Saturday, 9 October 2010

Obama the Target

The Guardian (a British newspaper) has a facility on its web site for people to post comments and debate the issues raised by news stories. I pop on there from time to see what's cooking. If a news story crops up about the American Right, the Tea Party, and so on a person with the screen-name of BeauregardJackson will be on patrol. He is, or claims to be, a recruiter for the Tea Party, and his mission appears to be cruising the threads gainsaying anyone from the Left and in particular anyone who criticises the Tea Party. Yesterday he came down like a ton of bricks on someone who posted a link to the well-known photo of a kid on a Tea Party rally carrying a placard that likened Barack Obama to a monkey. "You cannot seriously label the Tea Party as racist because one 12-year-old boy goes on a rally with one sign!" Well, I reflected, nobody stopped the kid.

As you know I frequently visit right wing blogs, so I thought nothing of looking for unflattering images of Obama on Google Image. Caricatures of politicians are commonplace; I am used to the lampooning of George W Bush - British cartoonist Steve Bell was merciless with him, and thought nothing of drawing Dubya as a monkey - Tony Blair too, Gordon Brown, and I am used to cruel cartooning of political leaders going back (in my memory) to the days of Harold Wilson and LBJ. However, I was not really prepared for the vilification that the Right has poured on one solitary, black politician. I was not prepared either for just how damn good the artwork was.

The links here are straight to the images:

Starting of mildly, Obama as Mickey Mouse.

Now it starts to get ugly. Try telling me there are no traditional racist overtones to portraying an African-American as a chimpanzee.

Obama as Hitler, or is this a challenge to the Right to make up their mind?

Another example of the "Hope" poster made into something else.

Barack tacked onto the end of the famous Chinese poster of Marx, Lenin, and Mao.

Obama as a muslim, but maybe not as any muslim.

This one I actually love - Alfred E Obama! But then it's from Mad magazine, and we can exclude it from the rest of the gubbins.

Probably the most libelous image imaginable - "Same shit, different asshole".

Obama as a Nazi Stormtrooper.

Obama in orthodox iconography, with the "Book of Marx".

Well if he's your hero I have no further comment.

Obama as a target - why do I feel that it's only a matter of time? With this kind of stuff around, nothing would surprise me!


  1. I haven't seen most of these! Oy! Good post.

    Over the weekend, K and I stopped at a yard sale and bought several items. As the nice folks were helping us load things into the car, we noticed that the front of their house was plastered with homemade Tea Party signs and American flags - even an 8 foot banner touting right-wing values. We shuddered a little. What was interesting was that it was a white woman (insurance adjuster) married to a Latin American man who was a Vietnam vet (this guy spoke Russian to Zasha), and their best friend was a buff black guy I can only compare to Lennie from "Of Mice and Men"... it helped that we had crossed the Georgia border.

  2. It is at times like that that I reflect that people are just people... :-)