Monday, March 01, 2010

Is This Image Racist ?

Well, I guess you would need to know the intent of the Photoshopper. Even then, you would need to know the intent of the person displaying the image, too. It is posted here for review. It certainly makes a clear message to Americans that the president's healthcare plans are akin to primitive witchcraft. Dunno what message it would send to the folks who live with the guy in the picture. Might be good foreign policy PR.
"Witch Doctors" are common in many cultures. They frequently use herbal remedies, they are frequently the most educated people in their communities & the mix of faith and science is not questioned. Most of the people who engage in these belief/social systems are dark skinned people with little industrial development. Nobody in America has a problem dismissing these other people's beliefs. Use of the term Voodoo is fairly accepted in the US as meaning quackery & trickery. It is a real belief system, of course & people in America practice it. Referring to Ron Reagan's economic theories as Voodoo Economics didn't phase anybody. Referring to Obama's initiatives similarly brings accusations of racism, however. What would have ensued if Reagan's theories had been labeled Lutheran Economics? Pentecostal, Catholic? (I think the real name for "trickle down" is neo-liberal. Of course Reagan couldn't have anything to do with the word "liberal" as he had managed to turn it into a four letter word almost single handedly)
In reality, Euro-Americans have moshed up religion & science a lot over the years. Monks practicing alchemy actually came up with some good results. What's kinda funny is that the folks who cooked up this image & use it is that they are probably more likely to mix up religion & science than their opponents.
The image also seems to have more to do with health cafe delivery than what Obama is targeting which is health care access.
So, the image actually misses the target & on top of that, it is hypocritical.
As the contempt for other cultures lifestyles is pretty much racist at the core, the image is clearly racist. Similarly, labeling Reagan's theories voodoo would also be racist as it demeans predominantly black Haitians beliefs. That Obama is in the picture with his head pasted onto the body of a presumably African guy is not inherently racist. But maybe that was the intent of the Photoshopper. I dunno. Spastic and inconsistent use of the racism charge renders the charge meaningless & the accusers irrelevant.

1 comment:

geebee said...

It also assumes that our health care system is run by guys who look like this... how weird and stupid. The only issue is access, not a new doctrine of medicine. Obviously, this is aimed at people too dumb to need it.