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Thread: Is this cartoon racist?

  1. #211
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    The cartoon is not racist but it is an example of race baiting.
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  2. #212
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason66 View Post
    To be fair MidSteel is saying it is racist if you think a certain way or if you assume certain things about the intent of the author, not that on it's face it is racist.
    Well see, I don't know if that's the case, because that's basically what I've said and he was disagreeing with me.

    I stated that absent any additional context OTHER than what was provided in the OP (Which was the cartoon, and that it was posted on a site that leans to the right) there was no realistic way to say this IS a racist cartoon.

    I stated that if you wanted to make various assumptions and guesses and leaps in logic, one could craft a scenario where it could be racist, but only by adding in that additional context.

    Mildsteel seemingly disagreed with me on that point.

    I agree, you can contort pretty much anything into being racist. As evidenced by me using the same kind of logic Mildsteel used here to declare that a Hershey Chocolate Bar is racist because it's suggesting that Blacks (chocolate) are meant to be behind bars (the layout of the candy bar mimics the layout of jail cell bars). However, to do that with a Hershey bar you have to insert additional context that is in no way, shape, or form presented in any fashion within the item in question and you must ignore the far more obvious and simple answer before you. The same goes for this cartoon. In order to claim that it IS racist, one must insert additional context that is in no way, shape, or form presented in any fashion within the item in question AND must ignore the far more obvious and simple answer.

    In this case, the additional context is that the "chocolate" reference in this cartoon is somehow referring to "black people". The problem is, there's no context within the cartoon to suggest that's the meaning or inference of chocolate in this case. There's no contextual way that his claim that everything he touches turns to sweet chocolate would make any sense within the cartoon if by "chocolate" he meant "black people". That makes zero sense. He thinks he can touch health care and turn it into black people? He touches foreign affairs and turn it into "black people"? The only way to actually make this argument is for one to assume that the artist is racist and assume he's trying to be covertly racist, and thus assume he is purposefully making a cartoon that looks like it makes sense but in reality is meant to not make sense so as to put forward a convoluted and poorly constructed racist message. How in the world anyone thinks that is a rational argument is beyond me.

  3. #213
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    So to get to "racist" one must first insert additional context that frankly is not present or implied what so ever in the cartoon. Furthermore, you have to flat out ignore the far more reasonable and clear message. Specifically, that the president delusionally believes everything he's worked on has turned out good, when really it's turned out bad. The fact you could take this exact same cartoon, put a white president in it's place, and the exact same joke and effect would be occuring clearly shows that the cartoon is not in any shape or form dependent on race to make it's point. Add to that the fact that chocolate and poo have a long history in comedy as being confused for one another, and the notion of "everything I touch turns to ****" being one that has existed for some time, and there's a clear, blatant, contextually fitting reason as to why "chocolate" was used as the item that Obama was mistakening the **** for.

    Indeed, the only way to say with such certainty that this is racist...or even that it's likely to be racist...is for one to simply assume that, because "chocolate", "poo", and a black person are all in the same cartoon (regardless of context) and because the author is conservative, the author MUST be racist and therefore the cartoons use of those things MUST in a racist manner even if the cartoon does not present them in any such fashion.

    The only way this cartoon can feasibly be "racist" is if the author was a racist and was intentionally creating a cartoon that makes absolute perfect sense in a non-racist way, but actually was meant to push a racist manner in a non-sensical fashion by being viewed in a non-contextual fashion. Which, while perhaps feasible, is horrendously unlikely even as far as "dog whistles" go, as it would be such a convoluted stretch and lacks so much logical connections within the frame of the cartoon, that it'd likely be missed even by most of the people it would've been meant for.

    If the cartoonist was trying to do a "cartoon that acts as a dog whistle but LOOKS like it should be okay" they'd be having Ray Nagin telling Obama he's got the chocolate touch (since he's actually famous for a line referencing black people as that chocolate, so provides direct context). Or they'd have Obama suggesting everything turns to sweet chocolate, "like me". Or the cartoonish would've shaded Obama as the exact same brown as all the chocolate/poo items. Essentially, providing some actual context within the cartoon to allow the target audiance to put together he's really meaning it in that racist fashion.

    Basically, the only way to actually find this comic pushing a racist message is to go into it actively looking for a racist message regardless of context.

    So yes...racists or those always looking for racism in everything may be able to twist and contort it into a racist message by taking portions of it entirely out of context and adding in their own context to the picture. Just like I can twist and contort a Hershey bar into being a racist item. But there's no way, actually within the context and presentation of the cartoon, to suggest that it's message, purpose, or content is racist in nature.

  4. #214
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Sweet chocolate? No. Dark chocolate? Yes.

  5. #215
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    I sense some veiled racism there... who ever heard of a person with a chocolate touch? The golden touch? Yes. The Chocolate touch? No, and then to have it be from a black man?
    Did you really not understand what the cartoon was trying to say?

  6. #216
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    And that's where I do not agree. I can't not possibly see how someone can claim it IS racist. Mildsteel is making an affirmative, definitive statement about something without any factual evidence to his statement.

    The POTENTIAL for it to be racist does not inherently make it racist.

    The statement "The pot calling the kettle black" is not inherently racist. It has the POTENTIAL to be stated in a racist fashion, but it would only be so with substantial surrounding context indicating it is. In and of itself, the statement is not inherently racist as it has a clear and direct meaning that has nothing to do with race. It is ONLY by adding additional assumptions and context that one could try and claim it's racist.

    That particular cartoon, inherently sans any additional content, can not reasonably be stated as being racist. It has the POTENTIAL to be, at best. Sans additional context, the clear and direct meaning of that cartoon is plainly obvious and clear. It is only through additional assumptions and intent, done without ANY factual evidence suggesting they are present, that one could possibly claim that the cartoon is racist. That suggests then that the cartoon itself is not inherently racist, but rather in such a case that the individual creating it is and his intent behind the cartoon is.

    It is impossible to claim that the cartoon is inherently "racist" WITHOUT piling additional assumptions on top of it, assumptions that at this point are completely baseless and unsupported by any actual connecting facts as it relates to this specific cartoon
    As I said, I do not perceive the cartoon as racist so you don't really need to explain why you don't see it that way. We agree on that point. My thing is that I'm just not as passionate about declaring it "not racist" like you are. Perhaps MildSteel arguing that it is factually racist is going to far, but, to be honest, I think that you're going a bit far in the other direction. Like I said, modern racism is subtle and insidious. It capitalizes on plausible deniability and benefits from people passionately defending it as "just a coincidence." I'm not going to do that.

  7. #217
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason66 View Post
    How could it be?

    Is chocolate a race now?
    Have you followed the thread? I have explained it at length.

  8. #218
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason66 View Post
    Where did you see anywhere in the cartoon any reference to Obama's skin color?
    I think you need to read the thread.

  9. #219
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Well see, I don't know if that's the case, because that's basically what I've said and he was disagreeing with me.

    I stated that absent any additional context OTHER than what was provided in the OP (Which was the cartoon, and that it was posted on a site that leans to the right) there was no realistic way to say this IS a racist cartoon.

    I stated that if you wanted to make various assumptions and guesses and leaps in logic, one could craft a scenario where it could be racist, but only by adding in that additional context.

    Mildsteel seemingly disagreed with me on that point.
    That's right I did disagree with you, and I guess you did not bother to read my rather long response to your post to explain why. Let me try to go over the basic contention again. I disagreed with you because, as I pointed out, the observer provides the context from which the meaning of the cartoon is inferred. He does so largely based on the conditioning that is the result of his past experiences. There is not, as you seemed to erroneously put forward, inherent meaning in words such as nigger. It is simply because the word nigger has been so commonly used as a derogatory term that we would likely conclude that it would be racist if used in a cartoon depicting Obama. However that is not necessarily so because the word has a non-racist usage as well.

    As a result the problem that I have with your assertion is that you say there is no realistic way to say the cartoon is racist without additional context. I disagree because there is ample reference to feces being used in a derogatory context with reference to blacks because of their skin color. As such, someone such as me who comes from an environment where such usage was common could realistically conclude, WITHOUT ADDITIONAL CONTEXT, that the cartoon was indeed racist. This flows from the fact that observers give meaning to such a cartoon based on their past experiences. If there was not such common usage of feces with reference to blacks, your point would have merit. But because you have completely ignored this fact, your position is bogus. Therefore unlike you, I don't say that another person's conclusion is not realistic because I realize that not everyone has the same experiences and conditioning that I have. Just like for me, I never heard that chocolate touch story. Maybe that is a common story white people tell their kids. I know for sure I never heard it before until now. The point is that type of reference would not necessarily have a strong influence in my mind without additional context. It appears that you have never heard of feces being used in a derogatory fashion to describe blacks. IF that is the case, I can see why you would feel that additional context is needed. But you cannot do the same, and that is where we disagree.

  10. #220
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    Re: Is this cartoon racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    As I said, I do not perceive the cartoon as racist so you don't really need to explain why you don't see it that way. We agree on that point. My thing is that I'm just not as passionate about declaring it "not racist" like you are. Perhaps MildSteel arguing that it is factually racist is going to far, but, to be honest, I think that you're going a bit far in the other direction. Like I said, modern racism is subtle and insidious. It capitalizes on plausible deniability and benefits from people passionately defending it as "just a coincidence." I'm not going to do that.
    I'm not suggesting it's definitely not racist

    I'm saying it's impossible to suggest it's racist based only on the actual presentation and context of the cartoon.

    I've acknowledge it could possibly be racist, though I think the chances of that given the realities of how the cartoon is crafted are extemely low as it would be Avery very ineffective dog whistle given its lack of context that reasonably points one in that direction in any real fashion, but primarily by applyin outside assumptions and contest to portions of the cartoon, of which the cartoon gives zero credence to within its actual design.

    Nothing in the cartoon, what so ever, gives ANY suggestion that the use of the word chocolate is meant to indicate race or that obama's effects on policies is turning them into policy equivalents of "black people". To reach a conclusion that the use of chocolate in that cartoon is to make reference to black peoples one must simply assume that's the case not because of any actual context or evidence within the cartoon, but based on the individual's personal feelings that certain people are racist and thus anything done by someome that in ANY WAY could possibly be racist must actually be racist.

    My argument is not that it absolutely isn't racist. My argument is that it absolutely can't be suggested as racist without inserting outside context or assumptions that are no way actually represented within the comic itself, and that given the multitude of logical issues with claiming it as racist that I've outlined in numerous posts, I think the likelihood of it being racist is slim but at least feasible.

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