Another racist cartoon by editorial cartoonist Donna Barstow

Racist cartoonist Donna Barstow, who is here seen being responsible for racist cartooning on the subject of swine flu, has unsurprisingly dabbled in racist cartoons before.

In the following cartoon, she shows herself as unsavvy about race politics affecting African Americans as she is about race politics affecting the relationship between the United States and Mexico:

As we all know, the only real, good hair is the hair possessed by white people — smooth, silky, shiny, straight, lushly falling whitey white hair. Hair possessed by black people is funny. It’s not like hair at all. It’s like plant growth!

Of course, it’s been well-documented by many bloggers of color that the politics of hair are used to suggest that black people cannot maintain a decent or professional appearance if they wear natural hair, that their hair is something abnormal that needs fixing, and that their appearance is deviant in comparison with the white default. Black people are sometimes charged more for styling their abnormal, so-not-white hair. Kinky, nappy hair is ugly and insulting. And of course, black-looking hair is “bad hair” and white-looking hair is “good hair.”

But I’m sure the observation that our first African American president “looks like a Chia pet” is totally race-neutral, and nothing to do with making fun of him for looking so blatantly non-white, just like all those other totally non-racist visual dog whistles.

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110 Responses to Another racist cartoon by editorial cartoonist Donna Barstow

  1. 101
    RonF says:

    Did we ever get any illumination on what the point of that cartoon was? Because it seems to me that’s important to the discussion of whether or not it’s racist.

    One of the guys at work actually bought the Obama Chia. It didn’t work out so well. He grew it under the lights in his cube and the chia (that’s the actual name of the plant) grew out long and stringy. My guess is that if it was grown in more natural sunlight they’d grow shorter and denser.

  2. 102
    Sewere says:

    (sorry if this is a double post but my first attempt didn’t look like it went through)

    Well, if it isn’t the re-hash of the “blacks aren’t to blame but they are a problem” argument.

    FCH,

    How can reporting a FACT be called “Racist”? Bare facts, without analysis, are always neutral. It’s the analysis and conclusions — opinions, beliefs, etc. — that impart “Racism” (or other “-ism”’s) to facts.

    No such thing as bare facts when it comes to statements based on statistical data collection and analysis. Everything from theoretical assumptions in the questions being asked to the way the data is collected and analyzed is laden with bias. That is why “research” and “facts” are extremely controversial words especially for those of us in the field of social science… it is also the reason I’m weary of journalists who use statistics and can’t be bothered to lay out the limitations to the numbers they use.

    Now to the issue at hand. I can’t be bothered to lay out the problems with blanket statements like

    Isn’t it true from the links posted above that at least the majority of Black voters that were interviewed did not support gay marriage?

    Did you even bother to look the links to TNC and Pam that Elusis posted @ 59?

    When you can’t even be bothered to look at the actual process of analysis to find out that the sample of voters asked about this were 1) so small and unrepresentative of the “black community” 2) CA’s “black voting block” is accounted for less than the difference between Yes and No on Prop 8 and 3) that whatever effect by said “black” voting block in California was also confounded by other shared identities like religion (like you can’t be black and something else). I mean honestly, the article did such a poor job of standardizing independent characteristics across racial groups that it’s just irresponsible.

    But don’t go by my reading, Nate Silver of 538.com does a better job of laying out the holes in this ridiculous argument.

    Now this not to argue that there isn’t an issue in minority communities regarding homophobia. I’ll say it again homophobia in the “black community” is a problem. But it is the same problem in all communities across the country face. The issue has been assuming that the same strategies used to outreach to the majority population can be used to outreach to the diversity of the black community. It’s not as if POC LGBT have not been working on a lot of issues surrounding homophobia for a long time (ssm being one of many), part of the problem as Pam Spaulding said is that when election season came around there was lack of coordination between the mainstream LGBT advocates (the majority of whom are white and male) with POC LGBT advocates. The other issue was that mainstream LGBT advocates seemed to be prioritizing ssm over the issues POC LGBT have been facing and this only came about because of the proposal not because of long established partnerships (this is based on my attendance of post-prop 8 meetings led by SF Bay Area LGBT groups).

    Yes, the issues needs to be discussed but it is far more complex than what is being laid out here. I should also state that it is painfully obvious that the people doing the discussion have yet to include or refer to statements made by POC LGBT and their allies who have been discussing this issue for the longest time. I mean fuck, it isn’t so hard to find Pam Spaulding, Terrence of the Republic of T (just to name a few), is it?

  3. 103
    Mandolin says:

    Amp very nicely said he would’t prevent you from talking, thus leaving me the opportunity to say — FCH, cut this shit the fuck out right now, and get the fuck out of this thread, Jesus Christ.

    Updated to add — I mean, first you use my thread to resurrect this racist bullshit which we dealt with at the time. And I didn’t say anything, because I figured I’d let you play it out for a while, but even after Amp asks people to calm down for a minute, all you do is use that against other people? No. This was an inappropriate thread for those comments to begin with, as you must know, and your continued behavior is beyond rude. Take it to an open thread or off the blog.

  4. 104
    Sailorman says:

    Now this not to argue that there isn’t an issue in minority communities regarding homophobia. I’ll say it again homophobia in the “black community” is a problem. But it is the same problem in all communities across the country face.

    There are thousands of defined groups across the nation, of various different sizes and compositions. Almost all of them have homophobic issues, but they vary widely in how homophobic they are. I don’t have the data to go into a community comparison, but it’s pretty unlikely that the “Black community” has the exact same level of homophobic tendencies as all other communities. So unless you think the problem is the same whether a community is very homophobic or slightly homophobic, then your statement doesn’t make sense.

    Also, you seem to be operating under the belief that the reason one should support gay marriage or prop 8 is because one allies with and identifies with the goals of gay activists. But that’s simply not how it works, for many people. There are all sorts of reasons to decry Prop 8 (such as certain beliefs w/r/t civil rights) which have nothing to do with an inherent agreement or obligation to follow the goals of the “gay community,” or its representative activists, whether white, POC, or both.

    In theory one could even be a solid homophobe and be against Prop 8, just as I would be against a law classifying Hitler conversations as hate speech even though I am by birth a Jew.

  5. 105
    Mandolin says:

    Yes, the issues needs to be discussed but it is far more complex than what is being laid out here. I should also state that it is painfully obvious that the people doing the discussion have yet to include or refer to statements made by POC LGBT and their allies who have been discussing this issue for the longest time. I mean fuck, it isn’t so hard to find Pam Spaulding, Terrence of the Republic of T (just to name a few), is it?

    Yeah, no kidding, Sewere. Thanks for bringing that up, that silence was loud in my ears, too.

  6. 106
    Sailorman says:

    Ah… Mandolin, we just cross-posted. Would you like this entire thread to stop, or are you comfortable with the current discussion?

  7. 107
    Mandolin says:

    I don’t know. Go a few more comments ahead and we’ll see. I’m not sure what point you want to make, though.

  8. 108
    PG says:

    Y’all have probably seen this already, but this video captures exactly what happened in this thread: criticism of a particular argument as racist gets turned into someone feeling like she as a person is being called racist — and that shuts down any hope of discussion.

  9. 109
    Mrs Floweryapron says:

    I don’t know what a Chia pet is so I don’t get it anyway. It’s probably racist, it looks racist to me.
    My main objection to this cartoon however is that it looks like it’s been done by a blind sumo wrestler using his arse cheeks as brushes.

  10. 110
    Ellen P. says:

    I have had the misfortune of being facebook friends with Ms. Barstow. Last night she came stomping onto a post I made about how the oil and dispersant are still killing animals and people in the Gulf of Mexico, shaking her self righteous finger at me. Not the first time she’s done this to me. I did a Google search on her, which took me here and also to the other one about Mexico (Like a Bad Neighbor Mexico is still there). I read some others pertaining to her racisist cartoons. Needless to say I blocked her. I don’t knowingly hang out with racists. Uhh. I think she has mental illness. Not to sound totally “woo woo”, but I think that girl needs the healing power of love. She is so full of vitriol.