Sometimes, we’re all left wondering what the hell goes through the minds of the people in charge of our nation’s media-sphere when they publish or say egregious things that can only be construed as stupidity. Like, the kind of stupidity that makes you wonder how these people in question could have even landed their prestigious editorial or production jobs in the first place.
Case and point: this cartoon published in this morning’s Boston Herald.
— Joe Mathieu (@JoeMathieuWBZ) October 1, 2014
From Talking Points Memo:
The cartoon by renowned cartoonist Jerry Holbert and printed in Wednesday’s newspaper was accompanied by the caption: “White House Invader Got Farther Than Originally Thought.” It showed President Obama brushing his teeth while the uninvited guest sat in the tub over his shoulder. As the intruder sudsed up, he asked Obama whether he’d “tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste.”
Now, I’m no genius, but common sense tells you that anyone who passed his or her eighth grade social studies class could tell you that the above cartoon certainly wouldn’t resonate well across the board for the Herald’s readership. Seriously, given the history of racial dynamics in our nation–and not to mention, the recent contention regarding events that have been in the news–a grain of common sense would tell you that the watermelon reference is overtly racist, drawing on a long-held stereotype.
Holbert, himself, responded to the criticism his cartoon received during an appearance Wednesday on the Boston Herald’s talk radio show.
He told the hosts that he had “no intention at all of offending anyone” and that he doesn’t “think along the lines of racial jokes.” While he acknowledged that his jokes can be “naive” or “stupid,” he said he was definitely not racist. He repeatedly emphasized that he “wasn’t thinking of the racial element” when he used watermelon toothpaste.
“I was thinking of myself,” he said. “I really like watermelon.”
Honestly, there have to be what, maybe ONE MILLION other flavors of toothpaste the pictured “White House intruder” could have referenced? But no, it had to be watermelon, which would probably racially resonate the same as saying the toothpaste was fried chicken or grape soda flavored. Outright moronic.
Maybe this was a mindless transgression by the artist–I admittedly know nothing about him–and maybe he really does like watermelon, but there’s still no excuse for this cartoon making it across the desks of what I assume to be multiple editors at the Herald, and eventually being printed.
While the Boston Herald’s editors have released a statement saying they “sincerely regret if we inadvertently offended anyone,” the question that really needs to be asked is WHERE THE FUCK IS THEIR COMMON SENSE? A 14-year-old is capable of better editorial judgment..
[via Talking Points Memo]