The San Antonio (Texas) Express-News got into a bit of trouble with its readers when it published these two political cartoons.
The first one, showed a bunch of protesters shouting out against health care reform, screaming “We want our country back!”. Below showed the southern United States with a Confederate flag with the tag line, “When you hear people saying, ‘We want our country back!’ This is probably what they mean.” It likens protesters as “rednecks”.
The second depicts Obama as a thug with a bloody baseball bat in his hand, leaning over a battered man wearing an “I Disagree with Obama” T-shirt. The caption shows Obama saying, “You look like you could use some government health care.”
Both cartoons generated huge letters to the editor, calling them “racist”.
One reader called the Confederate cartoon, “incendiary” and said, “…the concept of going back to a Confederate United States was so extremely racist it just made me sick to my stomach.”
Another reader outraged by the Obama beating cartoon asked, “What has happened to the collective common sense of the Express-News staff? Did it occur to any of you that this particular cartoon would fuel the fires of racism?”
After looking at both cartoons, I couldn’t help but laugh at them. They did exactly what they were supposed to do, generate conversation. Exploit absurdity by being absurd.
In many cases, people who make outrageous statements are guaranteed to be a topic in a political cartoon. It is the most sincere form of flattery. How you react to it is all on your disposition at the time.
Being angry at a simple cartoon says allot about a person’s demeanor. Maybe we need to just relax and enjoy the ride.
There’s an old saying I always live by. “Never allow anyone to make you feel inferior without your permission.”
Maybe we need to do that more often.