Tensions are building around an image depicting President Barack Obama as the Joker from Batman, many times with the world “socialist” under his face. A banner with the image is displayed outside of a club in Richmond, Virginia, which led to a protest by the NAACP, which says that the image attacks not only the President, but all people of African descent. Others feel the image is a reflection of some people’s frustration with the administration’s policies. IS IT RACIST?
Here’s my response:
Is this racist? Yes, but its not that simple…what’s amazing is that most white people are in denial that this could be a racist depiction of the President of the United States, who happens to be a man of color, a perceived minority in this majority white America, who has risen to the highest position of power in our nation.
Many white people and some black don’t recognize, therefore cannot empathize about, the history of racism, Jim Crow, segregation or domestic terrorism that continues to exist and undermine humanity in this U.S. of A.
Many don’t realize how mass media programming, child-rearing, societal norms, and modeling over the years have created an underlying subconscious and systematic way of looking at society through a flawed perspective that is often racist, hateful, and bigoted…but in the end, in this democratic country, it’s called “freedom of speech.”
But what’s most telling to me is the lack of morality, civility, and love for one another, that has long been part of our experience in this country founded and supposedly grounded in God. The more we know our history and apply its lessons, the less surprised we will be.