likely become more commonplace. Besides, this is not the first time racially degrading depictions of Obama and or Michelle have been circulated throughout the media. However, to the author’s point on racism as pathology, the greater issue is not the cartoon itself, but how people of color learn to cope with this alleged chronic illness.

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Jazz

    **Correction: I meant to type There is a long history in America of Black men being PORTRAYED AS rapists and over sexed. So rather the cartoonist intended to bring that into the cartoon or not, its there.**

    Sorry I left that out, it makes a huge difference in that sentence!

  • god bless are president he needs all are prayers right now.the devil is alive and kicking…..

  • Ashley

    I think the discussion that is taking place has an unstated assumption that needs to be addressed. The long history in America of Black men being rapists and over sexed was in relation to white women. Historically the sexual violence against black women has been ignored, which is another reason that the black rapist stereotype was linked to the protection of “white female purity”. When these stereotypes were distributed and reinforced through mass culture (such as films like Birth of a Nation) the target of black male sexual aggression were white females.

    I say this to point out that those who claim that race is a factor and link it to historical stereotypes of black male sexual aggression have also made the Lady Liberty character a white female. This is the unstated assumption that is directing this conversation but is not being addressed.

    Furthermore, there is an article “Is It Rape Culture” on the site now that discusses the role trivializing and joking about rape has on our culture. Move beyond the race talk…it’s surface. Look at what’s really going on here; the female body is being subjugated to make a point. The cartoonist needs to be more creative if he can only express his political perspective through rape.