A legitimate critique of Condoleeze Rice is that she has been utterly incompetent as the National Security Advisor, and that her expertise with regard to Russia as Brent Scowcroft's pupil has made her grossly overstate the importance of state-sponsors of terrorism, thus leading to the overly sponsor-centric approach to the war on terror that the Bush Administration has adopted.

Rice's race as a black woman is not relevant to a legitimate critique, and that is why this cartoon by Jeff Danziger (whose work I previously enjoyed) is utterly disgusting.

By bringing race into the critique, Danziger crossed the line, and in doing so did a disservice to the legitimate need for a debate on Rice's qualifications and job performance.

I am sure Danziger will say he is not a racist, has black friends, etc. He might even BE black for all I know. But using race as a vehicle for his critique of Rice speaks to an obsession with her skin color that is not appropriate. He should apologise to Condoleeza Rice immediately.


(M--N) said...

Let me play the role of devil's advocate for a second and respond to you as Danziger likely would:

I refute your assertion that I brought race into my critique of Rice by simply stating that there was no reference to race in the cartoon at all. The drawing is a fairly accurate depiction of Condoleeza's appearance, people of all races sit in rocking chairs on porches, and the poor grammar indicates only that she is grossly underqualified to be in the position in which she is found (you doubtlessly agree with the latter part of that sentence). Hence, you sir, having brought up the issue of race on your own accord, are the one more likely to be the racist. Clearly you must buy into widespread racial stereotyping to have claimed that anything in that cartoon pertained to Condoleeza's race as a black woman. I do not need to justify any belief of mine to you by stating that "[i am] not a racist, [have] black friends, etc." You, however, may need to do just that.

Now, to be in earnest: the cartoon was clearly offensive and obviously made reference to the race of Rice. Any attempt to cover up that fact on the part of Danziger simply pushes himself further into a corner and allows his audience to perceive him as a racist. You're right, he should apologize, but he won't.

Hoots said...

This could be a tempest in a teacup, but I can't let something pass. The first comment said there is "no reference to race in the cartoon at all". Sorry, but the words "I don't know nothin' about aluminum tubes" echoes the line of Prissy (Butterfly McQueen) from Gone With the Wind when she squeeled up to Rhett Butler "I don't know nothin' about birthin' babies." If that stereotyped image of a darkie in Dixie isn't racist, then I don't know what is. Whatever else the cartoon may be is debatable, but there is definitely a racist spin at work. Aziz is correct.

Razib said...

aziz, don't you know that non-whites of color aren't protected from racial insults?

Thomas Nephew said...

Looks like they've pulled it. From descriptions here, it sounds like you're right, Aziz. Kind of surprising, I've liked Danziger.