Dear Mr. Remnick,
I am writing you today to express my outrage and disappointment in The New Yorker for the depiction of Barack and Michelle Obama as terrorist Muslim subversives.
Cartoonist Barry Blitt may have thought he was doing a clever satire, but he fell far short if that was his goal. Satire has wit and intelligence. His illustration is totally devoid of both.
I don’t read The New Yorker. I don’t know anyone that does. But if I did, I would ask, what exactly do you find funny about a illustration of a gun-toting, Michelle Obama, sporting a frizzy Afro and military fatigues and boots, standing in what appears to be the Oval Office of the White House, fist-bumping Barack Obama, decked out in Muslim gear, while an American flag burns in the fireplace and a picture of Osama bin Laden looks on approvingly?
I know what’s funny and I know what doesn’t work. This cover illustration doesn’t work. If it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and a funny commentary on the ridiculous fear that Barack Obama is a covert Muslim, it doesn’t get the point across.
Maybe it does for you, Mr. Remnick. It doesn’t for me. Not even slightly.
I’m all for freedom of the press and satire in a democratic society. I’m also a big believer in responsibility of the press and int his case I don’t see anything remotely resembling responsibility.
Please don’t think I’m calling for boycotts or censorship. I do not favor such heavy-handed tactics.
The right of The New Yorker to publish whatever they want to on their cover does not invalidate my right to be offended by it.
I’m tired of having to defend the patriotism of African-Americans which constantly seems to be called into question and I’m really tired of liberal elitist magazines like The New Yorker taking cheap shots at The Obamas.
What I’m most sick and tired of is the overbearing presumptuousness of liberals presuming because they are liberals they are somehow magically exempt from being boorish, insensitive and as intellectually stunted in understanding what is offensive to Black people as any right-wing conservative.
Due to the chilly relationship between White conservatives and Blacks,there is a certain reluctance by conservative to say or do anything that might be misconstrued as having racial overtones. There are exemptions such as Rush Limbaugh who just don’t care if what they say is received poorly by Blacks.
White liberals are not similarly constrained. Some presume because of their supposed greater enlightenment and sensitivity to race, they are incapable of deliberate acts of insensitivity.
It is a pitiable, but sobering thing to note, in the battle to see who can best demonize Barack Obama, it’s his supposed allies on the Left that have continually stabbed him in the back even while he anticipates a brutal assault on his character from The Right.
Now The New Yorker is joining Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Geraldine Ferraro, and The Clintons in the dog pile on the Obamas.
The only thing missing from this abomination of a cartoon were the two Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, wearing burkas and chanting,’Death to America
To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, ‘Shame on The New Yorker.’
This isn’t about looking to be offended or lacking a sense of irony. There are no limits and nothing is out of bounds for those on the Left or the Right that fear, hate, and despise The Obamas .Everything is fair and everything is permitted as long as it makes themlook bad. Up to and including the fear more than a few people have that Barack and Michelle Obama don’t really share ‘traditional American values.’
The New Yorker owes an apology to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically and the American public in general for your furthering the coarsening and division that plagues the current political dynamic.
If this supposedly falls under the category of ‘entertaining satire’ then why aren’t I laughing?