Friday, August 7, 2009

Pop Quiz: "Racist Joker" Edition

Are any of the following racist, and if so, which?

A) Cesar Romero as the Joker:

B) Jack Nicholson as the Joker:

C) Heath Ledger as the Joker:

D) President George W. Bush as the Joker:

E) President Barack Obama as the Joker:

Hint from Philip Kennicott:

By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and '70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates. . . . Urban blacks -- the thinking goes -- don't just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus. . . . The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black.
Hint from Frank J. Fleming:
Don’t you remember the long, racist history of black people being compared to the Joker? . . . Also, the image involves white makeup on a black person. White on black — that has to be racist somehow. I’ll bet makeup places won’t even sell white pancake makeup to black people. They’d be like “No! Get out of here, black person! We won’t sell that to you! That’s racist!”
UPDATE: Bonus hint from Chris Muir (click to enlarge):