So I'm taking one last swing around the toobz before I go to bed, and I come across this diary high on the rec list at the Great Orange Satan. It's a story about a guy who's finally had enough from a racist friend and tells him off, because of a picture sent in an email. This is that picture; I found it hosted here.

The original image is here, and the photographer is pissed about it. I can see why. He's a professional photographer from Australia and the photoshopper didn't remove the copyright notice, so the photographer is worried that he'll be labeled as a racist. He notes that he doesn't even pay attention to US politics and has no preferences.

And he has reason to worry, because the photoshopped version is unquestionably racist. Some of the cracks on the message board that linked to the photo were aware of it--and some didn't care:

nmap:I fear I may get into trouble with this one.
JumpinJoe1010:I thought manual labor was below him.
PSM: That's odd. My first job, at age 12, was shinning shoes in a hotel barber shop. I believe Rush Limbaugh's first job was also shinning shoes. Should he and I feel offended?
jamber97: I'm sure you use to eat watermelon and fried chicken as well. You know its a matter of context.
PSM:…or perspective.

Those of us in the American Shoe Shiners Guild see it in an altogether different light. Mainly that most of us never had a good-looking woman, let alone a governor, in our chairs.

As to context, it doesn’t matter to those raised to be “super sensitive” to such things. Besides, as Pete has already pointed out, it’s a political CARTOON!
Sorry PSM--it's not a cartoon, for starters, but even if it were, that wouldn't excuse the racist context. The intent is to place Barack Obama in a position that traditionally is one of servitude, and when you do that with an African-American in the servant's position and a white person in the privileged position, you're going to get this reaction every time. And there's no question about the intent of the photoshopper here, either. There was a deliberate choice to make Obama the servant and Palin the master, a way of saying to the black man that you better know your place.

We'll see a lot of this over the next few years--hopefully, it will stay underground for the most part, because I'd like to think that our society at least recognizes that there's no place for this kind of crap in polite company.

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