Making fun of the president is fine. Using old racial stereotypes is not. A racist Obama cartoon in the Boston Herald stirred up a little controversy today on social media sites. The newspaper apologized for the “watermelon” joke saying that it did not mean to offend anyone.
The cartoon mocks White House security for allowing an intruder to stroll into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last month. The photo shows President Obama brushing his teeth while the intruder casually sits behind him in the bathtub.
Nothing wrong there. But then you read the caption: “Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?”
The Boston Herald writes: “His cartoon satirizing the U.S. Secret Service breach at the White House has offended some people and to them we apologize. His choice of imagery was absolutely not meant to be hurtful. We stand by Jerry, who is a veteran cartoonist with the utmost integrity.”
Watermelon was an odd flavor choice for cartoonist Jerry Holbert. It doesn’t add anything to joke. He could have picked strawberry or lemon or grape or whatever, but he picked watermelon. And that caused a lot of anger on Twitter.
The @bostonherald is gonna run a cartoon with Obama cooking greens for Putin next week, bet money on it.
— Aaron West (@O_Fenomeno86) October 1, 2014
I wonder how many humans saw that @bostonherald cartoon about Obama & watermelon-flavored toothpaste & said, “Hell yeah! Let’s run this!”
— Elias Isquith (@eliasisquith) October 1, 2014
Holbert said: “I want to apologize to anyone I offended who was hurt by the cartoon … It was certainly, absolutely, not my intention.”
The good old ignorance defense…
Do you think the Obama cartoon was racist? Do you think that this was truly an unfortunate accident?