A brief roundup of takes on the new National Review cover image of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor:


Apparently if you’re not white or male, it really doesn’t matter what your racial or ethnic identity is. They’re all interchangeable. You’re just Other.


It’s not offensive because it’s someone else’s stereotype, like if I say a woman can’t do the same job a man can because women have hook noses and are obsessed with money.


… there’s this deranged fascination with walking up to the line and dancing around there in hopes of getting called on it. Then you get to become indignant. Because, again, the contemporary right’s main view on race is that actual racism against non-white people is only a tiny problem compared with the vast social crisis that allegedly exists around people being vigilant against racism.

And now for a defense from Rich Lowry, editor of the NRO:

Turn out my correspondent from Salon is way behind the curve—TPM and Daily Kos have already accused us of racism. You gotta move fast when you’re competing with your fellow hair-trigger PC cops on the left! I take it the theory is that we don’t think Latinas can be wise so we had to make her look somewhat Asian. Or something like that. What these people don’t understand is the entire concept of caricature (or of a joke). Caricature always involves exaggerating someone’s distinctive features, which is all that our artist Roman Genn did with Sotomayor. Oh, well. Keep it humorless, guys, keep it humorless.

Huh? So one of Sotomayor’s distinctive features is that she is Buddhist? That she’s considered wise? What am I missing here? Because an important aspect of good humor is not having to explain your “joke.”

But among conservatives, I believe this is considered a form of strategery. Certainly pissing off liberals should get them back into power any day now.

Let’s keep waiting, shall we?

7 thoughts on “Cartoonish.

  1. palinode June 8, 2009 at 8:30 am Reply

    Let me get this straight – Lowry thinks that this caricature is funny? He’s the one keeping it humorless.

  2. Samia June 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm Reply

    I love Lowry’s faux-witty comeback. I’d rather be a decent person than share his lazy, tired-ass ‘sense of humour.’ Isn’t that just the ultimate privilege-y statement? “Durrhurrr you just don’t get it. Stop being so PC, you angry wittle PoC.”

    Seriously, where is the funny here? They just clumsily appropriated several important religious symbols and applied them as a backdrop to a badly done “caricature” image. Oh, and don’t forget the healthy dollop of fat-shaming illustrated by the portly Buddha archetype. I can’t believe someone got paid to produce that.

    I guess it’s easier for these people to believe I never laugh than to actually consider the sheer weakness of their ‘jokes.’ Kinda like those weird guys who’d rather declare a hetero woman lesbian than accept that there’s just no mutual attraction there…

  3. bitchphd June 8, 2009 at 6:39 pm Reply

    What I find most amazing is that they weren’t/aren’t absolutely mortified by that. Hell, *I’m* mortified by it.

  4. Winslowalrob June 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm Reply

    I actually thought it was a pretty cute riff on the whole ‘wise’ thing (I dunno how to draw wisdom!)…

  5. Holy Crap! June 9, 2009 at 10:32 am Reply

    Yeah, I can’t believe he is trying to defend this, and doing so by trying to shame critics into silence. The ‘nevermind the public outcry, you guys just can’t take a joke’ defense is laughable in a way that the actual cover is not. I saw this video comparing it to the Obama fist pound New Yorker cover it is pretty interesting:

  6. ladyfresh June 10, 2009 at 12:47 am Reply

    yeah…i can’t buy this stroke of irony either (sorry GD)

  7. -k- June 10, 2009 at 10:45 am Reply

    I think the headline bothers me even more than the image. That certain people have latched on so tightly to that phrase demonstrates the extent to which they consider the idea of a wise Latina to be out of the ordinary or outright outlandish.

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