The recent cover of the New Yorker is sparking up all kinds of controversy regarding whether its funny, inappropriate, racist, or just plain wrong. On the cover, is a drawing of Senator Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim while his wife Michelle looks to be some kind of political militant with an afro and an AK-47 over her shoulder. The two appear to bumping their knuckles together (or giving each other props, daps, etc, depending on your age group and/or familiarity with urbandictionary.com) while standing in the Oval Office while the American flage burns in the fireplace – GASP! Personally, I think that the cover is what it is and that’s satire. The drawing satirizes all of the “terrorist” rumors that seem to constantly haunt Obama, his family, his politics and his religion. The sad truth is that some people actually believe that Obama is some kind of Muslim terrorist whose been sent to gain the trust of Americans all the way to the White House only to then blow up our entire nation or sell it to Osama Bin Laden…or something like that.
The New Yorker actually does a great job of capturing just how insane some Americans must be to believe this kind of blatant “Red Scare” propaganda. This type of propaganda is deeply embedded in American culture and seems to keep us somewhat warm and distracted whenever we get close to any REAL issues. Basically, this time its purpose is to scare Americans into believing Obama is the most UN-American thing since the French. Our country; however, great it is, has always been best at finding ways to distract from what’s really important.
How else do you explain why people get so worked up over non-issues such as burning the flag!?! Sure, the flag is a symbol for this great country of ours, but if some jerk wants to go buy a flag and then waste his or her time burning it, it really doesn’t hurt me or this country any. However, what does hurt this country is when we blindly accept lies, racism, and scare tactics. If you want to burn the flag, go ahead. I’m far more worried with important issues like the rising death toll in a war that is impossible to win, our failing health-care system, sky-rocketing gas prices, cancer, AIDS, and our environment.
And for all of you are offended by the New Yorker’s cover because you believe it to be offensive or inappropriate, let’s just take a moment and define what satire really is…according to dictionary.com.
Satire (Noun) –
the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
A literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are help up to scorn, derision, or a literary genre comprising such compositions.
This seems to be exactly what the New Yorker has done. However, WARNING – satire may be offensive. Much like many things in life, it’s hard to produce anything that doesn’t offend someone, but in this case, satire is NOT intended to be politically correct. If anything, it’s meant to expose beliefs, ideas and people in society for just how ridiculous they are. And in this case it exposes those uninformed and false whispers that Barack Obama is a terrorist! There are no facts that exist to prove that Obama is a terrorist. And listing the fact that yes, his middle name is Hussein and no, he is not white, are just not good enough to prove to me that he’s in Al-Qaeda. I would advise everyone to start focusing on issues instead of pictures, names, and gossip.