Most of us black folks understand that quite a few folks here in America share the sentiments of the cartoonist, but just do a better job of keeping their racist jokes and attitudes among themselves or while trolling on the internet.
Throw in the fact that it's a conservative newspaper and it's pretty much a given that they are going to be insensitive when it comes to these types of matters.
Still, what I really found amusing about this entire episode was the actions of the person who drew the cartoon and his employer in the aftermath of it.
"Boston Herald cartoonist Jerry Holbert apologized Wednesday morning for what he described as a “naive” reference that many took as a racist jab at President Obama.
The cartoon, which ran in Wednesday’s papers, was a take on the recent revelations that an intruder got farther into the White House than originally thought.
It shows Obama, surprised, brushing his teeth as a strange man sits in the bathtub behind him and asks whether the president has “tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste.”
Many on the Web saw the watermelon reference as racist in regard to an African-American president, and Wednesday morning a contrite Holbert took to Boston Herald Radio to explain himself.
“I had no intention at all of offending anybody. I thought this was a very lighthearted cartoon,” Holbert said, describing how he selected the flavor because he likes watermelon-flavored things, including candy. “Naive, stupid, those kinds of things I understand. But racist I’m definitely not.”
Holbert also addressed the fact that a syndicate had asked him to change the flavor to raspberry (he agreed to do it), citing a racial concern.
He said he disagreed with that assessment, but should have called into the Herald to change the cartoon there as well.
“It was stupid on my part, but, you know, racism is sort of innately stupid, and I will not participate in that,” he said.
“His cartoon satirizing the US Secret Service breach at the White House has offended some people and to them we apologize,” the statement said. “His choice of imagery was absolutely not meant to be hurtful.”
Huh? Did he really say that he really likes "watermelon- flavored things" and that he was too naïve to understand the negative racial connotations that this word invokes? OK then. Now I am really offended, because not only does this guy think that all black people like watermelon (which I, for one, do not. Now fried chicken on the other hand....) but he also thinks that we are all stupid as well.
But hey, he is not alone. When you work for like-minded people it will all work out for you in the end.
So anyway, here comes the obligatory (non- apology) apology from his employer:
"His cartoon satirizing the U.S. Secret Service breach at the White House has offended some people and to them we apologize. His choice of imagery was absolutely not meant to be hurtful. We stand by Jerry, who is a veteran cartoonist with the utmost integrity."
Of course you do. We did not expect you to do anything else.
*Pic from CNN.com