Racist cartoons of Condoleezza Rice?

The Rightysphere’s a-buzz with their new claim: Liberal cartoonists are making racist attacks on Condeleezza Rice! The IWF, incapable as ever of expressing an original thought, jumps on the bandwagon:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum today denounced as blatantly racist several editorial cartoons featuring Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor and President Bush’s nominee for Secretary of State. These cartoons clearly draw upon centuries of deep-rooted, wicked and indefensible portrayals of black women.

“The depiction of Dr. Condoleezza Rice by Jeff Danziger, Pat Oliphant and Garry Trudeau as an ebonics speaking, big-lipped, black mammy who just loves her ‘massa’ is a disturbing trend in editorial cartoons,” said Michelle D. Bernard, senior vice president of the Independent Women’s Forum. “These cartoons take the racism of the liberals who profess respect and adoration for black Americans to a new level. It is revolting.”

Let’s look at the cartoons they’re talking about. First, Jeff Danziger’s:

The cartoon is based on a character from “Gone With the Wind.” Here’s Danziger’s defense (via Rambling’s Journal):

In fact the idea for the cartoon was suggested to me by a friend who is African-American. It wasn’t racist. Nor am I. I have been doing this for nearly thirty years, and any review of my work will prove that no racism attaches. Further, I am a decorated Vietnam veteran who voted for Nixon once, GHW Bush twice and even for Bob Dole. So keep your labels.

Nothing racist about it at all. Just the standard lies told by a political operative, out of her depth, who happens to be African-American. Whenever this administration is in trouble they send out Condi Rice because the press, which is mostly white and male, gives her a far easier treatment than they would a white male.

It’s true that Danziger isn’t particularly a liberal, unless your definition of liberal is “anyone who criticizes George W. Bush.” If you look at Danziger’s cartoons from back when Clinton was in office, he was just as harsh on the Dems (for example, here, here [a quite funny one depicting Democratic racism, by the way], and here).

But I don’t think the rest of Danziger’s explanation helps him out. Danziger says that Rice “happens to be African-American,” as if he were depicting her without regard to her race. But that’s nonsense. It’s only because she’s black that it makes any sense to draw her as a black stereotype from “Gone With the Wind” – and drawing her that way doesn’t make fun of her lies or her politics, it just makes fun of her race.

It’s a racist cartoon, and pointing to a past history of non-racist cartoons – or, pathetically, trying to blame it on an unnamed black friend – won’t rescue it.

Next, Pat Oliphant:

I think this is borderline racist. There’s nothing wrong with depicting Rice as a parrot – doing so in no way makes fun of her race, and the cartoon would make just as much sense if she were white. But why did he have to draw her lips that way? Yes, it’s a cartoonist’s job to exaggerate, but a caricaturist as hugely skilled as Oliphant could have drawn Rice without reminding us of the history of racist big-lipped caricatures of blacks. (From the interviews I’ve read, my guess is that Oliphant would dismiss such a concern as political correctness.)

On the other hand, contrary to the IWF’s claims, Oliphant’s hardly a liberal. He’s a “whoever’s in power is my enemy” cartoonist; if anything, he leans a little to the right (see his cartoons criticizing teachers and teachers unions, for example).

(Incidentally, back when Bush senior was in office, Oliphant did a series of offensively homophobic cartoons depicting Bush as a mincing, flaming gay man, which I thought were pretty disgusting.)

Finally, the Doonesbury:

The Doonesbury cartoon isn’t at all derogatory towards Ms Rice; it is derogatory towards Bush and his famous habit of giving nicknames to people. At most, it suggests that Bush might be racist – which may be an unfair thing to say, but it’s not a racist thing to say.

So, what’s the score? The IWF, attempting to smear liberals, makes three accusations – but two of them, while racist, aren’t by liberals, and the third, while liberal, isn’t racist. As usual, the IWF scores zip on truthfulness. On the other hand, it is disturbing that two of the most mainstream, well-known figures in the editorial cartoon biz are producing racist strips, and it’s good that the righties are bringing this some attention (even if I suspect many of them are more concerned with being anti-liberal than anti-racist).

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73 Responses to Racist cartoons of Condoleezza Rice?

  1. 1
    alsis38 says:

    Where are you getting this stuff, js ? Off Bush’s homepage ? If so, forgive me for looking at your “facts” with a jaundiced eye since they would then be brought to us by the same humanitarians who wanted to reclassify burger-flipping as a “manufacturing job.” [rolleyes]

    Yeah, that Bush is a great friend of minorities. Just ask any person of color whose doing time for possession of crack, or who can’t vote because they once did time for it, or got “mistaken” for someone who once did time for it, or… etc.. etc…

    Of course, draconian and racist “anti-drug” laws are pretty much a bi-partisan pursuit, so perhaps I shouldn’t pick on Bush’s party exclusively.

  2. 2
    jstevenson says:

    Oh come on Bean. Do you really think Bush is a racist? There are many things that I do not agree with in the Bush administration, but in no way do I think that Bush is racist. In matters of race I think President Bush has done a good job.

    His economic empowerment zones have created a multitude of new minority businesses. New HUD programs increased minority homeownership to record levels. There are several other government programs that have been developed under the Bush administration to advance minority interests than under any president in the last 30 years. Additionally, programs set up in Texas have increased, not decreased, like other states, minority enrollment at the States major universities.

    So, even though I am not a big fan of President Bush, I do not think he advances minority suppression like modern Democrat policies have.

  3. 3
    acm says:

    re: Oliphant — one of Rice’s trademark physical characteristics is the gap between her front teeth (the same for David Letterman) — I’m much more aware of that than her lipstick color — which is probably a substantial part of why he chose to go with lips rather than a beak. he might be a racist and still have stumbled into this stereotype by lazy accident…

    just another two cents

  4. 4
    Brandace says:

    Re Danziger: Yes, it’s a racist cartoon. It depicts the woman as an idiot slave-girl of all things. ‘Racism’, being a part of the historical fabric of America could never reasonably be prohibited from political commentary. (I saw Danziger’s Democratic Exit Poll cartoon) However, there is a marked difference between a humorous satirical commentary on race-relations and a lazy racist attempt at satire. Here we have the latter. Perhaps the most disturbing about Danziger’s defense is the fact that the source for the idea justifies its ignorance–Like the African-American who suggested it had the authority to give it the official “Black Stamp of Approval” that instantly made it acceptable.

    Re Oliphant: This could be construed as racist. Despite previous depictions as a parrot, this cartoon pictures Rice doing more ‘kissing up’ than parroting. That, plus the lips makes it disturbing.

    Re Doonesbury: Yes, even this one has racist, sexist undertones–even if unintentional. Okay, Bush likes nicknames–but if ‘Stretcher’ stretches the truth, what does ‘Brown Sugar’ do? If you ask me, the reference is just a little creepy. Yes, Bush and Rice’s relationship is painted as filial at best, submissive in the extreme. But I don’t know any Black woman who characterizes “Brown Sugar” as a platonic term of endearment, especially from a boss.
    To present any African-American female professional being called “Brown Sugar” in the work place by an employer during a seemingly private meeting is suggestive. Especially, when the “nickname” isn’t used until Rice questions Bush–its more a mysogynistic reprimand than a nickname.

    As an African-American woman, one thing I refuse to do is perpetuate the conservative vs. liberal bickering. ‘Liberal’ does not automatically equal ‘tolerant’ just like ‘Conservative’ does not necessarily equal racist. The truth is that any ulterior motives the IWF had, were just that–theirs. They don’t make these cartoons any less or more racist. And using this incident to characterize conservatives as a whole would be just as prejudiced as the comic strips themselves.

  5. 5
    Dperkin says:

    Good post. While I dont think Danziger and Oliphant are racist themselves their pieces are racist caricatures. I dont know why they chose to go there. You can make fun of people without stereotyping them. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh would have drawn such a piece.

  6. 6
    Paul says:

    I saw Kate O’Beirne citing these same three cartoons as her “Outrages of the Week” on Capitol Gang last Saturday. If they are racist, it is in part because editorial cartooning requires use of commonly recognized cultural references as a form of shorthand. Had Jeff Danziger been making an identical point about Henry Kissinger or George Schulz instead of Condi Rice, he probably would have drawn him as Hogan’s Heroes’ Sgt. Schultz (“I know nothing!”) in spite of the fact that at least one of them is Jewish. Sure, he could have safely drawn Rice as Captain Renault from Casablanca, but he probably thought that treating aluminum tubes as if they were babies was funnier than putting them in Rick’s Place.

    Pat Oliphant draws cartoons most other cartoonists know they could never get past their editors, and he has a history of using racist, homophobic, and misogynistic images (e.g., he often resorts to a Brunhildebeast character to represent anything feminist dates back to the ERA). In his own shorthand, Jimmy Carter is a dwarf, GHW Bush is a mincing dandy wielding a purse, and Condi Rice is a parrot. Dr. Rice’s own mouth doesn’t much resemble a parrot’s beak, so he draws her trademark dark lipstick, necessarily in a line thicker than the rest of the lines of her face. Is he racist? Yes, but this is one of the tamer examples. Compare his Justice Thomas, or any cartoon about Koreans.

    On second thought, I think Oliphant despises everybody.

    Several years ago, Signe Wilkinson drew an excellent cartoon response to critics of the way she had drawn Arabs, Blacks, Teachers, and some other group in cartoons. Henceforth, she told her readers, here’s how I shall draw them, and drew four identical non-descript males.

  7. 7
    C. Walker says:

    The two besides Danziger: nothing.

    Danziger: My first reaction to it was that it’s pretty ugly. After reading the caption, I began to think that he was meaning to making a reference to Gone with the Wind. If he is, it was too subtle. He should’ve put the name of the reference in the caption so we knew that that SPECIFICALLY is what he was referencing.

    One could always ask what he was intending to say in the piece, of course, he could’ve been given an acceptable answer, so it’s kind of hard to pin on him. Either way, perhaps he should’ve just left the idea for his “African-American” friend to publish…

  8. 9
    jstevenson says:

    Good post Amp. Before I read it I thought you were going to do some blind culturally insensitive post that said there was nothing wrong with the cartoons.

    These cartoons on Dr. Rice are mild compared to some of the other one’s. The Aunt Jemima one was probably the most offensive thing I have ever seen in my life.

    One of the things that I learned in my life; if you have any success that is not atheletic or entertainment and you are black, you will be vilified.

    A common phrase of “enlightened”(meaning know the problems of our community and want to do something about it) African Americans — We know Republicans are racist, they will tell us to our face. Democrats on the other hand will smile to your face and give you welfare behind your back. Don’t you dare ask for a job or start your own company — then you are a sell out.

  9. 10
    djw says:

    No, no, no, no…..their liberalism is a revealed property of their recent actions. We can know Oliphant and Danziger are liberals because they denigrate Condi Rice. That is sufficient evidence. It doesn’t do to underestimate the extent to which for many movement conservatives, the term “liberal” has more or less become synonymous with “opponent”.

  10. 11
    bilbo says:

    Good post, Amp. Right on the money.

  11. 12
    Darcy says:

    Well, for what it’s worth, my first thought, upon seeing the Oliphant piece, was that he’d attempted to give Rice a “beak,” and had done rather badly at it, not that he was caricaturing black people.

  12. 13
    Anne says:

    it’s good that the righties are bringing this some attention

    I would bet they’re not doing it because they’re concerned about racist treatment. They’re eagerly seizing an opportunity to “hoist us by our own petard” or whatever. “The so-called anti-racists are being racist!” It’s another branch of the “The so-called ‘tolerance party’ is being intolerant!” thing.

  13. 14
    Maureen says:

    The thing is, though, that Dr. Rice’s lips aren’t even that full. Really, you can communicate “Condoleeza Rice” just by the hair and the certain set of her eyes. (And the pearl earrings–love the pearl earrings.)

  14. 15
    Mark says:

    I dont think the Oliphant cartoon to be particularly racist nor sexist. Bush is depicted baby-talking to a Condi contrived as a parrot–an animal often kept as a pet. Many people use baby-talk when rewarding verbal praise to their animals, both male and female (inclusive for both pets and owners).

    Oliphant’s cartoon, particularly when presented immediately after the blatantly racist Danziger piece, seems humorless at worst and unoffensive at best. Oliphant regularly portrays Rice as a parrot in his work. In order to convincingly communicate the image of Dr. Rice, he must select certain outstanding features that are immediately recognizable to the largest possible audience. Condi’s impossibly stylized hair, her high, arching eyebrows, wide eyelids, and black lips (resulting from a shade of lipstick she chooses to use) are fair game for any illustrator.

    Finally, the use of thick, red, voluptuous lips as a representation of blacks was a racist practice employed to communicate the idea that blacks were buffoons. In other words, it was a physical feature exaggerated to communicate not only a certain race, but presumptions about that race. Oliphant is using a particular feature to communicate a certain PERSON, and his presumptions regarding that person. Finding racism in Oliphant’s cartoon is a bit of a stretch.

  15. 16
    Idiot Girl says:

    The cartoon showing Bush baby-talking Condoleeza Rice, shown as a parrot, was less racist than (IMO) sexist. You don’t talk baby-talk to men unless they’re under 2. But women still get it.

  16. 17
    Nick Kiddle says:

    My first thought was what Bean said: painting Bush as racist. Depending what you think of Bush’s record with regard to race, it could be classed as defamatory, but it’s not racist in itself.

  17. 18
    jstevenson says:


    “Of course, draconian and racist “anti-drug” laws are pretty much a bi-partisan pursuit, so perhaps I shouldn’t pick on Bush’s party exclusively.”

    Both parties have done nothing for those who refuse to help themselves or cannot because they labor under a drug dependent disease. But, those who want to move forward and fish instead of given fish, the administration has made several major strides in that regard.

    BTW, my information is from the department of Commerce statistics and the House Democrats report on small business developement that states minority and women owned businesses have increased more in the Bush administration than any other administration. These businesses have benefitted directly from economic empowerment zones.

    I don’t want to get into voting problems and irregularities, except to say that I am sure as many dead people voted in Chicago as felons were not allowed to vote in Florida.

  18. 19
    Sheelzebub says:


    Bean didn’t accuse Bush of anything in her post. She said that Trudeau obviously thought he was racist and that it was expressed in how Bush was portrayed in the comic strip.

  19. 20
    jstevenson says:

    Ohhhh, I see says the blind man — Thanks for the clarification. That interpretation I cannot disagree with.

  20. 21
    jstevenson says:

    Classist, yes. but, do you think he hates women? I don’t think he is racist. There is no real evidence of that. At least politically he has not shown a racist agenda.

    Racisim is denying benefits based on race. As much as I don’t like his democratic policies, I think it is hard to justify that he is racist. That is especially true if compared to members of the Democratic leadership that promote clearly racist and mysogonistic policies.

  21. 22
    mrkmyr says:

    re: oliphant

    She is a bird. Birds have beaks.

    “Yes, it’s a cartoonist’s job to exaggerate,”
    I think amper could have stopped right there.

    I was not reminded of the history of big-lipped caricatures. The lips depicted are based on her own physical features.

    Have a look

    The whole notion of race is based on a set of recognizable physical characteristics. A caricature emphasizes a persons individual identifing features. If the caricature happens to appear similar to those in racist cartoons it is not a function of racisim, it is a function of race.

  22. 23
    jstevenson says:

    ” If the caricature happens to appear similar to those in racist cartoons it is not a function of racisim, it is a function of race.”

    I would have to disagree with you. The notion of race is based on ancient theories regarding physical characteristics. However, those characteristics cannot be easily applied to Americans (all of them) and Southern Europeans. For instance, a majority of Italian women have big noses, full lips and round behinds. These are not characteristics of “caucasians” or Europeans and reflect the dominance of that area by Africans and Byzantines.

    That is much more ancient than our modern example of americans where the black race can be anywhere from that Ann-Marie Latham in JAG (flat butt, thin lips and pale skin) to Whoopi Goldberg. Which characteristic would be lampooned in a cartoon regarding the race of Ann-Marie. I am sure you would not see a dark-skinned parrot with big lips. Or a larged lipped parrot at all because she is “passed” as a caucasian.

  23. 24
    Katherine says:

    the Doonesbury one is funny. It’s not even suggesting that that Bush is racist, I don’t think, it’s his inane nicknames that make the comically absurd idea that he’d call the NSA “brown sugar” just plausible enough for the joke to work.

    The Oliphant one says “failed beak” to me, but it’s neither a good likeness nor a funny cartoon. I really just don’t know what he’s driving at.

    The Danziger one? Yeesh.

  24. 25
    Amanda says:

    I have to chime in with j and also point out that racism blinds people to seeing reality. For instance, old racist books that tried to imply that African was the missing link between ape and Caucasian asserted that apes have thick lips. In fact, apes generally have no lips at all.

    I think Trudeau wasn’t being racist. I think he was making fun of the genteel racism that Republicans like the Bushes practice–they don’t mean to be racist, but they are.

  25. 26
    karpad says:

    because I’m tired of letting it slide:
    JStevenson, welfare isn’t a racist policy. the majority of the recepients are white.
    are there disporportionate welfare grants to minorities? yes. but there’s also disporportionate poverty among minorities.
    the origins of that particular state aren’t at issue for a welfare discussion. what is relevant is that “all persons who earn less than $X shall be granted a government stipend, so that they don’t starve in the street”

    if you think Bush is a racist, in the Klan “string them colored up” vein or the “I love black people, why, I have black friends where I work” vein, fine. say that.
    if you aren’t convinced he’s a racist, maybe he just thinks EVERYONE who’s poor is unworthy, also fine.
    but stop taking potshots at the New Deal. What remains of that is virtually the only think keeping this country livable.

  26. 27
    Ed says:

    Why the big fuss over her lips being exaggerated? I never heard a single fuss over John Kerry’s physical features being exaggerated. It’s a CARTOON for God’s sake. This anal retentive society that exists in this country cries racism every time something pops up that involves a person of race (other than caucasian).

  27. 28
    j-dub says:

    I agree, Ed, that we pull the race card entirely too often in this society. It’s very disturbing how quick we are to blame stuff on racism or sexism, but I think the bigger issue here is the hypocrisy shown by the black Democratic leaders on this issue. Many black Democrats, the NAACP, and tons of other black organizations have jumped on the defensive for much lesser charges of racism than these cartoons, but since these cartoons are attacking their political opponents, suddenly they aren’t quite as concerned about the possibility of them being written with racist undertones.
    I know I lose credit with many Democrats on this site by using Rush Limbaugh as an example, but risking that, I can’t help but point out how much outrage was displayed about his comments about Donovan McNabb by the same people that are letting this stuff slide by like it’s nothing. In my opinion, these cartoons (at least the first two) are exponentially more obvious in their racism than Rush’s comments and many others that have been pursued vehemently by the same Democrats that are turning their cheek now. That hypocrisy is way more disturbing to me than these cartoons.

  28. 29
    Sheelzebub says:

    Frankly, I thought the first two cartoons were racist.

    Rice-as-parrot would have worked if he drew her with a regular beak and her trademark pageboy and pearls. As another commenter pointed out, Rice doesn’t even have thick lips. As a caricature, it was lousy.

    As far as funny or astute, the cartoon was neither.

    The first one. . .yeesh. It was awful. Say what you want about Rice’s views and the policies she backs, but she’s not stupid or uneducated. I’m highly critical of her, and I can manage it without making racist GWTW mammy jokes, calling her Aunt Jemima, or any of that crap.

    In fact, the first cartoon glosses over the real issue in its indulgence of a racist image–Rice is smart (she was the Provost of Stanford, not a job for a nitwit, ‘kay?) and most of her critics think she knew much better.

    j-dub, most of the commenters here whom you’d accuse of blaming stuff on racism and sexism were the first ones to go off on the cartoons. And FWIW, Russ Feingold (a Democrat) condemned John (Sly) Sylvester’s racist comments about Rice in his radio show.

    In fact, the NAACP condemned the racism in the cartoons and in Sylvester’s show.

    This is taken from the NAACP’s statement:

    “[A}ttacks on Rice by the radio host and political cartoonists who use stereotypes and racial caricatures are just as bad as those who hide under sheets and burn crosses. This is something the NAACP has fought against for more than 95 years and something we will continue to oppose.”

    The NAACP did not turn a blind eye to this. I have seen conservatives do some massive flip-flopping and nudging and winking regarding sexual harrassment (done by Clinton-bad, done by anyone else-no big deal), racism (done by people we’ll call liberals-bad, done by Limbaugh-a PC witch-hunt), and patriotism (protesting Clinton’s militaristic BS-good, protesting Bush’s militaristic BS-bad).

  29. 30
    jstevenson says:

    Bean, I think Amanda put my perceptions perfectly. “[T]hey don’t mean to be racist”.

    J-Dub: You hit the nail on the head.
    Sheelzebub: Perhaps it is not the NAACP is not making a statement, it is more likely — 1) the press is not covering the outrage like they do other statements by Republican or Conservative “spokespeople” or 2) “black leaders” are not speaking up like they should. Having worked for the Congressional Black Caucus and my experience with their inner workings and beliefs, I would say it was the latter.

    Karpad: I am not taking shots at the New Deal, which was an great program directed at getting this country back on its feet and preventing another 1931 episode. The New Deal benefitted everyone, even depressed black Americans, and people were taught and encouraged to fish.

  30. 31
    jstevenson says:

    Karpad: The New Deal emphasized work not doling out money. That is not what the New Deal was about. The New Deal and the Second New Deal was closely related to the “Contract for America” of 1995.

    Here is what FDR said to Congress in 1935 — that handing out money would only lead to the “spiritual and moral disintegration destructive to the national fibre.” That is exactly my belief, but has not been the belief of Democratic leadership of the last 45 years.

  31. 32
    alsis38 says:

    And yet, js, the enemies of the New Deal, many of them Democrats, described it just as you describe the programs of today.

    Myself, I think the main difference between the programs of old and the programs of today is that people of my parents’ generation owe their middle-class status to those programs. Those programs made the difference between them living the “American Dream” versus becoming part of a permanent peasantry. With the rosy glow of nostalgia so effectively sold to us by men like Reagan and so eagerly co-opted by many Democrats, even a lot of Americans about whom this can be said have “othered” the notion of the welfare state. OUR situation was unique and special and WE deserved that leg up. Not like those bums and deadbeats today. [rolleyes] Such hypocrisy.

  32. 33
    jstevenson says:

    I agree with you Alsis. It was the “Great Society” that spawned a generation of deadbeats. FDR said in that same speech to Congress that he did not want to take away rewards for those who do work better than someone else, but to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for society to acheive happiness and security. He said it better than that:

    “We have…a clear mandate from the people, that Americans must forswear the conception of the acquisition of wealth which, through excessive profits, creates undue private power over private affairs and, to our misfortune, over public affairs as well. In building toward this end we do not destroy ambition, nor do we seek to divide our wealth into equal shares on stated occasions. We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him and his a proper security, a reasonable leisure, and a decent living throughout life is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power.”

    The problem we have is the utter lack of oversight during the 1990’s by the Clinton Administration and the Congress. That has come back to bite us in the arse.

    In essence, those who benefitted from the New Deal have counterparts benefitting today (Clinton’s Americorps, NEA, etc). However, we still labor under the failed policies of the Great Society. It has become the “freebee” society vs. the “savings and ownership” society. Nevertheless, the hypocrisy of those who made it criticizing those who did not makes me nauseous. For instance, I know I benefitted greatly from Affirmative Action, and I know that my success is only a start to rectifying centuries of wrongs. But there are those who are successful that look at AA, see the flaws and want to scrap the system. I say fix it, don’t scrap it. One good fix that is reaping rewards is the 10% program in Texas. Of course young white kids are pissed about it, but they can go to a failing inner-city school and make the top ten percent if they want (imagine what having wealthy white kids going to your school will do for school funding and activities).

  33. 34
    Amanda says:

    Re: Bush hating women. No doubt that he does. His eye-rolling contempt for his own wife and daughters is nauseating, and he’s been caught before claiming that co-education ruined Yale.

  34. 35
    webmacher says:

    I wrote to Mr. Danziger when I saw that cartoon and asked him what the heck he’d been thinking when he drew it! His reply:

    It wasn’t racist. Think for yourself. Ms. Rice told America that she knew for certain that all these nuclear and mass destruction weapons existed. For certain. Then once the war is on and over a thousand GI’s get killed, she said last week that she didn’t know anything for certain, and that she never said it was certain and it was all the CIA’s fault and Clinton did the same thing and blah-blah. Just like Prissy in “Gone With the Wind”, who knew all about birthin babies, until an actual baby was on the way, and then she didn’t know nuthin about birthin babies.

    Nothing racist about it at all. Just the standard lies told by a political operative, out of her depth, who happens to be African American.

    Even so, I appreciate your comments and will bear your remarks in mind in the future.

    Thinking for myself (which I like to think I generally do), I still don’t get it. There was no reason to resort to the Gone With the Wind stereotype. But I imagine he got tired of having to explain himself over and over… and if you keep having to explain the “joke” it’s obviously not a good joke, is it!

  35. 36
    tallgrrl says:

    the cartoon of parrot rice is a “caricature”.
    it’s not racist. that’s what she looks like.
    plus parrots have beaks.
    the artist gave her a ‘beak’.
    he’s nicer to her than i would have been.
    she’s an embarassment to black women.
    all of my friends and i can’t stand her.

  36. 37
    Phi says:

    -Born November 14, 1954 in (ultra-racist) Birmingham, Alabama.

    -Earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974

    -Master’s from the University of Notre Dame in 1975

    -Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981

    -She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, the University of Notre Dame in 1995, the National Defense University in 2002, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004.

    -She was a member of the boards of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan and the San Francisco

    -From 1989 through March 1991, the period of German reunification and the final days of the Soviet Union, she served in the Bush Administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

    -At Stanford, she has been a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution.

    -Her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).

    -As professor of political science, Dr. Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors — the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

    -In June 1999, she completed a six year tenure as Stanford University ‘s Provost, during which she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer. As Provost she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students.

    -Dr. Condoleezza Rice became the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, on January 22, 2001.

    -And now… tadaah…Sec. State.

    Yeah, what an embarrassment to black women! Why don’t you post YOUR resume tallgrrl?

  37. 38
    linnen says:

    How DOES one draw lips on a parrot?

  38. 39
    Amanda says:

    One doesn’t. Parrots don’t have lips.

  39. 40
    alsis38 says:

    Next, I suppose Amanda will be telling me that bush doesn’t really have any avian-American friends, either. Tsk.

    Seriously, though. Just drawing a cartoon parrot with earrings and that trademark pageboy hairdo would’ve made Oliphant’s cartoon less open to acusations of racism. Still not very clever or funny, but less open to those acusations, I’d say.

  40. 41
    Suzanne says:

    Perhaps Oliphant should have gone with a beak instead of lips on the parrot, to protect himself from charges of racism. I don’t find that cartoon particularly racist, simply because Rice has a tendency to purse her lips dramatically while she’s talking. Or scowling. Or scowling while talking. She doesn’t have the kind of thick lips that the racist stereotype would give her, but I think that particular mannerism of hers is what’s being caricatured in the cartoon.

    Either way, I agree with the general consensus that it’s really a pretty bad cartoon.

    I’m not sure that Danziger’s cartoon is defensible against charges of racism. I can see where he’s coming from, but the defense is still weak and perhaps he should just admit an error in judgment.

  41. 42
    webmacher says:

    Not speaking for tallgirl, but…

    I think it’s very clear from her history that Rice is intellectually brilliant. However, that brilliance didn’t translate into good performance as national security advisor. The matter of the August 6 memo that she described as “historical” but warned that Osama Bin Laden was “determined to strike the United States” IS embarrassing. The fact that she wasn’t able to manage all the different agencies she was supposed to is troubling. Her Cold-War thinking has been less than helpful in an age of stateless terrorism. Sure, she’s no different than the other people around her in the Bush administration, but in a way, that makes it worse, because there’s no one to give a different point of view now.

  42. 43
    Kelli says:

    Wemacher, you are correct Ms Rice is very intellegent and considering where she grew up and what she was exposed to says that she is no stranger to the problems of African-Americans.

    But, just the fact that she is a Republican, makes me question if she remembers. I am also concerned with the fact that she was still specializing in Russian and Communist studies long after the Cold War.

    Why didn’t she start studying the Middle East? I would love to ask her that question. Once Reagan (supposedly), put an end to the Cold War wouldn’t it be logically to start paying more attention to the Middle East, especially if your speciality is Foreign Policy? I mean she had eight years to at least start reading up on it.

    Ms. Rice’s decisions on the Middle East fall directly inline with what her boss wants to hear. And that does not put her in a position to appear to be the independent woman she probably is.

    If she wasn’t such a suck up to her boss it would probably make her seem more positive in the Press.

    Oh and Phi, that resume only tells me that Ms. Rice has a lot of book learning. It doesn’t say she has common sense.

    I’d rather she have the common sense

  43. 44
    Amanda says:

    I am more than a little alarmed at all the people stretching to find excuses for the parrot cartoon. Why bend yourselves out of shape trying to defend him? It was racist, he made a mistake, learning opportunity, etc.

    As usual, I am startled that I live in an enviroment where being called a racist is worse than actually being one.

  44. 45
    Shannon says:

    Thanks Amanda. This seems to be a common pattern. With all the excuse making, and distorting the facts, and protestations of this and that, and moans of “We’re the ones who are really oppressed” that goes on(not here in particular, I just mean in general. This has been much better than expected) all racism could have been eradicated.

    Of course, that leads me to some very unsavory conculsions about people’s characters. I hope it’s just my hot temper.

  45. 46
    Lady Cascadia says:

    Mind you, I am NO fan of Condi Rice but I think all of those cartoons are inappropriate and yes, racist! No one gave Condoleeza Rice anything on a silver platter. She worked hard through her entire life and has EARNED the position she is in. She is no dumb bunny! I’m not thrilled with the idea she is pandering to the right wing, but perhaps some of those things are really more about jealousy than anything else.

  46. 47
    Kelli says:

    Just a small comment on ending racism. It would take a lot more than just ending the protests of who is more oppressed to end racism.

    Racism started at the begining of this country and even back to Europe so believe me it’s not something that can be eradicated so simply

  47. 48
    acm says:

    I don’t think [Bush] is racist. There is no real evidence of that. At least politically he has not shown a racist agenda.

    Well, I think he’s the only President to have never voluntarily met with the Congressional Black Caucus (I include “voluntarily” because they did stage a sort of guerilla visit at one point)…

    links et al. here

  48. 49
    jstevenson says:

    I worked for the CBC. At least in 1995-1996 it had ceased, as a Caucus, to be a Caucus of Black Congressmen. There were a few members of the Caucus who looked out for the benefits of Blacks, but there were all too many that supported the failed policies dished out by 1970 Democrats that wanted to keep us down.

    The President met with many members of the Caucus individually — Charles Rangel and John Conyers, they did not accuse the President of intentionally killing 3000 people in New York in order to secure a second term!

  49. 50
    Sheelzebub says:

    You know, I have to disagree that these cartoons were caricatures. Again, Rice doesn’t have big lips. Mick Jagger she ain’t. Yet what was the first thing to go on the Condi-parrot? Big lips!


    And yes, I think the GWTW reference–and painting Rice as a stupid and ignorant mammy–is racist. It also clouds the real issue–she freaking knew better. Portray her as the devil, portray her as a parrot or ventriloquist’s dummy (sans the big lips, she has thin ones, sheesh), but don’t give me this garbage about how these were caricatures, or that someone pointing out that these cartoons are racist are part of PC oppressiveness.

    Spare me.

    The hopelessly unfunny will snivel about censorship and PC mores because they can’t stand the idea that their jokes were about as appealing as warm, flat soda.


  50. 51
    Sheelzebub says:

    You know, I have to disagree that these cartoons were caricatures. Again, Rice doesn’t have big lips. Mick Jagger she ain’t. Yet what was the first thing to go on the Condi-parrot? Big lips!


    And yes, I think the GWTW reference–and painting Rice as a stupid and ignorant mammy is racist. It also clouds the real issue–she freaking knew better. Portray her as the devil, portray her as a parrot or ventriloquist’s dummy (sans the big lips, she has thin ones, sheesh), but don’t give me this garbage about how these were caricatures, or that someone pointing out that these cartoons are racist are part of PC oppressiveness.

    Spare me.

    The hopelessly unfunny will snivel about censorship and PC mores because they can’t stand the idea that their jokes were about as appealing as warm, flat soda.


  51. 52
    Sheelzebub says:

    It’s official. I despise Safari.

    Sorry about the multiple posts.

  52. 53
    Ampersand says:

    It’s not Safari’s fault. The “Alas” server now takes AGES to acknowlege a new post; people understandably give up and repost, and then there are multiple posts.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix it.

    In the meanwhile, try waiting a REALLY long time before concluding that a post didn’t go through, and there’s no need to apologize for multiple posts. (I delete most of the multiple posts when I see them, but I’m not doing that in this case since I wanted to leave in the context for your comment and my reply).

  53. 54
    Crys T says:

    OK, this may seem to be pulling the topic off-course somewhat, for which I apologise to anyone who feels that way, but this just struck me as something worthy of comment:

    “a majority of Italian women have big noses, full lips and round behinds.”

    Ummmmm…..really? I’ve personally met a number of Italian women, and funnily enough, NONE of them display these characteristics. Not to be snarky, but unless you can supply some stats on that, I’ll maintain my scepticism.

    This is pure conjecture, but the impression I’m getting from this is that you are referring to a stereotyped image of The Typical Sicilian Woman as if: a) it were accurate & b) it also reflected women from all of Italy.

    (And, just out of curiosity, why focus on the women’s “racial” characteristics? Are the men’s not worthy of notice?)

    “These are not characteristics of “caucasians” or Europeans and reflect the dominance of that area by Africans and Byzantines.”

    Also, I will admit to having scant knowledge of Italian history, but I was alway under the impression that the Africans who dominated there were *North* Africans–in other words, Berbers and Arabs.

    Also, I live in Wales and have seen a number of MEN here who have “big noses” and “full lips” (though not many rounded bottoms….damn….however, there are definitely some *large* bottoms, but I think that’s more due to the quantity of chips consumed than to any genetic inheritance). Are we to infer from this an “African” or “Byzantine” strain? Also, there are a lot of Somalian women here who have very small noses & derrieres, and thin lips. Could it just be that our socially determined visible race markers are just plain crap?

    I’ve found some interesting stuff here: http://www.fsark.com/Multicultural/definitions.html

    “Brazil: Over 500 racial categories have been documented. In one village of 750 people 40 racial categories were used. Two children of the same parents can be in different races if they look different (in Japan people that look biologically identical can be considered different races).

    An individual that would be considered “white” in the United States could be labeled several different races in Brazil: branco (white), claro (light), louro (blond), sarara (light skinned red-headed), or mulato claro (light mulatto). This illustrates how fluid conceptions of race are within and between cultural contexts.”

    Maybe someone else with a greater knowledge of anthropology can elucidate, but back in the 80s when I studied anthro, they were only willing to concede the existence of 3 races, none of which correspond in an expected way to the racial divisions society constructs.

    “The notion of race is based on ancient theories regarding physical characteristics.”

    Welllll, it depends on whose theory of “race” you’re talking about. For the English and other Europeans, until living memory, the term “race” has been used to describe what we might nowadays refer to as “nation”–and indeed you can still hear some Brits referring to the French and the Germans as “races”. So, not only do our definitions of what physically marks a given race always coincide, our very definitions of the word don’t always correspond the way we might think they do.

    It’s a far from simple point, as I’m finding right now trying to Google for reliable information on the concept of “race” from anthropology sites. It’s something they don’t seem too keen on talking about–probably because of the insane way the subject gets distorted. In fact, from the material I have been able to find, it seems that many anthropologists feel it’s not a valid concept for discussing humans at all.

    I’m having a hard time trying to think of a graceful link from the topic of erroneous assumptions about “race” to the Rice cartoons, but I’m having a hell of time, so if anyone else there could help out, you’d have my deepest gratitude!

  54. 55
    Morgan says:

    Bush a “Bafoon”?…Please…..Learn to spell, you buffoon!(That goes for all of ya)

  55. 56
    alsis38 says:

    the ‘shrooms

    Nooooooooooooooo !!

    Not my bag of genuine Oregon hand-harvested organic dried morrels ?!?! D’you know how much I could’ve gotten for those on ebay ?!?!

    So much for that red-and-green spangled Hummer I had my eye on for X-Mas. [sulk]

    Fuck it. I’m tired of all you permissive liberal anti-Zionist drug-addled Cheeto-stealing weirdos. I’m moving out. And if I ever find out which one of you used my framed autographed picture of Ann Coulter as a doorjamb, you’re dead. Do you hear me ?!?! DEAD !!!

  56. 57
    S.R. Prozak says:

    What’s so racist about pointing out that Condi Rice is goofy looking? Many white women have big lips too. If you get over the endless hand-washing over “racism,” you can see that reality still exists – it’s out there – and Condi Rice is a political appointee.


  57. 58
    Amanda says:

    As long as he refrains from eating the ‘shrooms by the handful from a plastic baggy again, I say have him back.

  58. 59
    alsis38 says:

    Amp, your houseguest smoked all my hash and ate all my Crunchy Cheetos[tm] again. Hate that. Kill you.

  59. 60
    Elkins says:

    Heh. Yeah, true, but y’know, he also entertained me in the depths of an otherwise depressing and insomniac Wee Hours last night. So I’m willing to forgive him.

  60. 61
    SuperJesus of Megeddo the Screamer of Spears says:

    Ooh oh! He went there! Yeah, my metrohomiesexual, this guy is really overstepping the boundary of decency. I almost spilled my latte. Yeah man, good post. Puhleeze, this is a public service announcement from the People for Thought Recriminalization (PTR): who cares? Be as racist as you want. It is not a crime, only a thought crime. Discrimination only means choice. Stop all paycheck raping imperial wars: Throughout the earth “The people” choose their government. Africans choose tribal warlordism, Iraqis choose islam, Americans choose the Politically Correct Zionist International Oligarchy. All this means for the dumbass American “fighting for freedom” (freedom IS free) there is no need to spread democracy, “the people” have spoken. Factcheck, China is not a communist country anymore then it is a monoethnic state. Charity is for the white “damned racis craKKKa” nations. Do any other ethnicities accept mass-immigration of useless hordes looking for a handout? Wake up people! Cease this one worlder (zionist) imperial nonsense.

  61. 62
    jstevenson says:

    Crys T: I should have said many southern Italian women. If I am not mistaken there are Arabs on the continent of Africa. But, that is an exercise in symantics and does nothing for the point I was trying to make. You said the same thing I did, just much better.

    And, just out of curiosity, why focus on the women’s “racial” characteristics? Are the men’s not worthy of notice? — Is it because I hate women? . . . at least that is the crazy conclusions some people come to in order to make them feel better.

    Of course I could have talked about both sexes. However, I do not spend enough time focusing on the physical characteristics of Pietro to know whether he has a round derriere.

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  64. 63
    Silverside says:

    Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Margaret Spelling looks a lot like Condoleeza Rice? Could it be the same woman with pancake makeup?

  65. 64
    Cobra says:

    One can be critical of Condi Rice in a cartoon without being racist.

    Here’s one I did of her recently after the Katrina fiasco.



  66. 65
    A little confused says:

    I found this site because someone was referring to the cartoon of C. Rice as a ‘Thick-lipped Parrot”. I know I agree with her as a Parrot, repeating what she was told to by Bush, but I was curious as to how one would go about putting thick lips on a Parrot, who have none at all (as an artist).

    I was therefore, VERY surprised to find the Trudeau cartoon labelled as anything remotely Racist when I got here.

    As for the ‘Brown Sugar’ reference, can anyone give me a date comparison for when this was published, versus the date when C. Rice referred to GW Bush a ‘my husband’?

  67. 66
    Stephanie says:

    does anyone know if dr. condoleezza rice has any nicknames?

  68. 67
    Nadja says:

    I had to wait several years to calm down before posting here. I found the cartoons racist and sexist. I also found the comments that the “right wing” wasn’t complaining because of racism but for some secret political reason to be less than endearing. Talk about liberal hypocrisy; I notice the absolute silence on the part of the “left wing” regarding some of Sens. Byrd and Reid’s most outrageous moments.

    The reality is that White people only believe in racial equality for non-White people who think, behave, and act like White elites expect non-White people to think, behave, and act. And if non-White people don’t do what elite Whites want then the gloves come off and the hoods and sheets go on.

  69. 68
    magalee says:

    The second comic was more racist in Ms. Rice’s speech than in her depiction. It’s reminiscent of the slave-master dialogue in Gone With the Wind.

  70. 69
    nobody.really says:

    You think those cartoons are bad? Check out this one that expressly depicts a “Moses-like” character with a big nose!

  71. 70
    Robert says:

    Yeah, that donut cartoon is pretty bad…and do you notice? All the sprinkles?


  72. 71
    nanblan says:

    I don’t give a crap what you claim your background to be. The cartoon is most definitely racist, and you’ve made yourself look quite cowardly by trying to deny it.
    By the way, there are black racists -such as your friend – and I don’t understand what being a Vietnam veteran or voting for some Republicans has anything to do with it.
    If you didn’t mean the cartoon to be racist, what exactly was your purpose, your goals, and the message you were trying to send in creating it?
    I’d LOVE to hear those explanations.