All Latinas are not Mexican

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A cartoonist at the Oklahoma City newspaper The Oklahoman  responds to criticism of his drawing of Judge Sotomayor as a  pinata  to be struck by waiting GOP elephants.

The cartoon by Chip Bok of Creators Syndicate ran in The Oklahoman on Tuesday. It shows Obama wearing a sombrero and saying “Now, who wants to be first?” to a group of elephants in suits holding sticks. The underline says, “Fiesta Time At The Confirmation Hearing.”

Jean Warner, chair of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, said there was nothing funny about the image.

“Here’s a woman wearing a judge’s robes and she’s about to get the crap beaten out of her because she has the audacity to think she can sit on the Supreme Court,” Warner said. “But most young girls who look at the cartoon, don’t even understand that. They just see guys with sticks about to hit a woman.”

Rossana Rosado, publisher and chief executive officer of El Diario La Prensa in New York, also said the cartoon was offensive.

“On first view you just see her hanging by a rope and that’s a very disturbing image,” she said. “It’s offensive mostly because it’s not funny. It’s supposed to be satirical and humorous and it simply isn’t funny.”

Bok said Friday that his point was that Republicans will look bad if they are too rough on Sotomayor. He added that editorial cartoons sometimes offend to make a point.

“A cartoon is disrespectful, it is insensitive,” Bok said. “That’s what we do. We’re not in the business of carrying out socially responsible dictates. That’s somebody else’s job. That’s not my job.

“I don’t mean to be gratuitously offensive. It was just a vehicle for the cartoon and I think it worked. It was funny and in some cases they are being too sensitive about it.”

Bok said the cartoon was “an utter exaggeration of the cultural theme. She has used her Latinaness stereotypically as an asset in her effort for the nomination to go through. So I turned it around and tried to exaggerate the cultural part of it. It’s part of the mockery of the cartoon, part of the joke.”

The full AP article is here.

What are the “some cases” in which “they” are being too sensitive?  What’s the “cultural part” being exaggerated?

-Bridget Crawford

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2 Responses to All Latinas are not Mexican

  1. efink says:

    Earlier today I saw a blog post describing someone’s failed attempt to make paella. Explaining her lack of success, she noted, “I’m not Mexican”. I resisted the temptation to comment “neither is paella”.

    Also, Sociological Images has an interesting commentary on the National Review cover depicting Sotomayor, “The Wise Latina”, as the Buddha. http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/06/08/the-sonia-sotomayor-national-review-cover/

  2. thebewilderness says:

    Beating a woman to death? I’m guessing that is supposed to be the funny part
    I think the cultural part is the hat. Wrong culture, but it is obviously too much trouble to try to tell the difference.
    I suspect “they” are the usual suspects. Women and brown people.
    Hatred never loses its sting, though.

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