The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

The Turkey Was a Racist

In an act of craven political correctness, The Indianapolis Star altered, then withdrew an
allegedly “racist” or “bigoted” cartoon
from its website. Yesterday, November 23rd,  the New
York Times
crowed:
The
Indianapolis Star removed a cartoon from its website over the weekend after
readers complained that the drawing was racist for depicting an immigrant
family climbing through a window to crash a white family’s Thanksgiving dinner.
The
newspaper should not have published the cartoon, the paper’s executive editor,
Jeff Taylor, said in a statement on Saturday. The cartoon, by the
artist Gary Varvel, featured a white father unhappily telling his family,
“Thanks to the president’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this
Thanksgiving….”
“This
action is not a comment on the issue of illegal immigration or a statement
about Gary’s right to express his opinions strongly. We encourage and support
diverse opinion,” Mr. Taylor wrote. “But the depictions in this case were
inappropriate; his point could have been expressed in other ways.”
Come again? It was not a comment on the “issue
of illegal immigration
”? Are my eyes deceiving me? It was actually about a
bar mitzvah that was being crashed by clowns? Maybe it was a psychedelic
rendition of Alice in Wonderland crashing the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?
The cartoon was not about Obama nixing the Keystone
Pipeline. It was about Obama’s executive
order
granting permanent status to five million illegal immigrants, who
will be supported by American taxpayers’ expense, and eligible for most “entitlements”
and privileges. That’s the father’s unspoken implication. But then, what does
he know? He’s just another “stupid” American voter.
Many
readers took issue with the heavy mustache worn by the immigrant father when
the cartoon was posted on Friday. The mustache was later removed from the
cartoon before the entire cartoon was taken down.
Mr.
Taylor said that the cartoonist did not intend to be “racially insensitive” or
for the cartoon to be read literally.
Oh! That troublesome, telltale moustache! Anyone wearing
a bushy moustache is automatically Mexican or Central American. Ask Einstein. Or Mark Twain. Or Frederick Douglass. They
were all Mexicans. And illegal immigrants, too.  Or perhaps they were secret Italian-Americans,
like Jerry
Colonna
!
I propose other versions of that cartoon that would
be equally “offensive,” perhaps even “bigoted”:
A
black family’s Thanksgiving dinner invaded by Mexicans, Iraqis, or Jerry
Colonna’s family.
A
Muslim family’s Thanksgiving dinner invaded by whites, blacks, or Asians, with
or without moustaches or hats. (The turkey, by the way, would be halal, that is, slaughtered so that it
bled to death in agony, an untouchable Islamic “custom.” Also, the blonde wife
would show bruises on her face from having been beaten by the husband; the daughter
is absent from the table; she was honor killed a while back by the husband,
wife, and her brother.)
An
Asian family’s Thanksgiving dinner invaded by a black family, with or without
moustaches.
A
white family’s Thanksgiving dinner invaded by former Mexican president Vicente Fox and his family.
(Fox would be hatless, and wearing a dinner jacket and tie; his wife would be
in a gorgeous evening gown.)
An
interactive cartoon that lets one choose with the click of a mouse the ethnicity
of the Thanksgiving family, and the
ethnicity of the invading family, and their attire. Vegetarian readers could
replace the turkey with a sculpted mound of rabbit food.
A
gay or transgender family’s (race optional) Thanksgiving dinner invaded by
obviously wild-eyed homophobic whites (or blacks, Latinos, Asians, Iraqis, or Muslims).
A
family’s Thanksgiving dinner (ethnicity, gender composition, and attire
optional) being invaded by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. The turkey on the
platter could be replaced with a richly basted duck. Phil and his family were
expected guests. Thus making the father’s remark about executive orders
superfluous.
A
family’s Thanksgiving dinner (ethnicity, gender composition, and attire
optional) being invaded by American Indians (tribe optional), led by Elizabeth
Warren
in a pants suit and war paint.
Would anyone be able to  recognize Hitler, Josef Stalin, Charlie
Chaplin, Clark Gabel, or Salvador Dali without their moustaches? Perhaps,  perhaps not. It depends on your powers of
observation. But the Star’s moustache issue is as bogus as a seven-cent nickel.
But the Star fell for it.
It assumed that Varvel’s cartoon had the
metaphysical power of “harming” or “hurting” anyone of the Latino persuasion. We’ve
heard that one before, from Muslims.
I sent this letter to The Indianapolis Star. It
says everything else I’d want to say about this issue.
Karen
Ferguson, Publisher
Jeff
Taylor, Senior Editor
Gary
Varvel
The
Indianapolis Star
Sirs,
Mesdames:
I
am a columnist for Rule of Reason, Capitalism Magazine, and Family Security
Matters. My principal blog site is: http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/.  My columns are
picked up worldwide.
In
reference to the Thanksgiving cartoon by Mr. Varvel, and the “uproar” over it,
including charges that it was “racist,” I’ll be writing my own column soon on
this subject.  My main point will be that I think all parties are missing
the point, and that the objections to the cartoon are spurious and demonstrably
politically motivated. Frankly, I fail to see that the skin color of the
invading “Hispanics,” “Mexicans,” or what-have-you climbing through the window,
with his family in the background, is any darker than that of the white
family’s.  If there is a difference, it’s an issue of micro-measurement.
 Or it’s people seeing what they want to see.
Then,
the whole business of the character’s moustache is quite laughable. When I
first saw the cartoon, I thought Mr. Varvel was resurrecting the ghost of Saddam
Hussein in a baseball cap. Or perhaps a caricature of another Iraqi (“Bagdad
Bob”?). Of Jerry Colonna, perhaps?  The last thing I’d have
imagined that it was supposed to be stereotypical rendering of a Mexican or
other Central American nationality. It might have been perceived as “racist”
had Mr. Varvel crowned the figure with a sombrero.
But,
even then, it’s an issue of freedom of speech. And of taste. Had Al Hirschfeld
and other noted caricaturists of the past lived in our time, their careers
would not have left the ground. Then there’s the issue of the Mohammad
cartoons. I happen to have participated in the protest against the protest
against Muslim objections to the cartoons by doing a rendering of a
cigar-chomping Groucho Marx in a turban as Mohammad on “You Bet Your Life”
(“Say the secret word and I’ll spare your neck.”).
The
Star ought not to have pulled Mr. Varvel’s cartoon or fruitlessly altered it to
remove the “offending” moustache. Apologizing for having published it was even
worse. There is a trend towards censorship by “popular consensus” in
this country and the Star’s backpedaling action over that cartoon is just
another instance of it.
I’ll
send you a link to the column when it’s posted.
Edward
Cline
Have a great Thanksgiving, folks.

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2 Comments

  1. blnelson2

    Maybe the cartoon character coming through the window should have been wearing a kaffiya holding a burka in one hand and a scimitar in the other. Oh wait – that would be islamophobia – even worse than racism…

  2. Edward Cline

    Barbara: I'm guilty of Islamophobia, and damned proud of it.

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