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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Sunday May 19th 2024

Frank Reflections: When is satire racist?

BY FRANK ERICKSON

If neo-Nazis in Paris were publishing racist caricatures of Muslims and then were murdered for doing it, would millions of French citizens hit the streets to show solidarity with the dead skinheads? I doubt it.

This is all about who is doing the racism. We know this because if neo-Nazis were doing exactly the same thing, they would not have the majority of the West supporting them.

It”'s easy for the West to defend this type of racism when it is coming from white intellectuals who are not being racist at all; they are being “satirical”, with nothing but their innocent little pens and paper. How easy and safe for the West to cloak this with intellectual babble about “satire” and freedom of speech, instead of calling it what it is. Do neo-Nazis belong to a “satirical” organization?

The violence starts with the drawing of a racist caricature. If I go out on the street and start calling Black people the n-word and get myself killed, am I a freedom of speech hero”¦I would be if I directed my attack upon the West”'s enemy.

Local editorial cartoonist Steve Sack, of the Star Tribune, draws brutal racist caricatures of people of Arab descent. How does he think local Muslims and Arabs feel when they see his portrayal of them? His latest attack is in the Sunday January 11th Star Tribune.

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