Monday, July 14, 2008

Re The New Yorker Cover Showing the Obamas

If you haven't already seen the New Yorker cover (a satire showing the Obamas dressed in revolutionary ways and acting in ways expressing every kind of oddball "characterization" thrown against them by alarmist right-wingers) , you are not going to see it here, so please go to some other source to get it.

Both campaigns -- Obama and McCain -- have expressed disappointment and disdain concerning the cover. I'm not real happy about it, either. (In fact, I kinda want to scream!) But we live in America, and the New Yorker is making a very real point about "the politics of fear," with a cover graphic pretty much guaranteed to sell the current edition of the magazine! (And really, isn't that what it's all about with any publisher?)

The cover's only saving grace will be this one: IF such a satirical, controversial depiction of "all we fear about Obama as a relative unknown on the political scene" gets the fear-based voters to look inside the magazine for the articles about Obama, each of the characterizations shown on the cover will be utterly dissed and debunked -- and that's a good thing!

I'm the last person in America willing to draw the exact line on the right to free speech. I find the cover offensive, racist, and utterly without merit -- just as I find the characterizations of the Obamas that compelled the cartoonist to draw the image without merit...

The New Yorker cover image reflects a compilation of the often-repeated-yet-utterly-false characterizations of the Obamas which will need to be overcome during the course of the next several months. The inside story will help do that.

But the incendiary cover will survive and, sadly, may even prevail in the minds and hearts of a segment of the population -- cruelly enforcing an utterly false, hurtful image -- and possibly even causing a mentally ill person to take it upon him- or herself to "nip the matter in the bud" with some senseless act of violence.

THAT'S what scares me.

We live in a dangerous world. Images like the one on New Yorker Magazine this month make the world incrementally just that much more dangerous...

...and I so want to continue to enjoy peaceful, non-violent transfers of power in America.

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