23 July 2009

Stayin' Classy

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it. - Voltaire



Distributed by Florida neurosurgeon and member of the AMA House of Delegates, Dr. David McKalip:

He was contacted by TPM Muckraker:
McKalip said he believes that by depicting the president as an African witch doctor, the "artist" who created the image "was expressing concerns that the health-care proposals [made by President Obama] would make the quality of medical care worse in our country." McKalip said he didn't know who created it.

But pressed on what was funny about an image that plays on racist stereotypes about Africans, McKalip declined to say, instead offering to talk about why he opposes Obama's health-care proposals.

"I have a busy day," he said eventually, before ending the call.

Mmm hmmm. So that's all that he was saying -- that Obama's health care proposals would make health care worse. It had nothing to do with putting his head on the body of some savage negro-doctor! Nothing at all! But it is pretty funny, amIright? AmIright? C'mon! You got to see the funny.

Maybe if we could work watermelons into it somehow people would see how flawed the national insurance exchange concept is...


[UPDATED]
Dr McKalip initially publicly bristled at charges of racism, then backed down and apologized publicly, then sorta-privately blamed it all on the liberal media. Awesome.

21 comments:

  1. A free watermelon in every pot - they are high in antioxidants. As are collards.

    Just gross. I hope the AMA Board of Ethics has word with this fucktard.

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  2. Note the hammer and sickle symbolism in place of the "C" in the word "Care."

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  3. Nope.. I don't see anything funny about it at all.

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  4. I suppose you objected to the MULTIPLE portrayals and pictures of George Bush as Hitler too...

    **crickets**

    Right.

    I typed in "george bush hitler" and got 1,290,000 hits in Google images. If this is the worst thing that Obama faces during the remainder of his three years in office, then he should consider himself lucky.

    So our President happens to be black. He is a public figure, and as such, he is subject to ridicule by those who disagree with him and his policies. I got the message that the minimally talented photoshopper was trying to portray - that this so called "health care plan" was basically nothing more than voodoo, led by our Witch Doctor In Chief. To the extent that it is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo with liberal (pun intended) applications of animal dung designed to fool the American public into believing it is real medicine, I tend to agree.

    We cannot let our President's race stiffle free speech and editorializing through satire, a tradition in this country since the first broadsides were printed prior to the Revolution. Nothing was off limits with any other President, especially GW - so the same should be true for the Big O.

    Feel free to *tisk tisk* and declare this to be "classless" and "simply outrageous", but if you ever laughed at George W. Hitler, then shame on your hypocrisy...

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  5. Yeah, gotta let him burn more calories while he tries to Scotch-tape our country together.

    Very American.

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  6. Bush is an idiot, but certainly no Hilter, and shouldn't be compared to him either.

    Hitler professed a profound level of evil that is not easily comparable.

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  7. Just for reference I really can't every recall seeing a Bush=Hitler caricature; Bush=Chimp, yes; Bush=Alfred E Newman, yes. But not Hitler. And while I argued at length that he was a terrible president, idiot, and wicked person, I never compared him to ol'Adolf, and I did walk some of my fellow travelers back from that ledge.

    My point here is just that racial insults hit a wider target than just the president. Anyone who would be uncomfortable calling O the "Sambo in Chief" ought to experience similar discomfort to this image.

    And I agree that satire like this ought not be illegal, nor should this idiot surgeon be fired, reprimanded or kicked out of the AMA. I'm quite content that he's being publicly exposed and shamed as a racially-insensitive jackass. Good enough for me.

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  8. REPUBLICANS ARE A BUNCH OF RACISTS!!!!

    /Every Democrat when they run out of legitimate criticism

    Come on, doctor. Sheesh.

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  9. You never saw a Bush=Hitler image? Wow - you must have missed the memo from your liberal bretheren. They were on t-shirts, bumper stickers, websites... Seriously, google it - instant hits all over the place. Good on you for trying to educate your fellow travelers, but it was a common theme.

    No caricature of anyone can avoid insulting a wider reaching audience - especially in this day of hypersensitivity and "feeeeelings". But you and others are just accepting as fact that any caricature of Obama is automatically insulting to black people. Most African witch doctors are black - fact. Can't change that. The medicine practiced by witch doctors is mostly smoke, mirrors and bullshit - fact. To some, Obama's healthcare plan is also smoke, mirrors and bullshit. Valid comparison.

    How many times did George Bush 41 get caricatured as a witch doctor after his whole voodoo economics thing? Google that too, and see. And no one said that was racially insensitive or offensive to witch doctors.

    Bottom line? There will be extremists on both sides who cross over into the realm of tacky and even "inappropriate". But to immediately scream the whole "RACIST!" thing just because we have a black president is lame.

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  10. ...and so?

    What valid comparison?

    Freedom of speech includes freedom to trash bullshit like such caricature.

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  11. Dude, I live in SEATTLE! I saw "Impeach Bush" bumper stickers from about 2002 on. Seriously, I never saw a Hitler one.

    I think it's fair to be more sensitive about racial caricatures than purely political ones. There was a long history these drawings being used to demean and oppress (at least psychologically) an entire race. That's going to change the unwritten rules of caricature for the next four to eight years. While there was no racial subtext to drawing Bush as a chimp, there sure is with Obama. That's not hypersensitive to acknowledge, nor is it too hard to respect.

    There's nothing illegal or wrong about being offensive, and there are plenty of websites that make good stock in trade doing just that. I'm glad that the consequence for people who engage in that sort of thing is public shame, though.

    And K,
    I didn't extrapolate that all republicans are racist -- you did. But there does seem to be a disparity in the amount of racially insensitive material from that side of the aisle. Just sayin'

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  12. The only time there is ever public shame for such a thing is when a darling of the liberal media is the one on the receiving end of whatever was deemed to be "offensive". The media sets the tone for whether or not the general public should be outraged.

    If George W. had made the comment that Obama did about bowling and the Special Olympics... the media firestorm would have trumped the Michael Jackson thing. Obama does it and it was barely reported. Double standard.

    There has been a lot of historical oppression against a lot of people in this country - women, blacks, American Indians, Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, etc.- everyone can identify with SOME "oppressed group" (whether such oppression is real or imagined is open to discussion) But at what point do we get to stop having to second guess every word or turn of phrase that comes out of our mouths with regards to this President? He does not get a free pass just because of his color. Holy crap, the leader of the free world is a black(-ish) man!! He obviously wasn't too oppressed in his lifetime. The same exact witch doctor characterization was applied to Bush 41 and to Obama, but we are supposed to be offended that it was applied to Obama JUST because he is black? Please. He is not just an unqualified black community activist cum junior US senator with 143 days of experience anymore. He is the freaking president. Fair game.

    Had the picture been of a lynch mob or a noose or slave chains, I would have done what you say you did regarding Bush-Hitler comparisons - protested the comparison, as that is nothing more than applying deliberately inflamatory, inappropriate and purely racial overtones. But in a situation like this, racism is not the point when the theme or subject matter fits the circumstance.

    Witch doctor = Obamacare. Valid comparison.

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  13. Would it be different to you if the caricature were of a woman as housewife with a dustbin and a child?

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  14. But there does seem to be a disparity in the amount of racially insensitive material from that side of the aisle. Just sayin'.

    I've said it before, but the racism seen from Democrats is the worst kind: The racism of low expectations and the racism of not calling black people on their bullshit like having 70% out of wedlock children and stiflingly disproportionate rates of crime and poverty and the racism of continuing to subsidize this with more welfare programs.

    It's traditional for Democrats to blame white people or business or past injustice for black peoples' troubles rather than the people (and liberal govt policies which subsidize this type of stuff) themselves. If someone wants to cut welfare, they're racist, etc etc.

    Racism is expecting a black kid to be a basketball star or a rapper instead of a mathematician and subsidizing the failed basketball star with a lifetime of welfare and low expectations when he fails to go to the NBA. Racism is special treatment in hiring practices (nowadays) for blacks since OBVIOUSLY a black person wouldn't qualify for a job based on skills alone. Racism is a teacher not holding a black child up to the same expectations as a white child. Etc Etc

    A witch doctor photoshop is far less insensitive than that IMHO. Democrats and liberals love institutionalized racism, but the people who are hurt are those that they're trying to "help" in the end.

    One good thing about Obama, I must say, is his speeches encouraging black children/people to get out of the welfare/low-expectation mindset.

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  15. A woman/child caricature offend me? Why should it? I don't relate to that image. I harbor no secret insecurities that somehow that applies to me, any more than the average black person who doesn't carry a racial chip on their shoulder would be offended by that witch doctor picture. It's only the race pimps and those suffering from white liberal guilt who make huge issues about pictures like this. Who, other than these groups, looks at an image or hears a turn of phrase and IMMEDIATELY trieds to find a way to make it a racial issue? That is a habit, a learned mindset, and most people I know and deal with on a daily basis (of all colors) just don't have that mindset. If something is egregious enough to upset the average black man or woman who is not a politician or a race pimp, it is probably egregious enough to upset me or any other fair minded person, i.e., something OVERTLY racial.

    Nurse K, another blogger whom I follow and admire, hits it right on the head. Democrats treat the black community like I treat my 2 year old - right now I do everything for him, because I feel he is incapable of doing it for himself. The difference is that as time passes the helping hand is withdrawn, and I start helping him less and less, so he learns self-reliance and independence and the good feeling that doing things for oneself can bring. Dems never withdraw the helping hand and as a consequence, they are still wiping asses when their "baby" is 45 years old with 8 kids by five different father, three grandkids, no education, no job and no prospects. Baby Boy is starting to insist that "I do it myself, Mommy! You no help me." Few of the people Nurse K and others deal with on a daily basis have ever uttered those words in their lives.

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  16. "any more than the average black person who doesn't carry a racial chip on their shoulder would be offended by that witch doctor picture"

    OK, you're just nuts. If this is the data set you're working with, then I can't have a serious conversation with you. Sorry.

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  17. OK, got it. I'm nuts, you are right and the conversation is over.

    But before I go, let me make sure I have the new rules down:

    * All members of a protected class must automatically be offended by anything that someone else finds to be demeaning to their race/gender/ethnicity/sexual orientation, even if they themselves don't find it actually offensive (showed the picture to some co-workers who happen to be black - no problem - they all laughed and not in an uncomfortable way either...)

    * All future caricatures of Presbo may only involve his head on the body of a white, non-Catholic, non-gay, non-Jewish male, to prevent any racial undertones.

    Got it. Thanks, shallowfacts. I will endeavor to be more sensitive in the future. You are a credit to us all.

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  18. J-Ro,
    "All future caricatures of Presbo may only involve his head on the body of a white, non-Catholic, non-gay, non-Jewish male, to prevent any racial undertones."

    Thanks. Though, the bit where Colbert put Obama's head on the alien bursting out of Kane's stomach would also be acceptable, so long as you applied for a federal waiver in advance.

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  19. REPUBLICANS ARE A BUNCH OF RACISTS!!!!

    Not all Republicans are racists, but if you are a racist you are most likely a Republican.

    The GOP is the regional Southern party, you know.

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  20. i know this has nothing to do with the actual point but the body that your president's head has been put on is not an african witch doctor at all. i think it is a south american rain forest indian and therefore not african at all.

    just splitting hairs i know so forgive me.

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  21. bongi --

    You're good. IIRC, the original photo was a native of Papua New Guinea.

    Very close.

    Cheers,

    SF

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