Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dry Bones racist?

Is it just me, or is the imagery in the 4th panel of this recent Dry Bones cartoon kind of racist? It seems like a throwback to the way Asians were portrayed in the media for a good part of the 20th century.

It's even more disturbing in the full-color version portrayed here. When I saw it in the paper, it was in black & white and you couldn't see the yellowish cast the author gave to the Chinese faces.

I'll give Yaakov Kirschen the benefit of the doubt in assuming he didn't intend this to be racist, and it's just the best way he could think of to draw Chinese people. He seems somewhat old-school, has been writing his comic strip for some 35 years, and lives in Israel, where he probably interacts with few Asians. He's probably not aware that the image could be interpreted as an insulting stereotype.

But why would the NY Jewish Week print it in their July 11 issue? Surely they have someone on staff over there who vets these things? This was a poor choice on their part.

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