Cartoon: How is THAT Racist?


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Transcript of Cartoon

Panel 1 is a title panel, with nothing but lettering.
LETTERING: White People Ask… How is THAT Racist?

Panel 2
A young white woman with red hair and a roundish face looks bewildered as she speaks.
WOMAN: I’m suing because Black students got into a college that rejected me, and I’m blaming affirmative action instead of my mediocre grades. How is THAT racist?

Panel 3
An older white woman, with curly white hair and glasses and a floral print dress, speaks cheerfully.
WOMAN: I would NEVER use the “n-word.” I call Black people “thugs” instead. How is THAT racist?

Panel 4
A middle-aged white man with glasses and a collared short-sleeved shirt raises his arms as he speaks, looking bewildered.
MAN: A law preventing TENS OF THOUSANDS of Blacks and Latinos from voting is a price worth paying if it stops just ONE illegal vote! How is THAT racist?

Panel 5
A large, mostly-bald white man grins, wearing a sports team t-shirt with a grotesque caricature of a grinning Indian, and the team name, “Indians.” He has a tattoo of the same design on one forearm.
MAN: I love wearing my team’s merch! How is THAT racist?

Panel 6
A concerned, meek-looking white woman, with a nice haircut and hoop earrings, speaks to the viewer.
WOMAN: I just think that hordes of illegal aliens coming from Mexico are ruining America. How is THAT racist?

Panel 7
A brown hand (the only non-white person in this strip) holds a smartphone. On the smartphone, an angry-looking white man in a suit is speaking to the camera; the image is labeled “Angry Channel.”
MAN: All I’m saying is that black people have genetically lower IQs, so we should expect them to earn less and be criminals. How is THAT racist?

Panel 8
A young white woman with bright pink hair, a plaid dress, and tattoos covering one arm speaks intensely to the viewer.
WOMAN: How can they say “Black lives matter”? Don’t they know that EVERYTHING has to include WHITE people? How is THAT racist?

Panel 9 (final panel)
A white person wearing a full Klu Klux Klan outfit, including the hood, is holding his hands up and shrugging.
KKK MEMBER: White people must prepare for the coming race war or the lower races will WIN! How is THAT racist?

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10 Responses to Cartoon: How is THAT Racist?

  1. 1
    pillsy says:

    This is a good one, which makes me remember a lot of annoying conversations with painful clarity, and then at least chuckle a bit about them.

  2. 2
    desipis says:

    Oooh, can I try a few:

    We explicitly told white people not to apply for the job. How is that racist?

    We organised a racially segregated graduation. How is that racist?

    We go on and on about how white people are all racist bigots. How is that racist?

    It’s totally acceptable to scream at white people in the face, just because they’re white. How is that racist?

    Standpoint theory assumes that white people are ignorant and less objective than black people. How is that racist?

  3. 3
    Dreidel says:


    Excellent points, but you’ll never see them in an Ampersand cartoon.

  4. 4
    nobody.really says:

    Long before Trump agreed to take up the burden of defending real Americans from immigrants, the job was left to other federal officials.

    [The] Minnesota District Attorney [sought] to deny all Finns the right to naturalize as U.S. citizens on racial grounds. This attempt took place in January 1908 as John Svan, a socialist Finn, and 15 other Finns had applied for citizenship but had had their naturalization papers rejected by the District Attorney John C. Sweet. The reason for this rejection was Sweet’s contention that Finns were “Mongols” and thus ineligible for naturalization, restricted as this right was to “free white persons” and to “aliens of African nativity and persons of African descent”. Reflecting the extent to which many contemporaries associated political beliefs with racial essence, Sweet depicted the socialistic ideology of Finnish radicals as an “East Asian philosophy,” testifying to the Asiatic frame of mind of Finns as a people. The case was ultimately thrown out of court by Judge William Cant who maintained that while Finns had been racially mixed, miscegenation had resulted in Finns becoming one of the “whitest people in Europe”….

    Damn judiciary, once again standing in the way. How was that racist?

  5. 5
    Ben Lehman says:


    Thanks for the link to that paper. I thought it was fascinating.

  6. 6
    nobody.really says:

    Was That Racist? The New York Times is collecting stories of ambiguous encounters that, on their face, would seem to be motivated by racial considerations. Was it racist when a stranger starts calling out “tall, black Marques”? Or was the barista just trying to get a large cup of coffee to a customer named Marques? Read up, and send in your own accounts.

  7. 7
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    The interesting thing is that both sides are resting on rhetoric.

    The cartoon characters are asking “how is that racist?” as a way to imply non-racism. They ask the question, but they don’t answer it.

    Amp is asking “how is that racist?” as a way to imply racism. He asks the question, but he doesn’t answer it either.

    It reminds me of the left- and right-wing “bingo” games, where the goal is to predict your opponent’s arguments and claim “BINGO!” when they use them. They always seemed to me like a way to simultaneously smear your opponents and avoid actually addressing the arguments.

    Some of this stuff is pretty straightforward, of course. But for at least some of them, the answer is pretty complex, right? Fisher v. Texas is a complex case. Opposition to illegal immigration is a complex issue. Innuendo isn’t necessarily the right answer there.

  8. 8
    nobody.really says:

    I’m suing because Black students got into a college that rejected me, and I’m blaming affirmative action instead of my mediocre grades….

    “The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants….”

  9. 9
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Actually, the Justice Department is investigating the complaints filed by various Asians, alleging that AA programs discriminate against Asians. (Which they do, I suspect.)