There are two issues here: the first is the continued perversity of Ted Rall, but that’s nothing new. The second is a call for consistency on the part of the mainstream civil rights and other African-American advocacy organizations, to wit:
- Because of the racially-insensitive content of a recent cartoon, members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 are asking Universal Press Syndicate to cease the distribution of comics drawn by Ted Rall. Project 21 also is challenging several other civil rights-oriented groups to join in the demand.
A July  comic by Rall suggests “appropriate punishments for deposed Bushists” that parodies alleged treatment of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison. The panel featuring Bush Administration national security advisor Condoleezza Rice has her saying “I was Bush’s beard! His house nigga. His…” She is interrupted by a character wearing a shirt reading “You’re not white, stupid” who says, “Now hand over your hair straightener.”
“Is it OK for Ted Rall to use such vile language because he’s using it against a black conservative?” asks Project 21 member Michael King. “I’m beside myself with anger over this comic.”
Project 21 is asking Universal Press Syndicate, the distributor of Rall’s comics, to immediately terminate their relationship with him. Project 21 is also asking the NAACP, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to make similar demands based on their past involvement in pressuring ESPN to fire radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in 2003.
Last year, in his capacity as a football commentator for ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” Limbaugh criticized the performance of Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback Donovan McNabb, saying, “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” Afterwards, NAACP president and CEO Kweisi Mfume called Limbaugh’s comments “bigoted and arrogant” and called for his removal. The NABJ demanded ESPN “separate itself” from Limbaugh. Rainbow/PUSH Coalition president Jesse Jackson called the remarks “not accurate and… insulting.” Limbaugh later resigned.
“From radical poet Amiri Baraka to singer Harry Belafonte and now cartoonist Ted Rall, too many people feel they have free rein to insult the dignity of Condoleezza Rice and have no problem injecting race into that abuse,” adds King. “It’s time for the civil rights establishment to stop allowing this assault on an accomplished black woman or they put their credibility at risk.”
I have to agree, or is it all okay because she happens to be a Republican, and somehow this political divide with the African-American political orthodoxy leaves her fair game for whatever racially-oriented slur that comes her way? And is straightening one’s hair now some kind of racial offense?
I don’t much care about the call for Rall’s ouster – his idiocy serves to bring attention to the more absurd positions of some of the far left – but surely there should be an outcry and a call for an apology from the very organizations that would shriek loudest were Rice a liberal Democrat.
Laurence Simon REALLY hates Rall.