movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Mon Sep 15 2008, 11:56am | 29 comments
Racist, or satirical? Decide for yourself. It’s fun!
Something tells me that if that sort of “satire” was aimed at them, they’d be screaming persecution.
But maybe I just don’t know funny.
The best thing about the possibility of Obama being elected might be that people like this suffer a crushing blow to their world-view.
It’s racist pure and simple, its no different then the racist cover of the New Yorker. I hope Obama wins that way these guys be eating those waffles with a sad face and the shakes.
It seems kind of harmless to me. The joke is obviously just a bad political pun. I don’t these these guy are covert KKK agents looking to bring back segregation and Jim Crow. They’re just goofballs.
But this is how this race is going to go I suppose. It’s “you’re a racist” vs “you’re a sexist”.
The joke is obviously just a bad political pun.
I thought that until I got further into the video.
I don’t these these guy are covert KKK agents looking to bring back segregation and Jim Crow. They’re just goofballs.
A large many of these “goofballs” will be expressing their prejudices in a more meaningful way when they vote.
But this is how this race is going to go I suppose. It’s “you’re a racist” vs “you’re a sexist”.
It’s fair to point out racism and/or sexism when it’s there. It’s not fair to call “racism” or “sexism” solely because the person being criticized doesn’t share your gender and/or race.
The only part of the video that bothered me was the one of him wearing the Arab stuff. The Aunt Jemima stuff is ridiculous overreaction.
I agree with Jigsy, what’s the point in getting worked up over something like this? There are so many worse incarnations of racism in the world that getting upset over a dumb but harmless joke feels a bit like trivializing the whole issue.
“But this is how this race is going to go I suppose. It’s “you’re a racist” vs “you’re a sexist”.”
McCain’s a woman?
If McCain wins, I think it’ll be the first instance of the President being assassinated by his own people.
It’s extreme to call these guys members of the KKK. however its probable to say they might have grandfathers or great grandfathers that where in the KKK. These goofballs could figure ” hey its just a box of Waffles we’re not burning crosses here”.
No one is calling these guys members of the KKK. Is that the only other option? Either one is not racist, or one is a member of the KKK?
And it’s worth pointing this out because it’s a perfect example of the fact that many, many people in this country have some bizarre ideas about race… and that we shouldn’t be afraid to call them on it even if they have not gone to the extreme of burning crosses.
It’s not organized or institutionalized racism that people should be fighting in the streets over, but it’s obviously a couple of guys who feel threatened by a black man who is smarter, more successful, and wields more power than they ever will. They express their fear by creating a servile stereotype with racial connotations. Seems to me like you could call that racism.
I would call them anti-Muslim. I would call them anti-immigration. I would not necessarily call them racist. What’s on the box is a CARICATURE. An artists exaggerated rendition. When they showed a screen shot of the website, there was another caricature of John Kerry. I’m sure if it were him on the box, this would have gone unnoticed. So just because someone caricaturizes a black person, doesn’t automatically make them racist. Also, the person commenting on the New Yorker cover was misinformed, because, had you looked into it, what the cover, was ACTUALLY about was how the media plays up what is being claimed about Obama in said media.
—–Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post said Sunday on his CNN media show “Reliable Sources” that the cover is arguably “incendiary.”
“I talked to the editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, who tells me this is a satire, that they are making fun of all the rumors,” Kurtz added.
Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune defended it as “quite within the normal realms of journalism,” adding that “it’s just lampooning all the crazy ignorance out there.”
The panelists agreed it would succeed in its goal of getting attention.—-
What we have to realize in this society, because it isn’t apparent enough, Is that most media outlets pander to shock value. OF COURSE this is big media news because sensitive, politically correct people, are going to respond, and therefore create more of a demand for reports on the subject.
Had Obama been running for a local political office, no one, save for that local area, would have heard a peep about it.
That being said, all of this dumb shit is the reason I completely stay out of politics and don’t believe in our stupid system. It may seem like the best system worldwide, but that’s like winning a contest on who could polish the best turd.
If you don’t vote, you’re part of the problem.
I think Carlin says it best…
—This is the best we can do, folks. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.
….I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain”, but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain.
I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”—
The masses of people who don’t vote end up granting some of the smaller groups of people who do vote — like crazy-ass Christian fundamentalists — a disproportionately powerful voice.
So yes, when you don’t vote, you’re part of the problem.
I’d have to disagree because I don’t think that it’s one specific group that is not voting. I’d venture to say that non-voters are of equal enough proportion to “make a difference”.
And actually, now that I’ve done some research, Raymond Wolfinger, who is a political science professor at Berkley, conducted a study that looked at how much of a difference non-voters would make.
— Wolfinger and colleagues are skeptical that any differences would amount to greater support for Democratic candidates. There is merit in this view. In our research, we found that very few races are so competitive that higher turnout would actually lead to a different (simulated) outcome.
– Of course, in Leighley and Nagler’s paper, they are more focused on policy preferences than election outcomes. Now, the question becomes: are the differences in policy preferences substantively meaningful? Wolfinger might say that a difference of 5 or 8 or 10 percentage points doesn’t mean much. I am personally less sanguine, especially given evidence that elected leaders better reflect the preferences of voters than of non-voters (see especially this paper by John Griffin and Brian Newman, as well as two papers by Larry Bartels and Marty Gilens, respectively, on the responsiveness of leaders to constituents with higher incomes).—
should have said “equal enough proportion to NOT “make a difference”
There are so many problems with everything political these days. God I hate politics, and politicians, and all the crap they put all of us through.
Having got that out of my system… The biggest issue with this “political satire” waffle mix is the goofballs who put their form of satire on the box chose to utilize racist imagery instead of staying with the “waffling” (or “flip-flopping” as it was called with John Kerry.) The fear-mongering of Muslim dress, Mecca and the like is just ridiculous.
And since you brought it up, Will, the cover of the New Yorker was an idiotic move. If it was intended to call attention to the “crazy ignorance out there” why did they choose to do it in a way that those crazies can say, “See! We were right! It’s on the cover of The New Yorker!” Because you know damn well those same crazies aren’t going to “get” that it is satire. It would have come across much better if they had replaced Obama’s countenance with McCain’s. THEN it would have been satire.
In addition, if you choose not to vote, then, though you have every right granted under the constitution to complain your ass off, I won’t listen. You chose to stay home and allow the rest of us to go out and choose who we thought was the better candidate. We will have done our best with those choices given us. If you don’t like how our government works, find a way to fix it. Get involved. Don’t take a pass because you are too apathetic to try to make a difference. Sitting home on your ass isn’t going to make any kind of difference. SOMEONE is going to be elected whether you sit at home or not. All of us non-politicians could sit home on election day and not vote and guess what? The politicians who are already in office are going to choose who wins. Is that what you want? Are you so disenfranchised with the way things are you would rather completely give up all control? WOW! I think that’s even scarier.
“Because you know damn well those same crazies aren’t going to “get” that it is satire.”
So: Pitch to the dumbest members of the audience. Gotcha.
1) Let me repeat myself. I agreed it was anit-Muslim, but IT IS NOT automatically racist imagery if someone makes a cartoon version of a black guy. We have the old minstral images in our head that we think ANY type of a caricature of a black person is racist. COULD they be racist? Of course, but it doesn’t necessarily imply they are or intending to be.
2) I also said AFTER mentioning the New Yorker cover (in response to someone else that brought it up) that media does things to “shock” people into paying attention, and yes, the mag could be accused of doing that to sell, but in that, they’re exactly conveying the message of what they’re satirizing. It was actually quite brilliant. They got attention in the media for doing EXACTLY what those outlets were doing themselves and then calling THIS outrageous. It really shows you the contradiction they all live by.
3) The thing that is funny about me not voting is that you ASSUME I’m not involved. I actually work the election polls every year, lol
Just because I don’t believe in the system, I actually have first hand knowledge to criticize it.
And guess what. Politicians DO decide your vote. Because your vote only counts toward a number of electoral votes. Your individual vote doesn’t count as an individual, sorry. (As we well know in the Bush/Gore debacle (See Re-count, good movie)) As the article I quoted earlier stated, which you clearly didn’t check out (and didn’t really read anything I said, just the parts that were enough to outrage you (which I don’t blame you for, most sheep do it)) I don’t believe that there are a disproportionate enough amount of one group of people not voting to really make a difference.
Think about it like a survey. If you do a survey of people, you’re getting a cross section of, hopefully, equal group of Americans. Those surveyed represent the overall outlook of Americans. Elections are really not much different than that.
I refuse to step into a booth to “decide” whose lies I believe in more, ESPECIALLY when individual votes are not counted, but just pooled into an electoral vote.
God I hate politics, and politicians, and all the crap they put all of us through.
I hate voters, and all the crap they put themselves through. And I hate that they then have the nerve to blame it on politicians.
This is a country full of people who vote based on “waffle-boxes”, and commercials, and bumper stickers. Every one of them has all the tools they need to inform themselves, but they’d all rather have Keith Olbermann or Bill O’Reilly or whoever tell them what to think.
Politicians lie because it works. And voters have no one to blame for that except themselves.
So: Pitch to the dumbest members of the audience. Gotcha.
No, that’s not it. Satire has to be actually satirical. There was nothing satirical about that cover: it was an accurate portrait of what the idiot right has claimed about Obama.
1. Living in the south I see OPEN racism every day. Racism in this sense isn’t just about the caricature. I truly have no problem with that. It’s the, I guess it’s called Islamophobia? Is that right? Not a fan.
2. OK, it seems we may be in agreement here. Though I’m not sure brilliant is the correct terminology.
3. Of course I ASSUME you aren’t involved. Nothing in what you wrote lends any evidence of involvement. I’m glad you are and you don’t just sit by to watch everything happen to you. I also understand the whole electoral college and the way the voting process works. I didn’t think I needed to get into that discussion here as it is the comment section of MAJ’s blog and I figured we were all pretty knowledgeable. She tends to draw a fairly intelligent group of readers. There is no need to be condescending. But in order to have enough electoral votes, one needs enough individual votes to garner those electoral votes. Until we figure out another way to bring it back to the true “for the people, by the people” we need to work with the system we have. And I whole-heartedly agree about “whose lies I believe more” I’ve been there for a very long time. We can’t really win for losing half the time.
Unfortunately you’re right, we have become a society of voters who rely on others to tell us who to vote for, paying attention to the shock-jock political radio/TV shows and the waffle mixes and the like. I actually just mentioned to my husband the other day that it has become more of a football game mentality. And after it’s all over it remains “my team won, haha… your team lost, loser”.
Do you really think we voters put ourselves in the position of being lied to? Because not EVERYONE votes that way. There are those of us who actually do our homework. Or do you think the politicians whom we put in the positions of power become corrupt and choose to lie to us? Is it an egg and chicken scenario? I’m not sure. Do you have an answer? If so, I’d love to hear it.
Thank you for the comment to MBI. Dead on the nose.
Yes, I have an answer. It’s not a chicken or egg scenario. Politicians lie because people as a species are too stupid realize that they’re being lied to. In fact, the public is so stupid that if a politician doesn’t lie they become unelectable.
This is a country where having a college education gets you labeled ‘elite’, with that term actually being an insult. It’s astonishing.
If you do your homework then more power to you. You’re part of the solution. Cast your vote and hope for a miracle.
1) The reason I was condescending was because, clearly, you had selectively read what I said. I don’t have respect for someone who picks and chooses the parts that make them angry to respond to, and then completely ignores what was said by the person.
2) “Racism in this sense isn’t just about the caricature. I truly have no problem with that. It’s the, I guess it’s called Islamophobia? Is that right? Not a fan.”
Again, by what you just said, you proved my point. ANTI-RELIGION is NOT the same thing as RACIST.
I admitted they were anit-Muslim. I get that. You don’t have to be a fan of any type of racism, sexism, etc. but don’t call something one thing that you THINK someone MIGHT be portraying, when it’s CLEARLY something else.
Also, about that. It also doesn’t mean that you can judge that something is anti-Muslim just because there is a Muslim caricature, in the same respect. If I was to make an assumption, I would have said that they’re making a statement that they think he’s lying about his religion by saying he’s not Muslim because, as a culture, this is what a lot of us fear at the moment. HOWEVER after seeing the video, that is what made me think that perhaps they may be anti-Muslim.
I find racism horrendous. But what I find more horrendous is “boy crying wolf” calls of racism.
When something like a caricature on a box of waffles is what it takes to rile people up, it just continues to show the slow decline in basic intelligence in society.
ANTI-RELIGION is NOT the same thing as RACIST.
Not always. In the case of anti-Muslim sentiment, I think it is. Do you think a Caucasian candidate who was ethnically Eastern European and had Muslim relatives, even if he himself were Christian, would be subject to the same bigotry that Obama has been? Anti-Muslim bigotry is anti-brown-people bigotry, which is evidenced by the fact that Arabs and Indians and other less-than-lily-white people who are Christian or Sikh or of some other non-Muslim faith are also subject to the same kind of abuse.
And just *try* explain to some racist idiot that Indians and Pakistanis are Caucasian, no matter how dark their skin, and watch their heads explode.
Not necessarily, MaryAnn. A white candidate who is Muslim would not be electable. Hell, look what happened to Mitt Romney, and Mormonism is as American (not to mention white) as apple pie.
Add to that the fact that Obama did spend part of his life in a predominantly Muslim country and has a Muslim sounding name. There’s plenty of ammunition for the Rove crowd without the fact that he’s black.
Indians and Pakistanis are Caucasian in the same way that you are African. Racial classifications are imaginary. Racists can reinvent the word caucasian to mean whatever they want and that usage is exactly as valid as yours.
Racists can reinvent the word caucasian to mean whatever they want and that usage is exactly as valid as yours.
*bangs head on desk*
Stop that, I don’t want you getting a concussion.
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