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Are You Ready for Some SwiftVets? | Main | And I Thought Oliver Willis Was Not-Funny
October 13, 2004

That Racist Danzinger Cartoon Explained (?)

A lot of people don't seem to get the racist Jeff Danziger cartoon. It's not funny whether you get it or not, but here's the attempted joke. I think.

Condi Rice is being parodied as, I think, Butterfly McQueen from Gone With the Wind. This character -- a black maid/slave, I think, but I've never seen the film, so don't hold me to that -- says something like "I knows all about birthin' babies" early in the film. Then, when she's actually called upon to deliver a baby, she famously cries out, "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies." (Thanks to Phil for clarifying this.)

So, the cartoon is saying that Condi Rice is a black slave, and putting derogatory "black slang" into her mouth which is accepted in GWTW (I guess) but which is obviously considered insulting now.

And they have her, ahem, nursing aluminum tubes, making the "joke," I guess, that while before the war she knew all about about aluminum tubes, now she doesn't, and confesses ignorance.

That's what we call a real knee-slapper round Ace o' Spades parts.

Basically, I think Danziger just hates Condi Rice and wants to find an acceptable way of calling her, well, the n-word.

I don't think he succeeded.

If you want to call someone a "ni***r," Danziger, why not have the guts to just come out and say it?

You effete douchebag.

See? Not this passive aggressive bullshit.

Meanwhile, Hugh McBryde says he recieved the following response to his complaint about the cartoon. I don't know where the cartoon appeared on the NYT, if anywhere; they don't publish Danziger in the paper, at least, though it may be linked on the website somewhere.

Mr. McBryde:

It is of considerable importance to us. I haven't gotten back to you again because I didn't have all the facts. I still don't, but I can see that I should have given you an interim report.

Obviously the cartoon is racist and deeply offensive. Whether that means that Danziger himself is racist I don't know and don't much care. My only real concern is whether and to what extent this cartoon had any relation to The New York Times. (It certainly was not published in the newspaper.) As soon as I can answer that question for you, I will. In the meantime, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Best, Bill Borders

I can't vouch that's a genuine response, and I can't really even vouch for Mr. McBryde, but I guess I provisionally trust that this is real.

Look, the cartoon is offensive. There's no getting around that.

Apologies: I used the c-word -- the bad four-letter c-word, not the fun Norm MacDonald one -- in this post originally. I think this is the second or third time I've resorted to that word on this blog, and the second or third time I've quickly edited it out.

It's one of the harshest curses out there, and it's not even a playful one. I shouldn't have used it, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone by it.


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posted by Ace at 04:49 PM

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