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In a short piece in the “Culture Monster” section of the Los Angeles Times, Christopher Knight decries a satirical depiction of the First Lady based on a 1775 portrait of famed French lover of luxury, Marie Antoinette. The image replaces Marie’s face with Mrs. Obama’s, and the young queen’s puffy-sleeved left arm with a bare muscular black arm – clearly a poke at Mrs. Obama’s penchant for going sleeveless to show off her buffed guns. Her right hand points to a spot on a world globe, and the image caption reads “Choosing the next vacation.”
Obviously a pointed commentary on Michelle Obama’s high-end wardrobe and frequent lavish getaways such as a glitzy Spanish jaunt and her family’s recent $4 million, 17-day trip to Hawaii, right? If you think so, then you’re not getting the pic’s overt racism, according to Christopher Knight, and you’re probably racist yourself for laughing at it, according to the left.
In his article entitled “Racist image of Michelle Obama based on Versailles painting,” Knight begins by claiming that the image is “baldly racist,” though he doesn’t explain how except to state that “the caricature of Obama as a profligate queen relies on the racist stereotype of an ‘uppity Negro.’”
Wrong. The caricature of Mrs. Obama as a profligate queen relies entirely on her documented behavior as one. Knight doesn’t address this issue at all, and he utterly ignores the image’s caption and its obvious accusation of the Obamas’ hypocrisy in wanting to impose income redistribution upon the rest of us while luxuriating in the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of their lifestyles of the rich and famous.
Instead of elaborating on and providing evidence for his charge of racism, Knight adds four paragraphs (45% of the article) about the painter of Marie’s portrait and an artistic process that
laid the groundwork for the later development in France of mass-produced chromolithographs – color images that arguably represent the dawn of modern mass-media. Photography soon followed.
He tries to make this historical aside relevant by drawing this tenuous connection to the satirical Obama image:
Like the Internet today, color printing spread visual knowledge far and wide. But there was a steep downside: It also created an avenue for the broad dissemination of propaganda – some of it disgusting.
The image appeared on the right-wing blog site Gateway Pundit, accompanying an article which had nothing to do with Ms. Obama’s race. It was about the First Lady’s guest appearance on an upcoming episode of the Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly. In the show, to a cast member who mistakenly addresses her as “your excellency,” Obama responds, “I kinda like it.”
Yes, the line was scripted for her and intended to be a light joke. And yet how ironically appropriate. This was Gateway Pundit’s point in posting the pic of Obama as Marie “Let them eat cake” Antoinette.
Knight mentions that a Media Matters article called out Gateway Pundit for the “slur” against Mrs. Obama – except that not even the Media Matters piece mentions anything about racism. Apparently the leftist media need to coordinate better on their agenda.
When is something racist? When – and only when – the left says it is. The left sees everything outside itself through a racist prism, and yet is completely blind to its own racism and obsession with race.
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