Patterico on That “Racist” Image of Obama and Sarah Palin.

by Little Miss Attila on January 2, 2010


I just don’t see the racism. I mean, I see it, but I have to sort of squint. My first thoughts on looking at the image are 1) it’s always funny, to see a man shining the shoes of a woman who’s wearing a skirt, since it’s so unlikely to happen in real life: the guy would be able to look right up it. That’s why it was so funny when the informant/shoe-shine guy in Police Squad had Dr. Joyce Brothers in those seats, wearing a skirt.

Then 2) Obama should be shining Sarah’s shoes: she’s got more class than he does. Who, after all, shuts the streets of Manhattan down so he can go on a date with his wife—when he’s got access to all the best at the White House, every day?

Only then does one think 3) shining shoes is often considered a menial job, as mopping floors can be. Has it been associated with black people in the past? Perhaps. After all, not everyone watched Police Squad.

One would hope that in between seeing that image appear in one’s in-box and hitting “forward,” one would get to thought #3.

Certainly, the average Republican would have.

But, really: the catalogue of negative associations I’m supposed to remember that have to do with black people is becoming overwhelming: water buffalo? Monkeys? Why monkeys? I think the people who read racism into monkey-like images of Obama, but were okay with similar images of G.W. Bush, are themselves racist, because they think of blacks as unintelligent or something.

Maybe I need to see more movies from the 1930s or whenever; perhaps that would help me to acquire all the cultural baggage I’m supposed to be carrying around.

But it would help if there were some sort of filter one could apply to criticism of black leaders that would serve as a “racism check”—a database of negative stereotypes from the past 200 years.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Charles Johnson outraged that a Democrat’s photo attempt to prove Obama ever had a real job before becoming president is a PhotoShop — Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian
January 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm
Rule 5 Sunday – A blast from the past « A Conservative Shemale
January 3, 2010 at 6:07 am

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

pounce January 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

The only thing that matters is whether America’s growing minority population thinks its racist…which of course they do.


Little Miss Attila January 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

That’s silly. Most people belong to one minority group or another. Or, at the very least, a group with a history of oppression.

The only way to be assured of causing no offense is to remain silent, and do nothing.


ponce January 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Oh, come on, LMA.

If you want to pretend the picture isn’t offensive for whatever bizarre reason, that’s your business.

But don’t pretend you don’t understand the cost to the Republican party of all you bewildered waifs defending crap like this.


Joe January 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I can see how some would find racism in that picture. But that is because some people look for it (real racists and of course those who love to fine outrage over racism).

What the picture represents is Obama demeaning himself. Isn’t it…well racist to automatically assume that to be racist? Now we all know Obama would never ever do that. Now is shining shoes racist? No, I have had my shoes shined by people of all races. I myself shined shoes when I was a kid (I also carried golf bags, did lawn and yard work, dug ditches, worked in kitchens at a pot scrubber, etc.). Does anyone seriously think Barack Obama is going to be really shining Sarah Palin’s shoes?

That is why the picture is a little bit funny. Attacks on Sarah Palin have certainly risen to the level of misogyny. So both subjects have been subject to unfair attacks. Of course that is nothing new. What the picture does is make Obama subservient to Sarah Palin–and that is unforgiveable for those on the left.

The picture is silly and not really worth a lot of comment. But I have greatly enjoyed watching Sullivan, Charles Johnson, and Patterico tie themselves up in knots over this. They truly deserve each other.


Joe January 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm

The racism Ponce, it burns!

Oh wait! Nevermind.


vanderleun January 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm

My thought was, “Not fit to lick much less shine.”


vanderleun January 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm

As for the dreaded “damage” to the Republicans, ever day this poseur and his gangs of gaggers is in the White House gives the Republicans slack to burn.


Little Miss Attila January 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Come on, now, Ponce: when someone who is 1) a chick, and 2) a novelist has trouble remembering all these buttons we aren’t supposed to push, there are just too many of them.

One oughtn’t have to have a doctorate in Negative Racial Stereotypes within the U.S. in order to engage in public discourse; see the rationale behind CA’s anti-SLAPP laws. And common sense.


Lazarus Long January 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Lt. Drevin: “What’s the word on the street?”

Johnny the shoeshine boy: “Stop!”

Tonight’s special guest star is Robert Goulet.


Peter January 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Funny, I first saw a different photoshop, back during the Primaries, it was Hillary getting a shine from Obama. Not a peep from Johnson back then.

Of course if Obama had actually shined shoes back in the past then today he wouldn’t be in his first job of his life where he was actually expected to see results.

The left and the minority populations ought to be whining about something besides this photoshop, they ought to be crying tears the size of horse turds that they all worked so hard to put this man into the White House only to see that he cannot do anything without a teleprompter. The only way he can talk at all is because George Soros has his hand jammed so far up Obama’s ass so he can make his lips move.

That, Ponce, is what you should be crying about.


Joy McCann January 3, 2010 at 2:11 am

In fairness, of course, I haven’t yet seen a black person getting overwrought about that P-shop, much less mad at the party started by a guy who gave his life to end slavery–you know, the party that had nothing to do with that P-shop, so far as we know.

The party that voted in higher percentages for the Civil Rights Act than the Democrats did.


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