A 20 year old Chicago college history major is the source for the Obama Joker image that has been slammed as racist by commentators like Philip Kennicott of The Washington Post.
Forget socialism, this poster is another attempt to accomplish an association between Obama and the unpredictable, seeming danger of urban life. It is another effort to establish what failed to jell in the debate about Obama's association with Chicago radical William Ayers and the controversy over the racially charged sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time. The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black.
Fortunately for the collegian, he is not just any old 20 year old history major. The Obama Joker image creator turns out to be Firas Alkhateeb, of Palestinian extraction, a Dennis Kucinich supporter. Oops! Hard to find racism there.
Even so the young Photoshop artist had a healthy fear of liberal dissent crushers. Mark Milian of the LA Times reports:
[Alkhateeb] initially had concerns about ...
... connecting his name with anything critical of the president -- especially living in Chicago, where people are "very, very liberal," he said.
"After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ," Alkhateeb said. "From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him."
Alkhateeb was not only fearful of his “very, very liberal” neighbors but even “hesitant” to talk to the LA Times.
With articles like Kennicott’s, I wonder why.
Imagine what would have happened to him in the LA Times interview had he not been Palestinian connected and a Kucinich supporter. Or what his current and future life prospects would be. Another Joe the Plumber to be forever pilloried by the press and pundits.
Whew! Saved by even bigger political correctness than Obama’s.