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  #1  
Old 09-12-2018, 12:02 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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Is this cartoon racist (Tennis).

An Australian newspaper posted this cartoon referencing Serena Williams breakdown in the US Open women final.

Itís been derided as racist. And I can see why, some might say that. But, I donít think it is, since it references an actual person and an actual event. I cannot seen any suggestion that it puts forth the view that Serena acted the way she did because of her race.
Yeah it exaggerates her looks. Itís a caricature, thatís what it is supposed to do.


Here are pictures of the actual event for comparison.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:11 PM
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I would count myself as someone who is sensitive to and cognizant of the unintended possibility of racism in imagery, so my interest was piqued when I heard about this controversy. But I have to agree with you, I'm not seeing racist caricature. As you state, caricature exaggerates features, that is what I see.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2018, 12:14 PM
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Looks like a racist caricature based on the art. The pose/actions aren't an issue.

All racist caricatures are caricatures. That doesn't really give them a pass on being racist.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:16 PM
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Agreed with both Icarus and AK84. I think some people are seeing what they want to see. For instance, I've seen a number of comments about how Naomi Osaka was depicted as a blond, white woman. In the cartoon, she has a similar skin tone to Williams and you can clearly see from photos of the event that from a distance all you can see of her hair is her blond ponytail. In a possibly unconscious reaction, these people make an assumption not borne out by the image.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:17 PM
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Yes, IMO it is racist. I couldn't open your link to her real live pix, but I saw on the news some shots of her talking to the judge. She was angry and maybe a bit rude. She was right, and had a perfect excuse for being mad. Tennis has some archaic rules. They need updating.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:17 PM
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Looks like a racist caricature based on the art. The pose/actions aren't an issue.

All racist caricatures are caricatures. That doesn't really give them a pass on being racist.
Is it possible to draw a caricature of a woman with Williams' features that isn't racist? If so, how?
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:19 PM
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Yes, IMO it is racist. I couldn't open your link to her real live pix, but I saw on the news some shots of her talking to the judge. She was angry and maybe a bit rude. She was right, and had a perfect excuse for being mad. Tennis has some archaic rules. They need updating.
Did you see shots of her yelling at the judge? As for her being right, that's a topic for another thread.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:23 PM
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Is it possible to draw a caricature of a woman with Williams' features that isn't racist? If so, how?
I'm not a caricaturist, so I'm not really in a position to speak on what type of alterations are required for a drawing to qualify as a caricature. But suffice to say if a particular artist can't think of a way to draw a person that doesn't end up looking like a racist caricature, then perhaps they should rethink their approach entirely.

I'll confess that seeing that picture, though, I think avoiding racism wasn't high on the artist's list of priorities.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:25 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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Yes, the cartoon is absolutely racist, and depicts Serena in an ugly, stereotypical way. For contrast, here is another cartoon depicting the same event that shows her accurately, but not as a racist stereotype.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:26 PM
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What the entire fuck.

Yes.

Yes, it is a goddamn racist caricature.

The "good person" is depicted as slim, blonde, (quite arguably) white, tidy and quiet.

The "bad person" is depicted as fat, big-lipped, huge-mouthed, frazzle-haired, irrational, and screaming literally like a baby.

It's the Sapphire stereotype with just a touch of golliwog thrown in.

Racist as fuck.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:29 PM
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Yes, IMO it is racist. I couldn't open your link to her real live pix, but I saw on the news some shots of her talking to the judge. She was angry and maybe a bit rude. She was right, and had a perfect excuse for being mad. Tennis has some archaic rules. They need updating.
The real problem is the reflexive accusations of racism, sexism, whateverism, whenever a member of a pet class is treated uncharitably but equally. In the eyes of the Uber-pc mob there is literally no caricature of Serena Williams that would not have been labeled racist. I had a caricature of me and they gave me big olí lips.

And before people bring up slavery and all that or minstrel shows, you do realize that the same act can be racist or not depending on motive? A caricature of a pro athlete acting the fool is different than drawing Serena Williams as a caricature merely because she is black.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:30 PM
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Yes, the cartoon is absolutely racist, and depicts Serena in an ugly, stereotypical way. For contrast, here is another cartoon depicting the same event that shows her accurately, but not as a racist stereotype.
That cartoon is pointless. Might as well just use a photo.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:31 PM
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I'm not a caricaturist, so I'm not really in a position to speak on what type of alterations are required for a drawing to qualify as a caricature. But suffice to say if a particular artist can't think of a way to draw a person that doesn't end up looking like a racist caricature, then perhaps they should rethink their approach entirely.

I'll confess that seeing that picture, though, I think avoiding racism wasn't high on the artist's list of priorities.
I have no problem with the idea that the author might have considered the reaction more, and perhaps he did. This doesn't address the supposed racism though.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:31 PM
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What the entire fuck.

Yes.

Yes, it is a goddamn racist caricature.

The "good person" is depicted as slim, blonde, (quite arguably) white, tidy and quiet.

The "bad person" is depicted as fat, big-lipped, huge-mouthed, frazzle-haired, irrational, and screaming literally like a baby.

It's the Sapphire stereotype with just a touch of golliwog thrown in.

Racist as fuck.
I've heard of golliwog, what is the Sapphire stereotype?
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SpoilerVirgin View Post
Yes, the cartoon is absolutely racist, and depicts Serena in an ugly, stereotypical way. For contrast, here is another cartoon depicting the same event that shows her accurately, but not as a racist stereotype.
That is NOT a caricature, thus doesn't bear comparison here.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:33 PM
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Is it possible to draw a caricature of a woman with Williams' features that isn't racist? If so, how?
That's how I feel. How do you draw a caricature of an athletic black woman without making her appear athletic and black?
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:33 PM
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The real problem is the reflexive accusations of racism, sexism, whateverism, whenever a member of a pet class is treated uncharitably but equally. In the eyes of the Uber-pc mob there is literally no caricature of Serena Williams that would not have been labeled racist. I had a caricature of me and they gave me big olí lips.
I don't consider you to be a spokesperson for "the Uber-pc mob", and don't consider your assertion about their inability to detect intended racism to be based in a true ability to read their minds.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:37 PM
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That's how I feel. How do you draw a caricature of an athletic black woman without making her appear athletic and black?
Why do you need to draw a caricature? What point do the large lips and ugly depiction make that the drawing in the cartoon I posted does not make? There are two purposes to a caricature - to make the person identifiable, which Serena clearly is in the cartoon I linked, and to exaggerate an aspect of their appearance to make a point. What point is made by making her look like a racist stereotype from a hundred years ago?
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:39 PM
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Is it possible to caricature a black person without it being racist?

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Old 09-12-2018, 12:40 PM
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What the entire fuck.

Yes.

Yes, it is a goddamn racist caricature.

The "good person" is depicted as slim, blonde, (quite arguably) white, tidy and quiet.

The "bad person" is depicted as fat, big-lipped, huge-mouthed, frazzle-haired, irrational, and screaming literally like a baby.

It's the Sapphire stereotype with just a touch of golliwog thrown in.

Racist as fuck.
If you want to use a term like "good", who was quiet during the whole match, and who wasn't? As for her being depicted as blonde and white, in the cartoon Osaka's skin tone is very similar to Williams, and her ponytail is blonde in real life!. And look at actual photos of Williams from the day. She had frizzy hair, she is very muscular and not depicted as fat, screamed at the judge more than once, and the exaggeration of her features is typical of caricature.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:41 PM
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Why do you need to draw a caricature? What point do the large lips and ugly depiction make that the drawing in the cartoon I posted does not make? There are two purposes to a caricature - to make the person identifiable, which Serena clearly is in the cartoon I linked, and to exaggerate an aspect of their appearance to make a point. What point is made by making her look like a racist stereotype from a hundred years ago?
You donít need to draw a caricature at any point in time. However, thatís what many choose to do. Why? To ridicule a target. Ridicule is perfectly acceptable.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:43 PM
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Why do you need to draw a caricature? What point do the large lips and ugly depiction make that the drawing in the cartoon I posted does not make? There are two purposes to a caricature - to make the person identifiable, which Serena clearly is in the cartoon I linked, and to exaggerate an aspect of their appearance to make a point. What point is made by making her look like a racist stereotype from a hundred years ago?

The real woman does in fact have large lips. Like Obama had big ears or Nixon heavy jowls.
Itís more offensive to try and avoid drawing them, since you seem to be suggesting that there is something wrong with having big lips.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:44 PM
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If you want to use a term like "good", who was quiet during the whole match, and who wasn't? As for her being depicted as blonde and white, in the cartoon Osaka's skin tone is very similar to Williams, and her ponytail is blonde in real life!. And look at actual photos of Williams from the day. She had frizzy hair, she is very muscular and not depicted as fat, screamed at the judge more than once, and the exaggeration of her features is typical of caricature.
Linking good to quiet with regards to women just opened another can of worms.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:44 PM
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Why do you need to draw a caricature? What point do the large lips and ugly depiction make that the drawing in the cartoon I posted does not make? There are two purposes to a caricature - to make the person identifiable, which Serena clearly is in the cartoon I linked, and to exaggerate an aspect of their appearance to make a point. What point is made by making her look like a racist stereotype from a hundred years ago?

One doesn't *need* to draw a caricature, but one should be able to. And look at Serena's lips. You wouldn't describe them as exactly thin, would you? They are exaggerated a bit, but not unreasonably so. And there is another point to caricature (and probably others): to mock someone for their behavior.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:47 PM
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What's the excuse for depicting Naomi Osaka, a Japanese American, as a blonde?
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:47 PM
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Of course it's racist - both in the caricaturing of Serena and the weird whitewashing of Naomi Osaka.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:47 PM
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Man, I wish someone would respond to the ridiculous idea that Osaka was depicted as a blond, white woman. I've pointed that out here and elsewhere, but nothing so far. Oh well, the thread is still young.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:48 PM
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Of course it's racist - both in the caricaturing of Serena and the weird whitewashing of Naomi Osaka.
Please see what I said above and respond. Thanks! Posts #20 and #4.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-12-2018 at 12:50 PM. Reason: add post numbers
  #29  
Old 09-12-2018, 12:48 PM
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If anything the artist went out of his way to link it to the specific event, Serena is depicted wearing the exact same dress she wore for the match, as opposed to a generic tennis outfit and Naomi looks just like she actually did, but some people see “blonde hair”....and lose it.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:50 PM
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Why do you need to draw a caricature? What point do the large lips and ugly depiction make that the drawing in the cartoon I posted does not make? There are two purposes to a caricature - to make the person identifiable, which Serena clearly is in the cartoon I linked, and to exaggerate an aspect of their appearance to make a point. What point is made by making her look like a racist stereotype from a hundred years ago?
You draw a caricature because that is what you do in cartoons.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:51 PM
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Linking good to quiet with regards to women just opened another can of worms.

  #32  
Old 09-12-2018, 12:51 PM
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What's the excuse for depicting Naomi Osaka, a Japanese American, as a blonde?
Because errr, that would be the hair colour and style the current US Open champion wore during the match in question.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:54 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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One doesn't *need* to draw a caricature, but one should be able to. And look at Serena's lips. You wouldn't describe them as exactly thin, would you? They are exaggerated a bit, but not unreasonably so. And there is another point to caricature (and probably others): to mock someone for their behavior.
I didn't say you shouldn't draw a caricature, I said you shouldn't draw a racist one. And if the point is to mock her for her behavior, then depict the behavior - screaming, crying, jumping up and down - without drawing her using racist stereotypes.

I found two more caricatures of Serena that are accurate, but not racist.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:56 PM
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So is the argument in this thread that racist caricatures are impossible because all caricatures are fair game?
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:56 PM
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If anything the artist went out of his way to link it to the specific event, Serena is depicted wearing the exact same dress she wore for the match, as opposed to a generic tennis outfit and Naomi looks just like she actually did, but some people see ďblonde hairĒ....and lose it.
To an extent I can see why, because when I first saw the cartoon the same thought entered my head. But then, I remembered that I really had no memory of what Osaka looked like, being only vaguely familiar with her, so I went back and looked at photos from the match. Oh my, what do you know?
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:01 PM
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I didn't say you shouldn't draw a caricature, I said you shouldn't draw a racist one. And if the point is to mock her for her behavior, then depict the behavior - screaming, crying, jumping up and down - without drawing her using racist stereotypes.

I found two more caricatures of Serena that are accurate, but not racist.
I like 'em both. Knight's is no closer to racism than these. Obviously, there is a lot of subjectivity here, so I suppose we will never agree on this.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:02 PM
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I didn't say you shouldn't draw a caricature, I said you shouldn't draw a racist one. And if the point is to mock her for her behavior, then depict the behavior - screaming, crying, jumping up and down - without drawing her using racist stereotypes.

I found two more caricatures of Serena that are accurate, but not racist.
Thatís a positive caricature. The one in the OP is a negative one. Are you suggesting that only positive ones should be permitted, otherwise all racist?

Moving sports, from soccer, is this caricature racist?
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:07 PM
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That’s a positive caricature. The one in the OP is a negative one. Are you suggesting that only positive ones should be permitted, otherwise all racist?

Moving sports, from soccer, is this caricature racist?
Exactly. If exaggerated features were the only important thing, those would be racist as hell. Edit: okay, not to that degree, but certainly approaching racism. But of course, that isn't the only thing to consider.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-12-2018 at 01:08 PM.
  #39  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:07 PM
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What's the excuse for depicting Naomi Osaka, a Japanese American, as a blonde?
Did you not see a photo of her before that comment? She has a lightened pony tail.

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So is the argument in this thread that racist caricatures are impossible because all caricatures are fair game?
No. I wouldn't go that far. Stick a bone in her nose and have her near a cannibal pot and yes I'd be saying that's probably racist. But an exaggerated depiction as caricatures are always done? No.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:08 PM
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That's how I feel. How do you draw a caricature of an athletic black woman without making her appear athletic and black?
This isn't athletic and black, its fat with aunt Jemima lips. As an alternative consider this or this or this. They are black, athletic, angry, clearly recognizable as Serena but to my eye at least do a better job of actually characterizing her, rather that just being stereo typical angry fat black woman with the addition of serena's frizzy pony tail to make it recognizable as her.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 09-12-2018 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:11 PM
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Moving sports, from soccer, is this caricature racist?
I really don't want to research the context of the drill and syringe, etc, but after a quick look at a photo of Luis Suarez, based on that, no. Hiliarious, but not racist.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:11 PM
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What the entire fuck.

Yes.

Yes, it is a goddamn racist caricature.

The "good person" is depicted as slim, blonde, (quite arguably) white, tidy and quiet.

The "bad person" is depicted as fat, big-lipped, huge-mouthed, frazzle-haired, irrational, and screaming literally like a baby.

It's the Sapphire stereotype with just a touch of golliwog thrown in.

Racist as fuck.
I would be a lot happier about this cartoon if some cartoonist, somewhere, had caricatured some of the earlier bad behavior. Say John Isner as an angry giraffe crying that the computerized line caller--THE COMPUTERIZED LINE CALLER--was wrong when two different challenges didn't go his way. The pacifier on the court would have been a nice touch there.*

On the other hand, you don't see Isner in Chase commercials, either. Serena is just a bigger name and a bigger product mover.

And also, a realistic lifelike drawing of Serena would still look like an R. Crumb woman. It almost looks like he designed her US Open outfit.

*This may have happened at an earlier tournament not the US Open. I may watch too much tennis. There was no actual pacifier. But he needed one.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:16 PM
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This isn't athletic and black, its fat with aunt Jemima lips. As an alternative consider this or this or this. They are black, athletic, angry, clearly recognizable as Serena but to my eye at least do a better job of actually characterizing her, rather that just being stereo typical angry fat black woman with the addition of serena's frizzy pony tail to make it recognizable as her.

She's not depicted as fat, but muscular. She had frizzy hair at the Open. Aunt Jemima lips from my era are *thinner* than Serena's, btw. She was ANGRY at the Open. Why is depicting her like this "stereotypical"? Do black women NOT get angry?
  #44  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:17 PM
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That is NOT a caricature, thus doesn't bear comparison here.
Yes, it most certainly is caricature. She's drawn to look like a little kid, mocking her temper tantrum. She is also made deliberately ugly in her face. Her physical attributes are altered to mock her. That's caricature.

What it doesn't do is use any of the stuff that was typically used in racist caricature. The OP's comic, on the other hand, only seems to caricature her race.

Serena is athletic but otherwise thin. The woman in that comic is either fat or a hulked out monster, resembling a mammy type. Serena has normal looking curly hair, turned down in a weave. The comic woman has wiry, unkempt hair. Serena has normal lips, maybe slightly bigger. The woman in the comic has lips straight from witch doctor caricatures.

Someone asked how to caricature a black woman without being racist. An example of the same woman was provided. So you claim it isn't caricature. Is your porridge sweet enough?
  #45  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:20 PM
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This cartoon is one of those things that, even if I don't think it's racist, I have a feeling someone else will.
  #46  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:20 PM
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An Australian newspaper posted this cartoon referencing Serena Williams breakdown in the US Open women final.

Itís been derided as racist. And I can see why, some might say that. But, I donít think it is, since it references an actual person and an actual event. I cannot seen any suggestion that it puts forth the view that Serena acted the way she did because of her race.
Yeah it exaggerates her looks. Itís a caricature, thatís what it is supposed to do.


Here are pictures of the actual event for comparison.
Not racist at all - it was clearly aimed at one person's behavior. So, not racist - unless you count spoiled-rotten divas as a race?
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:20 PM
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only positive ones should be permitted, otherwise all racist?

Moving sports, from soccer, is this caricature racist?
By the way, someone should tell these guys about Suarez. He'd make a fine addition to their show!

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-12-2018 at 01:23 PM. Reason: add link
  #48  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:20 PM
senoy senoy is offline
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Here's an easy way to know if something is racist. I call it the "Tyron Woodley Test" (For those who don't know, Tyron Woodley is a UFC fighter and welterweight champion. He is also black and interestingly enough for these purposes, from Ferguson, MO.) The "Tyron Woodley Test" is a very simple test. Think of the thing that you want to say or do (or in this case advocate for.) Then think... Hmmm... if I were in a ring with Tyron Woodley, would I show this to him and say how it's not racist, knowing full well that this very muscular and skilled black man could punch my face into hamburger? If your answer is "No, I would not," then it's a pretty good bet that it's racist. If your answer is, "I'm just not sure." then imagine that your face is a bloody pile of hamburger and ask the question again, chances are it's racist.

So then, applying the Tyron Woodley test to this cartoon. Imagine yourself in a ring and Tyron Woodley is standing there in a fighting stance and you have this cartoon in your pocket and you pull it out and show it to Mr. Woodley. Do you then say, "This cartoon isn't racist at all. People need to relax." or do you say "This cartoon is freaking racist. Guy should be ashamed." You make the decision, but I'm pretty sure which one I'd pick.

In an effort to make this decision easier, I direct you to the following, especially the 43 second mark and 1:45: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9fG_cZK4us

Last edited by senoy; 09-12-2018 at 01:23 PM.
  #49  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:27 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Yes, it most certainly is caricature.
Someone asked how to caricature a black woman without being racist. An example of the same woman was provided. So you claim it isn't caricature. Is your porridge sweet enough?

No, I did nothing of the kind. Caricature is subjective, and I still say unequivocally, that is NOT caricature. I did not alter my definition of what I think caricature is so I can "win" an argument. But thanks for making that assumption about me, whom you've never met and know nothing about.
  #50  
Old 09-12-2018, 01:31 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senoy View Post
Here's an easy way to know if something is racist. I call it the "Tyron Woodley Test" (For those who don't know, Tyron Woodley is a UFC fighter and welterweight champion. He is also black and interestingly enough for these purposes, from Ferguson, MO.) The "Tyron Woodley Test" is a very simple test. Think of the thing that you want to say or do (or in this case advocate for.) Then think... Hmmm... if I were in a ring with Tyron Woodley, would I show this to him and say how it's not racist, knowing full well that this very muscular and skilled black man could punch my face into hamburger? If your answer is "No, I would not," then it's a pretty good bet that it's racist. If your answer is, "I'm just not sure." then imagine that your face is a bloody pile of hamburger and ask the question again, chances are it's racist.

So then, applying the Tyron Woodley test to this cartoon. Imagine yourself in a ring and Tyron Woodley is standing there in a fighting stance and you have this cartoon in your pocket and you pull it out and show it to Mr. Woodley. Do you then say, "This cartoon isn't racist at all. People need to relax." or do you say "This cartoon is freaking racist. Guy should be ashamed." You make the decision, but I'm pretty sure which one I'd pick.

In an effort to make this decision easier, I direct you to the following, especially the 43 second mark and 1:45: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9fG_cZK4us
Is this satire? Because otherwise, it's ridiculous and pointless. I'd say anything Woodley wanted to hear in that situation. Do I really have to point this out?
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