AlterNet’s passionate criticism of the “Obama as Rapist of Liberty Cartoon” points out racism as a form of psychopathology. Writer Chauncey DeVega responds to a sketch that paints President Barack Obama as an arrogant violator of Lady Liberty – we are to assume – on account of his policies and recent strides in health care reform. In DeVega’s words: “Rape allusions? Check. Allusions to the myth of the black rapist? Check. Intentional provocation? (and denial…check out the comments section on the site that posted it) Check. Denial of racist intentions while all the while wallowing in racial provocation? Double check.”
The piece continues on to discuss the media’s coverage of the Tea Bagger movement as proof that the conservatives “have won the Language Wars in this country,” and their ability to convince like-narrow-minded citizens that “in the Age of Obama it is white men who are now victims of Jim Crow 2.0.”
Playing on deep rooted stereotypes and divisions seems to be an integral part of the fabric that which is the U.S.A. and with 3 more years in the White House, images such as this will likely become more commonplace. Besides, this is not the first time racially degrading depictions of Obama and or Michelle have been circulated throughout the media. However, to the author’s point on racism as pathology, the greater issue is not the cartoon itself, but how people of color learn to cope with this alleged chronic illness.