Green Room

BREAKING: Palestinian-American Kucinich-Supporting Photoshopper Forgets to Add Noose

posted at 3:29 pm on August 18, 2009 by

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.

Funny thing, though:

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.

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


..this is ultra-delicious: some bored tool college kid draws an image that gets co-opted by the right-wing blogosphere and (of course) decried by the now-newly-sensitive left, shrieking in agony.

The other reason they won’t be assailing Alkhateeb is because they’re too busy going after the Colorado student who “debated” the Boy King to s stand-still or the 35-year-old stay-at-home-mom who got into Specter’s face and the recent town halls.

The empty, vapid, soulless left.

No sir, it doesn’t get any better than this.

VoyskaPVO on August 18, 2009 at 3:45 PM

This is the feel good story of the day

skree on August 18, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Confession: This conservative isn’t a huge fan of the ObamaJoker poster. But I hate the bastard, so I haven’t said anything. I’m a little relieved (and amused) to find out it wasn’t one of us.

I can’t wait to watch the network evening news to see how they’ll cover this angle of the story. (sarcasm)

britneyhume on August 18, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Just like they expressed no concern for Kenneth Gladney, this “racist” will get a pass. Next verse, same as the first.

di butler on August 18, 2009 at 4:22 PM

How long until one of the liberal hacks writes a column explaining that this was a brilliant satire capturing the right-wing hate machine’s villainy in this bold work of genius?

Eh, maybe not, since he doesn’t seem to be completely enthralled by The Jug-eared One.

hillbillyjim on August 18, 2009 at 6:17 PM

He doesn’t fit their narrative.
Indeed..its all about narrative.

RobCon on August 19, 2009 at 4:18 PM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
Top Pick


“Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.”

Chaffetz: House needs housing allowances?

Ed Morrissey Jun 27, 2017 8:41 PM

“There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

“This isn’t going to get a lot cheaper, it can’t, it won’t.”

“…what we failed to achieve with votes, we would do with weapons.”

“[S]o dumb it’s amazing we even have to have the conversation.”

“It was not necessary.”

“You’re inflaming everyone right here right now with those words!”

“Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the President’s Audio-Animatronic figure will be saying.'”

Excuses, excuses.

Not really a “kill all the lawyers” scenario

4 pm ET!

“it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced laborers from North Korea.”

Currently doing a search for “good international trade lawyers”

Ransomware attack spreads through Europe

John Sexton Jun 27, 2017 1:01 PM

“A massive ransomware campaign is currently unfolding worldwide.”

At least their address rarely changes

It just keeps on happening

“Trump is good for business right now.”

Start spreading the news…

“Now it’s time for the next step.”

A “cryptic” warning to Bashar al-Assad?

Jazz Shaw Jun 27, 2017 8:01 AM

The three strikes rule may be in effect

CNN reporters resign over retracted story

John Sexton Jun 26, 2017 9:21 PM

“The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign.”

Federalism’s greatest champion is now …

Ed Morrissey Jun 26, 2017 8:41 PM

“In the end, we’re a democracy.”

“Almost all controversial speech harms people, upsets or offends them…”

Obama: Back home again in Indonesia

Andrew Malcolm Jun 26, 2017 7:21 PM

The call to prayer and eating dog.

Testing the waters.

“primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated.”

“If I were a Seattle lawmaker, I would be thinking hard about the $15 an hour phase-in.”

Days of future past

“Not only are taxpayers footing the bill, but people are dying unnecessarily because of this.”

Israel settles who can stand where at the Western Wall

Andrew Malcolm Jun 26, 2017 3:21 PM

Women to the right, men to the left.

Look on the bright side. There’s less snow in the summer

Big win … but for how long?

“Several Russian cities have unveiled monuments to Stalin in recent months.”

Massive disappointment