ERIC Number: EJ1045146
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 46
Drawing Dissent: Postracialist Pedagogy, Racist Literacy, and Racial Plagiarism in Anti-Obama Political Cartoons
Howard, Philip S. S.
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v36 n5 p386-402 2014
From the frequency of the racially motivated and racially justified slayings of black youth to the increased popularity of blatantly derisive racist humor, the enactment of race and racism appears to have become more defiantly overt and unapologetic. Consider the slayings of Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, and Jordan Davis, whose armed white killers, in each case, suggested that they felt threatened by their unarmed black victims; and the recurring incidents of blackface at race- culture themed parties--which in at least one case included a blackface portrayal of Trayvon Martin, complete with blood stained T-shirt. Yet this upswing of racist incidents seems to accompany the rise to prominence of President Barack Obama, whose candidacy and election also paradoxically ushered in postracialist discourse and rhetoric--claims that racism has been transcended and race is no longer relevant (see, e.g., Cho 2008; Ono 2010, 229). In this contradictory context, humor is a popular technology for weaving together these apparently opposing currents, such that racist humor is often justified as ''harmless'' fun. And, not surprisingly, in this critical moment for theorizing race and racism much-justified racial humor has presented itself in the form of political dissent directed at President Obama, around whom the postracialist currents seem to swirl. In this article, Philip Howard argues that postracialist humor is eminently pedagogical, playing a key role in the communication of racial knowledge in the postracialist climate when race is unspeakable. Through a focus on anti-Obama humor and its tropes, Howard examines postracialist humor and its particular features, strategies, and functions in the postracialist climate.
Descriptors: Cartoons, Political Issues, Presidents, Racial Attitudes, Racial Bias, Humor, Satire, Dissent, Social Attitudes, Stereotypes, Sociocultural Patterns, Trend Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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