Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are These Politically Correct?

How about these?


A.M.Bush said...

I've always liked the way fat albert characters looked, even though their eyes could be better. I think that those characters are fine and non offensive because even thought they are exaggerated drawings of black people the designs look based off of real people instead of just using racial stereotypes.

Manoeuver said...

who cares? It's not like they're current. folks seemed to be fine with them at the time. They were produced without rancor. retroactive outrage seems to me a WOTAR.

Guy said...

I do like how Bill Cosby had to force the artists to make them look like black people.

That story is all you really need to bring up to demonstrate how ridiculous political correctness is.

Anonymous said...

saNo. If only for the reason that the animation is hideous.

Shawn Dickinson said...

That's racist against fat people.

crolyss said...

I certainly hope not!

afro americans have dark skin, anyone have a problem with that?

macumba said...

to start off, i don't know much about fat albert, i never remember it being broadcast here in england.

political correctness could otherwise be identified as white guilt put on the for the benefit of other parties.

looking at the pictures in the post, i don't feel like anybody is being exploited, apart from the viewer. the characters look like slightly exaggerated cartoon puppets of the seventies, painted brown. they look black by suggestion.

but in answer to the question, yes, but there was no notion of political correctness when mr cosby pitched the idea and furthermore they are not the '30's golly al jolson idea of cartoon black people.

although, i might be wrong, other people may find them repelling caricatures.

whatever the intention of the post was, this was just my ten pence in the pot, of the cartoon itself, by watching clips on youtube looked liked normal stilted, tv animation.

and to end, i hope i have grabbed the wrong end of the stick and beaten myself with it.

Kaiser Fate said...

A later misfire was WayneHead.
Thankfully it was cancelled shortly into the first season, but someone thought it was a bright idea to have a show about a bunch of black kids led by one who looked like a goblin, complete with a clubfoot and a freaking massive head.

At least Fat Albert was occasionally funny!

J C Roberts said...

The ability to apply cartoon exaggeration to people of all types is more an act of bravery these days if you don't belong to the group you're representing. Considering the show and it's designs were obviously given Cosby's blessings, it usually gets a pass for that.

The fact that they're not entirely different from some of the Coal Black design elements, shows that it's as much a matter of WHO designed them as how they're designed (and of course, how they're used). Honesty and quality have been on the cutting room floor for decades now.

For me, these are more a matter of anatomically correct. Because most inner city kids have heads that float above their collars.

Xerxes409 said...

I'm not sure on the political correctness front, but that Saturday morning lineup looks like one of the deepest pits in hell.

lastangelman said...

1.)Are you kidding me? I'd love to hear the arguments against these characters.
2.)off subject here, just found this Betty Boopclip, courtesy of Kipp Friedman's Facebook newsfeed, the music in second half of cartoon was a delightful surprise.

ArtF said...

Yes, because Bill Cosby had a hand in creating the characters. Now, if you or me had anything to do with them, they would be incorrect indeed.

Whit said...

The funny thing is that those Fat Albert characters were designed by Don Bluth.

Carmine said...

Hmm, are they politically incorrect? Its hard to say. There seems to be a fine line between racism and taking an interest in another race. Cosby is black himself, so I assume its okay.

On a related topic, John K, sir, if you could, I'd love to hear a little bit on the backstory of the ghost in "Haunted House", who turns into a big black man at the end. I always loved that episode, been rewatching it a lot lately, and I love the ending. But my brother has pointed out that the black guy could be seen by some as an un-pc charicature. I see it as a work of love, recalling the style, feel and tone of the golden age of animation. But those days were racist, and paying homage to those times, or building upon what was done then, could potentially skew the result into an unintentionally racist or insensitive arena, if that makes any sense.

I personally dont think thats the case w/ "Haunted House", but it walks a fine line. It seems like when creating a funny and interesting design outside your own race, you run the risk of being seen as racist, where as it might be more of an act of love, you know. But in the case of "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids", or say "The Boondocks", it seems to not really be an issue, since we know it was made by someone of that race. You know what i'm saying?

Chris said...

This show being born from the comedic stylings of Mr. Bill Cosby, I would have to say, Yes, they are politically correct. Am I right? What did I win?

Brad said...

It's politically incorrect that the cartoon directed at black children took place in a junk yard full of hooligans playing in a junk band. "Black kids are poor right? They like music right? I think I have an Idea!"

Ryan Cole said...

As a person who never really gave a shit about the power of political correctness on the grounds that they only serve to bury the feelings one culture feels about another and will only really be corrected through years of healing and cultural bonding, no.

No I do not think those drawings are politically correct.

Trevor Thompson said...

I thought Mike F. only collected toys from good cartoons.

Robert said...

Just as an aside, I always thought the term "politically correct" was a cynical construction. "Politics" is the business of winning elections.

"Socially correct" would make more sense in these discussions.

"Fat Albert" seemed an odd instance on network TV. In retrospect, I guess Cosby was just wanting to tell stories with the characters he knew from his childhood.

But I'd have to admit that when I was a kid trying to watch "Fat Albert" it didn't make sense.

I didn't know any black people and he never convinced me that these were caricatures from life. I was too far removed from his environment to ever figure out why that one kid was looking thru holes in his cap. I didn't even recognize it as a gag.

I guess we can call these "correct" since they come from someone who knows what he's talking about even if they seem odd. Perhaps that's why the characters sometimes exhibit a complexity that was mostly absent from black characters in previous animation.

I don't know how much of this comes from Cosby or other black artists, however.

I noticed that when he did "The Cosby Show" in the 80's he went to the other end of the spectrum and created a set of the most ordinary, middle-of-the-road, characters one would ever see.

Chris said...

Oh, and anyone that dresses like that last picture and/or doesn't have a problem with those who dress like that but does take offense with any cartoon image of blacks, should really have their head examined.

I see a lot more living, breathing racial stereotypes/caricatures on the streets of my job than in all the Golden Age cartoons combined. So what's worse, cartoons or reality? VIVA BOSKO! =)

Rick Roberts said...

According to society, that last pic is most politically correct and the Fat Albert pictures are in good taste.

Kali Fontecchio said...

How about this?

Lampshade said...

Whit: Wikipedia says that Randy Hollar and Michelle McKinney primarily designed them. I sure as hell can't see Don Bluth doing it.

Patrick McMicheal said...

I don't know about "correct", but they sure as hell are accurate! Maybe they should use a KEN doll and mold him with brown vinyl.
If you have to draw a black guy, you have to think about what makes them unique!
There are common characteristics that you cant ignore....if I draw a giraffe with a long neck, does this mean I "hate" giraffes?

I.D.R.C. said...

We are all paying a price for bad decisions made by people hundreds of years before we were born. The pictures in this post illustrate that legacy.

First we have Bill Cosby trying to address the skewed past by helping to create some the butt-ugliest designs in the history of animation. At least the lips look something black folk's lips, I guess.

Second we see COAL BLACK, an earnest effort at inclusion by a sincere artist, that you can never see again because it has been pulled from circulation and lumped with every stereotype ever deemed too offensive to ever be seen again, even in a historical context.

Third, we see a class of people so excluded from society that they have mutated to prefer yelling to singing, boxers to briefs, and who are tired of their asses getting too hot.

Ryan G. said...

I think you should have to judge the pictures based on the images themselves, without knowledge of whom created them.

They are PC or not PC, regardless who made them.

A.M.Bush said...

I think coal black herself is adorable. I can see someone taking offense to maybe the dwarves or something though.

Those RL guys have only themselves to blame for propagating negative racial stereotypes.

I think as far as blacks in cartoons go, I can see how someone would have a legitimate argument against minstrel show blackface stuff or of africans being portrayed as savages. I think unfortunately a lot of cartoons that are only honest assessments of cultures get banned out of kneejerk reactions from people looking for reasons to get offended.

I think it's a greater offense to black people to think of them as so sensitive and reactionary that we'd have to draw all cartoons of black people with their facial features skewed to look WHITE! omfgwtf

But, I can certainly see how a comic portrayal of a black person that is a remnant of the times of slavery and jim crow laws could be very offensive because they were ignorant symbols made to portray blacks in a derogatory manner.

yogan said...

Here in Mexico people on the media don't care much about political correctness (yet), so for me it's hard to tell if these cartoons are politically correct or not. IMO there's nothing wrong with drawing people in wacky situations... whatever they look like.

Thanks John for dedicating so many posts in this blog, you have plenty of die-hard fans south the border.

A.M.Bush said...

Kali, that video you posted is adorable and I want to marry everyone in it.

and now I leave you with this offensive video.

Geneva said...

I think it's ridiculously offensive to water down any person's caricature by making them as "ideal white" as possible. Look at some modern Cartoon Network type cartoons-- the black characters just look like re-colors of the white characters. What's wrong with this picture?

It's easy to look at Coal Black and call it offensive, but that's a really literal and retrospective, context-remove reading. I think of it as black humor for black people of the time (wasn't it? I don't know for certain but it seems like it's clearly got some "black people should join the military!" propaganda vibes to it, so I assumed it was explicitly for that audience).

I mean, look at Soul Plane. Awful crap, and in 50 years I'm sure people will look at it and call it racist, same with most modern black comedies. The only difference is that Coal Black was made masterfully, with skill and adoration, rather than just "well, we gotta market some crap to black people."

Is it just because it's easier to target a 70 year old cartoon than modern awful media?

Anonymous said...

I have a children's book about a clown named Bozo, and he visits around the world. Just thought I'd like to share this with you, since we're on the subject of politically incorrect material


Sven Hoek said...

Kali, great find! That was an amazing dance clip. I have never seen dancing with that much energy and wild movements. Fantastic.

And I want to bring up one of my favorite movies, Song of the South. Deemed too racist to exist in America, where racism was aged to a stinky perfection.

Song of the south is one of the best things to come out of Disney. It dealt with a slave telling stories to the masters son. But the stories are vieled references to slave life. And the stories are told with cartoons. It's awesome, and the damn thing is banned in the states. They can have a ride at disneyland (Splash Mountain) based on it but you cant see the movie. You can hear all the songs, but you cant see the movie.

'Political Correctness' is just as stupid and pointless as racism. In fact, it's the same damn thing.

Wonderful feeling
Wonderful day.

Mick said...

they are fine... do white people get huffy about the othere seven dwarfs? what about snafu (you know that war training dude)? What about elmer fudd? It's all bollocks and this debate goes to show why I never see black people on greetings cards. If something is done without malice then someone calling it malicious does not make it so.

Everyone should stop walking on egg shells.

Maloni said...

Fat Albert is politically correct, the images below it are not. Never make the lips a lighter color on the skin on a Black character. It's insulting.

Anonymous said...

RE. CBS image, there's something unsettling in that the superheroes & wholesome looking 'clue club' etc are WHITE whereas the goofballs/comic relief are either ANIMALS or BLACK PEOPLE.

When i was a kid i loved fat albert & didn't think twice about it... i remember thinking it was so much more 'real' than the other stuff on sat morning tv at the time (this wasn't the 70s tho, this was re-runs in the early 90s). Much more 'aspirational' than any super-hero cartoon i'd seen... aspirational because they were FUNNY!

If i recall correctly Fat Albert was broadcast in the UK in the same block as the MC Hammer cartoon.


Claire said...

There's a difference between honest attempts to portray INDIVIDUALS, and broad "race" stereotypes. Fact is, there's more genetic variation within a race than there is between different races. But unfortunately, a lot of people have a tendency to look at a person of another race and pretty much see ONLY the traits popularly ascribed to their race, missing out on all the other individualizing details. So a caricature of a black person that doesn't make any observations beyond "big pink lips" is pretty non-politically-correct. Actually, let's call a spade a spade: it's racist. (The term "politically correct" is a big straw man for people who get very angry at having to examine their own prejudices. I've never heard it used un-ironically.) And it also doesn't serve your art very well.

You look at your own race and see "neutral" or "default" human traits. Neutral mouth, neutral eyes, etc. Maybe you can make some distinctions like small chin, large nose, wide-set eyes, whatever. You look at another race and pick out a particular set of prefab "alien" traits. Is a blank smily face "white?" Why?

And Chris, I don't have a problem with people who dress like that, and I don't see how that precludes me having a problem with racist depictions of black people. Do the people who dress like that represent all blacks? Even if they don't, why should a black person be constrained in how they dress simply because there exists a stereotype that may overlap with it? Are they a discredit to their "kind" or something? Can you be such a thing? How? Saying "I don't hate [X ethnic] people, I just hate the ones who are like this " is still pretty crappy.

So, to conclude, I think Coal Black is pretty unmistakably racist, but Fat Albert is at least coming from the right place—someone trying to reflect his own experience—although I think black people would have cause for debate as to whether it's helpful to the community or not. I do, however, think Coal Black should be released. It's racist, but it's a product of its time (and happens to be a really fine cartoon, awkwardly enough). We do have the responsibility now, however, to stop and examine our own prejudices when they pop up. And I think our work will be the richer for it, too.

And by the way, I have never in my entire life seen a real black person who looked like the blackface/sambo stereotype.

Conny Nordlund (Loathsome) said...

There are even crazier characters than that.

People are just too uptight about the whole racism thing. Some people take offense by everything.

SlashHalen said...

I don't really have a problem with any of these pictures (except that last one), but I gotta ask you people. Did anyone here see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? If so, what did you think of the characters Mudflap and Skids? I have to say, those characters were pretty bad.

HemlockMan said...

Oh, John K enjoys opening cans of worms!

All things within context:

Racist crap can come from anywhere. The reason that I think COAL BLACK is a racist cartoon is that it was created in an era of rampant racism. There was nothing around to counteract the idea of black people as idiots, buffoons, pimps, etc. Something like COAL BLACK exacerbated these racist ideas, and was perpetrated by racist whites. Therefore, within the context of its time,yes it was racist. Is it "politically incorrect". That depends on what you think that term means. Most people don't even know where it comes from or to what it refers. (Go do your own research.) But taken within the world in which it was made, when there were pretty much no positive images of black people, yeah...COAL BLACK AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS is some pretty darned politically incorrect racist material.

Is Bill Cosby's cartoon racist? I doubt it. It is an exaggeration of his own childhood. He concocted it to be such. Against the 70s backdrop of lots of positive images of black people (Cosby himself included), it would not come off as overtly racist (or even subliminally racist). In my opinion, of course.

Can black people make something racist about themselves? Sure, they can! Witness BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE with Queen Latifah, or SOUL PLANE with Snoop Dog. Now, that is some racist crap. I cringe at the very thought of that stuff.

Not sure what the photo of the wannabe gangstas means. Maybe you were looking for a line to cross.

akira said...

i'm pretty sure that any cartoon of a black person is racist, unless you're black.

i bet designing the frog princess was a royal pain in the ass with all the political correctness experts that had to approve everything.. even the main character had to get her name changed from "Maddy" to "Tiara" because "Maddy" sounded racist, somehow..

but still can't we get a good copy of "Coal Black" and "Song of the South" on DVD if they pay Whoopie Goldberg to do a disclaimer?

Ben Fried said...


Clearly it's not racist if they build everything out of trash.

Rick Roberts said...

Hemlock Man:

Can you name a DELIBERATELY racist scene in Coal Black ? The only one that counts is the snipe at the Japanese.

Correct me if I am wrong but racism is suppose to be how one race feels another is inferior. Sterotypes, in good humor, really don't count as racism becauce it's an essential part of characiture. I honestly think many of black characters in Hollywood films were not racist but they were limited to certain occupations like a shoe shiner or a butler.

Rick Roberts said...

BTW, I must comment that is a rather laborious and tired subject. I just wish the "PC" fanatics would just stop and think that the only beauty in this world is variety. If we all looked and acted the same, there would be no reason to live.

Bob said...

i'm guessing ur looking forward to that new disney movie coming out

David Germain said...

Yeah, I feel like chiming in here.

Yes, indeed, political correctness is a disease that seems to be harder to cure than cancer.

Something that too many people fail to realize is that great art is SUPPOSED to stir your emotions. Whether the feelings stirred up are positive or negative is up to the person experiencing the art (be it visual or audible or both). If a large amount of people are upset by some art work, that means it's working. Whether it was the artist's intent to upset people or not, it's a preferred response than simply walking away in apathy.

That being said, I created something that was indeed intended NOT to be politically correct. Actually, they're specifiaclly designed to attack and slander all the types of people that impose censorship all the time. I'm talking of course about my Censor Monkeys. Here's comic I drew up inwhich all 10 of them participate.
In fact, someone found one of my monkeys so politically incorrect that he literally wanted to find me and kill me. (Guess which one).

Enjoy! B)

ther1 said...

On grounds of racial caricature, black people are one up on Jews-at least blacks don't care if they look like walking caricatures.

For some reason we Jews get extremely angry at people who happen to fit into stereotypes of us (or defensive in the case of the Orthodox). Madoff was a cheating, money-grubbing bastard, so Eli Wiesel said something about forcing him to look at the faces of his victims for all eternity.

If Mickey Katz or Milt Gross tried their acts today Wiesel would probably get mad at them too. We've never been a politically correct race.

Guy said...

Claire: So a caricature of a black person that doesn't make any observations beyond "big pink lips" is pretty non-politically-correct. Actually, let's call a spade a spade: it's racist.

Really? Drawing a caricature that includes only obvious traits means the artist hates them? (By the way, link to a cartoon drawing of a black person you feel is not racist please.) If someone talks about pizza in regards to Italians that means he hates Italians? Is Team Fortress 2's Heavy racist?

I can't see any difference between the dwarves and Elmer Fudd, who's hardly a very individual design. But I'm sure you'll be willing to inform me on how that's just because of my prejudices and yadda yadda.

The term "politically correct" is a big straw man for people who get very angry at having to examine their own prejudices. I've never heard it used un-ironically.

The people who desire political correctness don't need to use the term for it to exist. Do racists call themselves racist?

Hemlockman: The reason that I think COAL BLACK is a racist cartoon is that it was created in an era of rampant racism.

So it was racist because other things were racist. Amazing.

I have to get away from you, or I'll become stupid.

John A said...

By the looks of that Saturday Morning TV ad, Tragedy and September the Eleventh have a long history.

I.D.R.C. said...

I honestly think many of black characters in Hollywood films were not racist but they were limited to certain occupations like a shoe shiner or a butler.

That is funny.

Some people need to understand that "political correctness" and charges of racism are more than just somebody getting upset about how a group was portrayed. Those who have never been habitually excluded can be a little challenged when it comes to understanding the ramifications and mechanisms of such exclusion, or in appreciating the necessity of measures of redress.

Those who have never been involved in racism have a hard time understanding why they should be inconvenienced by political correctness.

Sorry about your luck, That's just how it is, and you are blaming the wrong people for your inconvenience. Blame the racists who made certain that we all need remedial training just to talk to each other.

Rick Roberts said...


Sorry let me rephrase that. What I meant to say is usually when a black person was in a film, the only roles he could play were shoeshiners or butlers.

I.D.R.C. said...

Sorry let me rephrase that...

The part I think is funny is that you wouldn't characterize that as racist.

Movies are a reflection of society, I'll grant you that, but in what kind of society can one only be a shoe-shiner or a butler?

Within that context they might have had a wisecrack or some such. so old movies were certainly not racist on every conceivable level, just on nearly every conceivable level.

bug said...

black people nanananana white people dadadadadda

Carmine said...

To Claire:

Well Put! I agree w/ everything you said.

Geneva said...

I think IDRC has a really good point, truthfully.

Trevor Thompson said...

It's kind of hard to determine when all of these pictured where in place before there ever was such an indignity as PC.

The problem with Political Correctness is that it caters to the lowest common denominator. If there's ten people in a room and one of them is offended by any given thing, it's politically correct to cater to him.

Why this is a problem is because what invariably ends up happening is that the other nine people in that room now have to curb their speech and ideals just so this one idiot doesn't get offended.

When you cater to the lowest common denominator, before long everyone becomes the lowest common denominator.

I also have it on good authority that Seth MacFarlane has been aware of this from day one and it is the sole explanation for his success.

- trevor.

Rick Roberts said...


Yes Hollywood's portrayal of blacks were generally ignorant, that is indisputable. However I have always felt that racism is not only ignorance, it's malice and I have never seen much of it those old films.

This is why I also feel the only racist joke in Coal Black was when that bus load of assassins had their price list for targets and the last option was "Japs Free". That is pure malice and can understandably be not taken as humor by someone of Japanese descent.

celiabee said...

I like what Pete Emslie has to say about "cartooning" african characters.


Having been an animator on show "Little Bill", it was amazing how sterile the design had gone since the colorful (no pun intended) days of "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids". I cherished Fat Albert as a child, and his "cartoony" look was part of the appeal.

Racist? No Way!

As for Coal Black: not-so-subtle bigotry from a bygone era. The short reflects the opinions of its day. Great drawings, though.


JohnK said...

the only difference I can see between the 2 cartoons is the quality.

They are both made by white people, the first by white people who don't care about their work, the second by white people who do and who love black music and culture.

They are both voiced by blacks.

I.D.R.C. said...

I have always felt that racism is not only ignorance, it's malice and I have never seen much of it those old films.

I think you need to broaden your definition. Racism is whatever system keeps one race down and favors another --wherever you find it and however it works. Malice is just the extreme that gets people killed.

Ebbe said...

When white guys address political correctness like this it's almost always racist.

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Peter Bernard said...

Oh man, the other day I saw my first GIRL dressed like that, with her pants pulled down so we could see her boxer shorts. To quote Obama, "Brothers need to pull up their pants!"

Trevor Thompson said...

It's discomforting to me when I tell people about Coal Black because suddenly their opinion changes.

It's exactly the same cartoon it was before, but now that they've been privy to the history suddenly everything's different. The exact same cartoon is now enjoyable because of a few little behind-the-scenes facts.


Rick Roberts said...


I guess we will have to agree to disagree about what really is racism. I am tired of talking about this subject anyway because I really don't give a damn about race.

spaz said...

i think Gary Larson was "politically incorrect" for his portrayal of neanderthal; Larson being a cromagnon.

I.D.R.C. said...

I guess we will have to agree to disagree about what really is racism

I think instead you should be willing to learn what it really is.

JohnK said...

Is there a rule book somewhere that says unambiguously what it is?

I.D.R.C. said...


--it's a start.

Rick Roberts said...

IDRC: Like I said, have to agree to disagree.

One last thing, I have never been subjected to racism as you may have been but I genuinely always felt alienated from all walks of life because I am person that has no identity to hold. I was born in a mostly white neighborhood so I couldn't relate to most blacks and I was never taught spanish so I never hung out with any latin kids. My relatives live in Panama so I never established any connections with my background. I was taunted by both races as being "white" because white people are culturally bankrupt. I can pretty much relate to no one.


I wish we would really just stop talking about how we are all different in either extreme of love or hate, it's fun to joke about our differences but anything outside of humor is just ridiculous.

I have a dream, where one day we all hate each other not because of the color our skins, sexual orientation, gender, or religion but by the content of our poor character. I HAVE DREAM TODAY !

Sketch said...

I don't think it's about politically or socially correct. it's about good and bad taste and "good" bad taste. You're probably wondering, "what the heck is "good" bad taste?" Well, As John Waters explained it, "Good" bad taste is when there's wit involved.

Vincent O. Moh said...

Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarves include several characters with obviously "darky"/"blackface" styles, so that would not be politically correct.

Fat Albert, on the other hand, has silly-looking characters who, however, **do not** follow the darky image. So that would be politically correct.

JohnK said...

That's pretty vague.
They look the same to me, except for the quality.

pc said...

There is no source that truly says what racism is. I'll explain why but first here is a fuzzy definition:

Racism is something that only white people can do. To 'undo' horrible racist crimes, we must denounce those crimes, the people who committed them, the people who were complicit, the people who weren't aware of them but should have been, any ideals associated with the racist crimes, any institutions of that time ... basically anything old. (Also anyone who doesn't denounce these things is racist and evil). This isn't so bad since it means people with 'new' ideas that wouldn't have succeeded in the old system now do well.

That is also why there is no standard definition of 'racism'. The dictionary was produced by Dr. Samuel Johnson who lived in a very racist time and was most likely a racist. Even if he wasn't, the dictionary is still racist: logic and reasoning was used by the nazis.

Its good to have a fuzzy definition. The less people are able to think, the more likely they will just accept what I say.

I'm very concerned about the last picture John. They look absolutely ridiculous and because this is a fashion trend, and many people adopt fashion trends, it supports a generalisation that african americans dress stupidly. If a racist person drew a cartoon in the 1930s with a bunch of african americans who didn't understand how to use belts, it would be dismissed as absurd. 'yah, they are not zat stupid', hitler would say, while signing death warrants. This life imitating racist art presents a contradiction that invites the viewer to reflect on the correctness of political correctness! And we absolutely don't want people thinking!

Please remove your post and your entire blog. Also, if you could wear pants that are too big so I could see your underwear, that would be great.

cemenTIMental said...

They look the same to me

OK John stop trolling, it's pretty funny but some of these guys seem to take this stuff seriously...

Aaron said...

if companies would just start producing longer shorts, black people wouldn't have to sag to keep their calves warm. the people have spoken!

GSB said...

isn't it because Bill Cosby is black and Clampett isn't

flimsy, but what would you expect? People aren't going to be rational when it comes to race, or any number of the other "issues" we have today

Maximum Awesome said...

A theory:

Caricatures featuring racial elements are offensive inasmuch as they stress the differences between "nonwhite vs white" more than the differences between "individual nonwhite characters vs other individual nonwhite characters".

Caricature is about exaggeration - taking "ings" and making them "inger" - but a regular caricature makes "Joe the black guy" more "Joe-ish" whereas a racist caricature just makes him "blacker", flattening his individual traits, reducing him to a label.

In answer to the blog's question - I don't know. I'm with Malcolm X: rectifying racial imbalances is up to the aggrieved, not white ol' me, who should just stay out of it.

Haggis McCrablice said...

"I created something that was indeed intended NOT to be politically correct....Here's comic I drew up in which all 10 of [The Censor Monkeys] participate.
In fact, someone found one of my monkeys so politically incorrect that he literally wanted to find me and kill me."

No doubt he was a guilty white liberal, whom we know of course are absolute bastians of tolerance. Why, when they want to kill you it's only because they love you...but if we say anything critical about them we're hateful racist Nazis.

Dave, old boy, one of these paragons of love told me that my house and town should be burned down and my family, friends, and neighbors killed because of my work. This came after an image from my series appeared on a leftist website (without my permission, may I add).
Remember, these are the same sort of people who consider a dictator and brutal killer like Fidel Castro a genius and have no problem with 15-year-old girls propositioning random men for sex on a college campus, but a fairly truthful ink-and-paint depiction of black people by a conservative white man utterly frosts them.

Incidentally, a racist is simply anyone who believes another race or group inferior to his own. I think the left throws around this word far too much, ignorant of its meaning, and won't accept that prejudice doesn't exist in a vaccuum; rather, some groups deserve to be screamed at for not better policing its more loud and unpleasant members.

Adrienne said...

The Fat Albert cartoon is poorly drawn and has little soul.

The Coal Black cartoon is vastly superior, and has a lot of soul.

The photo is just tiresome and irritating.

Can't say I'd want to see a lot of any of them, but if I had to pick one, it'd be the one in the middle.

It's pretty rich for people who aren't particularly affected by racial stereotypes to dictate to others what they ought to be offended by--though I don't think whether or not someone is "offended" is the issue. Coal Black has artistic and cultural value, and as such should get the respect it deserves, and availability to the public--just like plenty of other films from the same era as Coal Black that have recieved wide releases regarless of their racial content. Coal Black suffers from its "racial content" AND being a CARTOON which is a huge stereotype to overcome in itself...

Political correctness is another way for individuals to AVOID having to deeply EVALUATE how they relate to people, things, and ideas morally.

How about just plain integrity and intelligence? Anyone who thinks of themselves as a creator ought to be able to logically stand behind their work and clearly defend its right to exist. If a creator is so soulless that he or she can't create a character more meaningful than its color, why is this person bothering with anything even related to art?

Regarding the photo, ironically, many groups absorb the stereotypes about themselves more thoroughly than anyone else. And there are plenty of people right now who's wealth is coming from prolonging this stupidity.

Vincent O. Moh said...

John K said: "That's pretty vague.
They look the same to me, except for the quality."

To me the Fat Albert characters look like "funny-looking people" who happen to be black.

American darky imagery often has rounded cherry red lips that look almost like tootsie rolls, rarely seen/unnatural/exaggerated skin tones. I have seen examples of American darky imager and several Coal Black characters look like that. This image of Bert Williams in blackface shows the rounded lips and exaggerated black tones seen in darky imagery: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/broadway/stars/images/williams_b_pic2.jpg - this is Bert Williams' actual face: http://www.tridget.com/gambler-bert-williams-sm.jpg

The Fat Albert characters have natural skin colors. Their lips are shaped like human lips, and the lips have the same color as the skin. Aspects of the character designs look cartoony, but the designs don't have the traits seen in American blackface/darky imagery.

If you look at this picture: http://www.authentichistory.com/diversity/african/children/1942_Coal_Black_And_De_Sebben_Dwarfs_Magic_Lantern_Slide.jpg

Coal Black herself does not look blackface/darky and could be used in a modern cartoon. The dwarves have the same style that the Bert Williams blackface has.

JohnK said...

The Fat Albert designs are downright ugly.

No one's lips are the same color as their faces. That's just being cheap.

Guy said...

I like how people ramble on about blackface despite that Coal Black looks nothing like blackface-inspired cartoons, likely not really even believing what they're writing, (brown is an unnatural skin color for black people?) but hey, how else can they justify their ironic prejudices?

They have big lips. The end.

Grape Logic said...

I fail to grasp what John is trying to say with this post.

alaenablancomcd said...

PCism is an ineffectual tool to whitewash (pun intended) racism from the collective consciousness. It doesn't work and frankly it's yellow and cowardly and dishonest. And, no, none of those images are politically correct.

Fat Albert is a bomb ass cartoon with more worthwhile content than their "white" counterparts of the time, namely Hannah-Barbera schlock. Personally, I think Bill Cosby is the shit and he was one of the only guys in kids media at the time telling black kids they could get ahead by being good people, instead of criminals. That's pretty much what it was about. I think whites feel embarrased when they see it because of the characterizations, because the content is nothing to complain about. I also think the character designs are awesome and funny.

Coal Black has to be one of my favorite WB's ever. The images are shocking, which makes them even funnier, but the content lacks the malice of true racism. It is important to remember, like Art Spiegelman said in his introduction to Tijuana Bibles, that cartoons are indescriminately demeaning to everyone. This is what makes them funny. And chile', I howled all the way through this one. All the characters have amazing, individual personality. Racial cartoons are marked by their lack of individual personality, by the dimensionless checklist of stereotypes as a substitute. Coal Black is the opposite. Not only that, but Dorothy Dandrige's sister did her voice, the other voices not done by Mel were done by black actors, and the musicians were black.

Someone else mentioned Song of the South, which is one of my favorite Disney movies, and is also banned in the U.S. Banned unfairly. James Baskett, who not only played Uncle Remus but also voiced one of the best cartoon characters ever, Brer Fox, is an incredible talent and it is an insult to him that this movie is not shown.

Not that anyone asked me, but I'm saying it anyway: we need less PC lipservice bullshit and more black creators getting their creations out there in whatever way they can. Something to chew on: all of those images were either created by black people, or had big black hands all over them; now, we have big white asses butting in and stamping them with the dreaded PC mark of death. Whose racism is this, anyway?