BREAKING: Palestinian-American Kucinich-Supporting Photoshopper Forgets to Add Noose
posted at 3:29 pm on August 18, 2009 by Jim Treacher
The minute that the silly ObamaJoker poster first came to national prominence, from coast to coast the professional race-baiters — sometimes known as “journalists” — fired up their word processors and proceeded to explain to us how racist it is.
LA Weekly: “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.”
Washington Post: “So why the anonymity? Perhaps because the poster is ultimately a racially charged image. By using the ‘urban’ makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can’t openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and ’70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates.”
The Brits didn’t want to be left out either. The Guardian: “The Joker poster is mean-spirited, sure, as plenty of satirical images are, but is it dangerous? If it is, it comes down to race. As with the New York Post cartoon that conflated an Obama initiative and the shooting of a rogue ape, it’s a moot point whether the intention was bigoted: the simple fact of publishing an image of a black president with his face covered in white greasepaint but for the eyes and a red slash of a mouth can’t help but evoke a minstrel aesthetic, even if it’s in reverse.”
In other words, it’s racist because he’s black. If you don’t like him, or you disagree with his policies, or you just plain think it’s funny to make him up as the Joker, you may as well be wearing a white hood.
When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from “Batman” began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?
Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain?
Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago.
Bored during his winter school break, Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois, crafted the picture of Obama with the recognizable clown makeup using Adobe’s Photoshop software…
“After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ,” Alkhateeb said. “From my perspective, there wasn’t much substance to him.”
“I abstained from voting in November,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Living in Illinois, my vote means close to nothing as there was no chance Obama would not win the state.” If he had to choose a politician to support, Alkhateeb said, it would be Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich…
Although Alkhateeb claims he was making no political statement with the artwork, he’s plugged into the Washington debate. Though born in the United States, his Palestinian family closely follows Middle Eastern politics.
Just look at those white-trash Red State rednecks and their… um… never mind.
That poster wouldn’t be racist no matter where the artist’s ancestors were from or where he lived or who he supported in the last election. But you can bet that the race-obsessed Obamabots are hitting the brakes and steering clear of this kid. He doesn’t fit their narrative. Firas the Photoshopper will not be their next victim.