Cartoons can be very dangerous territory. Traditionally, they are light-hearted drawings designed to make children laugh, but occasionally they cross the line, like the Danish cartoons designed to inflame the Muslim world or the many installments of "Family Circus" that promote child abuse.
President Barack Obama has set off a firestorm of potentially offensive cartoons, including yesterday's New York Post cartoon that appeared to some to compare Obama to a monkey, although others said it was just gently poking fun at the horrific mauling of a Connecticut woman. Wffew!
Here are a few of the more notable Obama cartoons that have sparked controversy:
The New Yorker "Terrorist Fist Jab" Cover
New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt says he created this magazine cover in July 2008 to mock people who accused Barack and Michelle Obama of being secret Muslims and Al Qaeda sympathizers. On the other hand, he drew a cartoon that showed the Obamas as secret Muslims and Al Qaeda sympathizers.
The Values Voter Summit "Obama Waffles" Box
Last September, at something called the "Values Voters Summit," two attendees were found selling boxes of "Obama Waffles" to the likes of Lou Dobbs. The name seems to refer to Obama's "waffling" on certain issues, but the cartoon on the front also appears to compare Obama to Aunt Jemima, another well-known "waffler." The back and sides of the box also featured Obama in an Arab headress and a Mexican sombrero-- you think today's "values voter" will buy waffles with only one minstrel caricature on the box?
The Investor's Business Daily Jeremiah Wright Cartoon
The staid Investor's Business Daily is rarely a hotbed of racism, but this March 2008 cartoon by Michael Ramirez did show Obama "palling around" with a jive-talking Rev. Jeremiah Wright, wearing a shirt that says "Africa."
The "Suicide Obama" Cartoon
Robert Ariail, the political cartoonist for the Columbia, SC, State created this cartoon in April 2008 that appears to show Obama as a Muslim suicide bomber. Ariail said he was just making fun of the candidate's verbal gaffes, and perhaps his name. And also suicide bombing is hilarious. C'mon gang! Who's with him??
"Waterboard Barack Obama"
This one, posted on the website of the Sacramento Republican Party in October, describes that group's platform on the recent housing and credit crisis.
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