Is The Racist Obama Joker Poster Racist, or Racist-y?

Man, am I late to this party.Obama-socialism Joker-thumb-200x292

There’s this Barack Obama/Joker poster that’s going around, and at least one writer has called it out as being more than kinda racist:

The poster, which bears a very superficial resemblance to Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama Hope illustration, has been pasted on freeway supports and other public surfaces. It has a bit of everything to appeal to the drunk tank of California conservatism: Obama is in white face, his mouth (like Ledger’s Joker’s) has been grotesquely slit wide open and the word “Socialism” appears below his face. The only thing missing is a noose.

Well, that settles it. Poster=racist.OK, just kidding.  It’s a little more complicated than that.

I don’t think the guy who made this intended to be racist (just stupid), nor do I think the right wing is spanking themselves chafed over it because they’re racist (just behind-the-times dorks.  Dark Knight came out, like, a geologic era ago).  I give everyone 100% benefit of the doubt.  Hell, I’ll even laugh at the guy who says the poster misses the point because the Joker was an anarchist, not a socialist.  The (stupid) point of the poster is that Barack Obama is a socialist joker.

Having said all of that, this poster is immediately and strongly evocative of blackface minstrel shows.  Hey, it happens, like when some ad guy accidentally snaps a picture of something that looks like a dick.  But, there it is.  Care, or care not, ’tis a fact.



  1. Well… (via @allahpundit) (Yes I know this isn’t Twitter)

    Considering the foolishness with the birthers, I won’t rule out racism out of hand, but I’ll give the poster’s creator the benefit of the doubt on that.

    I do think it’s pretty stupid though. Also, I agree with the guy who says it misses the point.

  2. I agree that it was more a case of sheer stupidity than of racism. Some on Twitter have even made the pic their avatar….now that’s racist-y, once you ought to know better.

  3. The poster started appearing back in April….

  4. You know what this calls for?

    A bunch of Obama-as-Spock posters captioned “Logic”.

    Pardon me while I get the Photoshop and start tacking those up all over DC. East Coast!

  5. […] to quote Tommy “Racist(y)“:  Maybe probably Unwitting Australians perform in blackface with a ‘whiteface’ […]

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