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« By any means necessary | Main | Crime and punishment »

Jun 23, 2011


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That's not good.

David Hoggard

If Geof had made one of the characters white, and leaned more towards the King's English, he might have avoided the firestorm that is about to hit.

I'm simply flabbergasted.


I look forward to the ritual denials that the cartoon is racist and inevitable assertions that the real racists are those who find it offensive. It would be farcical, if it were at all funny.


oh. my.


No doubt this week's readership will be larger than last.

greensboro transplant

It seems to be in poor taste to me. But perhaps i'm not a good judge.

I watched the Fox Sunday interview of Jon Stewart and Stewart mimics Herman Cain in a way that i thought was in poor taste. but Stewart was emphatic there were no racial overtones.

Andrew Brod

The corollary of Eric's prediction: conservatives who change the subject to talk about what selected liberals have done.


The cartoon indicates our criminal problems have northern origins?

Andrew Brod

Is that a northern dialect? Or something out of a Jimmy Cagney movie?

Joe Killian

Where'd Amos and Andy reside?


"The corollary of Eric's prediction: conservatives who change the subject to talk about what selected liberals have done."

Ah yes, the strategy of presumptive preemption.

Don't worry, Andykins. This is not the proper time to summarize your failures.

Ed Cone

Brod was not presuming deflection, he was responding to it.

But let's try to stick to reactions to the cartoon itself, please.


"But let's try to stick to reactions to the cartoon itself, please."

Like Andykin's comment?

Sure. I'll be glad to reply to his subsequent comments relating to the cartoon, assuming they're worthy of a reply.


Lets pretend they are Cuban ; it made everything OK before...

::Poli - And we devolve to Bevis and Butthead pontificating without rational argument and, of course, they thin they are the adults.

::Ishmeal - Who let Ricky Ricardo in here?

::Andrew Brod - Good one, Ish. Frog has long had some 'splain' to do.

Account Deleted

Maybe the Klan inserted that in the Rhino without their knowledge.

Andrew Brod

Yeah, I apologize. I'm the problem here.


Race aside, the idea that anyone would rather be in jail than on house arrest is pretty bone-headed.


They recently tried to get the Wife to advertise. I cautioned against it, lest this kind of thing occur. I understand they're having financial problems. This won't make them any better.

greensboro transplant

i'm not trying to deflect. i just get sick and tired of the double standards and the selective outrage.

Ed and the usual suspects go into overdrive when giffords is shot talking about the culture that led to the shooting. the imagery. the hyperbole. as it turns out, the shooter was not influenced by sarah palin, the tea party, or limbaugh. the guy is just nuts.

since then, there have been a couple of cases where prominent liberals urge violence against conservatives. no imagery. just a good ole "wouldn't it be nice if..."

and from ed and the usual suspects? - that's right silence.

i'm not arguing that two wrongs make a right. just have the decency to condemn it wherever you see it.


And so the point of the cartoon is that if a person has three squares and a TV they are considered lucky, even if they have no freedom.
I suppose Madoff figures he is ensconced in velvet.

Account Deleted

GT: I'm having a hard time understanding the connection between the Gifford's shooting, left-wing pundits and this Rhino cartoon.

Talking about situations is not "outrage" it is conversation.

But since you bring it up, can you point to a time where a left-wing pundit's hyperbole led to a prominent conservative being shot in the head at close range?

Also, can you point to an instance where a left-wing pundit or "prominent liberal" urged violence against conservatives and was not called to account and punished?

John Hayes

Jeff, can you point to a time where a right-wing pundit's hyperbole led to a prominent liberal being shot in the head at close range? I mean, you sure as hell tried to once and basically shit your pants that every conservative in Greensboro didn't follow you in your hand-wringing self-conversation and reassessment of their core beliefs because of the acts of some random nut.


Stop making sense, GT. It's not permitted here.

Ed Cone

Anyone have thoughts about the cartoon in today's Rhino?


Is the point we built a jail we can't afford to run?

Billy Jones

Hammer's just trying to sell more advertising by upping circulation. He's harped about that jail for years but it's common knowledge that the old jail was too small and Guilford County would soon be forced by the Feds to build a new jail if it wasn't done soon.

The outrage will move up the numbers of his already artificial circulation numbers.

But you know, they do have Northern accents.


Well, I was hoping it wasn't going to be overcrowded before it even opened. ...old time there are not forgotten.

David Wharton

"Anyone have thoughts about the cartoon in today's Rhino?"

Why would the cartoonist choose to portray the convicts speaking in a phony, minstrel-show dialect? (African-American English doesn't inflect 3rd-person plural verbs with "-s" as the cartoon does in "builds" and "pays.) Is he making a real attempt to represent black speech, but is too ignorant to do so? Or is he being intentionally provocative by evoking a form of entertainment that is particularly demeaning to black people? And why choose to portray both convicts as African-Americans?

In any case, I have a hard time seeing the cartoon as anything but a deliberate racial provocation -- one that I find both disgusting and depressing.

David Hoggard

@Kim - Look away... look away... look away...


Racial elements aside, I think the dialect is trying to mimic the Sopranos.


Thought at first, why did whoever make both black?

Could they have seen the image and message
and not known how it would be recieved?

If they didn't think of how it would be recieved...?

Then, if they are both black,
and the reference to poverty and dialect,
how could it not been intentional?

If it wasn't intentional,
they may have believed it wouldn't be offensive.

If they didn't think it was offensive...?

Jim Langer

As a sometime cartoonist, I can say, whoever did this, knew the effect it might have. John Hammer is an intelligent man, he should have known, too. If he asked the artist and the artist lied, then more's the pity. (latter phrase dates to at least Jacobian England)


I know nothing about Greensboro's jail, but the cartoon is patently offensive. If the cartoonist was trying to make a point about a jail's cost, or the amenities provided to prisoners, why did he use protagonists of color speaking minstrel dialect?

The use of racist elements in the cartoon is either deliberate or something done out of ignorance. However, in this day and age, I cannot accept that anyone could be blind to the offensive nature of the cartoon unless they are operating out of feigned, and deliberate, state of ignorance. People used to argue that segregation, or even lynchings, weren't racist, too.

None of this will make any difference to conservatvies, who imagine that racism no longer exists and whose criminals spend time in jails with tennis courts while their funds bubble in the Caymans.


It seems to me that if there were abuse being experienced by a particular group that goes unnoticed unless political advantage can be gained, then taking advantage of the political knee-jerk accusations of those who see the world through a race-first-plight-second perspective to draw attention to that distress might be construed as something quite benevolent.

I have wondered in the past, if I were were forced into an unproductive capacity by my own actions (found guilty of a crime and sentenced), given the choice, would I choose prison and not be a burden to my family or would I choose house arrest and be a burden to my family? I'd likely choose the latter.

Shifting the portion of the cost of building prisons via house arrest to families already burdened with poor decisions and in all likelihood poverty may not the best choice for some communities.



I meant to say I would choose prison, the former.

Andrew Brod

Thank you for your illustration of the concept of missing the point.


Why are they nieghbors,
and 100 numbers apart?

What are they trying to say
about the rest of their community?

Why are they nieghbors?


"None of this will make any difference to conservatvies, who imagine that racism no longer exists and whose criminals spend time in jails with tennis courts while their funds bubble in the Caymans."

Trust corbs, the leftist class warrior par excellence, to share the view through his always jaundiced eye.


Are there more than 10,201 incarcerated African Americans
in Guilford County Jails?

What is the estimated savings to Guilford County
from the new program?

What are the reduced incarceration costs?

Did we need a $100 new jail
if they new this was coming?

Did the Rhino staff correctly anticipate
the black community's reaction?

What did John expect to hear
from DBS, JK and Skip?

Or did he expect to hear nothing?

Great Aunt Gene and Uncle Bearl's forearms.


Could this not be a white person's way
of rationalizing/minimizing systematic racism?

Robin Hartzman

David Hoggard

I'm guessing that poli gets the point, Andrew, he just chooses not to address it.

I've counted John H.and, to a lesser extent Geof - the cartoonist - as friends for several years (my company was in the basement of the Rhino, among other interactions over the years )and this thing just doesn't make sense to me.

I can assure you that John is no racist, so it truly puzzles me no end how this got created and printed. I can only believe that... well I truly don't know what to believe.

I know Willie is no longer with the the Rhino and that things are likely more hectic down there than they might normally be. Perhaps John just neglected to pay attention to Geof's weekly submission late on Wednesday night after it got inserted into the copy. the place can be crazy on Wednesday nights.

Forgive me, but I've just got to give my friend the benefit of the doubt. But irrespective of all that, John knows he is ultimately responsible for what appears in his pages.

David Hoggard

George... please spare us.

Ian McDowell

Hammer is claiming it was a coloring error:


Looking at it in black and white, I guess they could be white Jersey mobsters, and the dialogue could be a poor attempt at either "Darky" or Goombah.

Ian McDowell

At the very least, it's further evidence that Brooks is a dreadful cartoonist.

Senor Sabeletodo

I'm loving it that Hammer has stepped into some shite, but I'm thinking it was truly done inadvertently. Evil McDevil IMed me to see if I had seen the cartoon yet. I was out of the loop, so I wnt to the Whino website. The cartoon is in B&W (at least when I saw it). I read the dialog as badly rendered NY Eye-talian goombah dialect. But i think if I had seen the darker complected version first I would have read it different way. Face it Brooks is a god-awful cartoonist anyway. Mebbe he'll get replaced by someone who has a passing acquaintance with humor. And drawing.

Anyhoo, here's Hammer's 'splaining it: http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Articles-c-2011-06-23-208766.112113-Untitled.html>



Most "New York" cartoon gangsters wear hats
and don't look like that?

David Hoggard

Thanks for the link, Ian. John's explanation is quite plausible and what I was hoping for. Others here have opined that the dialect was far from what used to be called "Ebonics". Reading it now, it all makes sense where it didn't before.

Now... where is the outrage for the New York mobsters who were so savagely stereotyped?


"He said he drew the characters as New York mobsters."

Why would New York mobsters be under arrest and at home,
living in close proximity,
with black hair cuts?

How many New York mobsters
are stereotypically wearing orange jumpsuits?

Not my image of Al Pacino...

The only guy I recall wearing a prison uniform in "The Godfather"
killed himself after he was told to by the lawyer.

Why would New York mobsters
complain about not getting "three squares and cable"?

Why would New York mobsters
complain about being under house arrest
so the "Man" can pay for a new jail?

John Hayes

Now does everybody understand why they're supposed to be shocked and offended?. Greensboro is a better place today for your outrage. Let the healing begin anew. Of course we'll have to wait out that firestorm that's about to hit first.


"NY Eye-talian goombah"

Patently racist and offensive.

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