- The Washington Times - Friday, November 19, 2004

In modern memory, there are few prominent figures in American government who have been relentessly caricatured in a more vulgar way than Condoleezza Rice. Apparently, when it comes to President Bush’s national security adviser — a conservative who would become the first black female secretary of state if confirmed by the Senate — no racist stereotype is out of bounds for such syndicated cartoonists as Garry Trudeau, Pat Oliphant or Jeff Danziger.

Mr. Trudeau published a cartoon that showed Mr. Bush referring to Miss Rice as “Brown Sugar.” Mr. Oliphant published two cartoons this week depicting Miss Rice as a parrot with extremely large lips. In July, Ted Rall (whose comic strip was dropped by The Washington Post earlier this month), ran a cartoon depicting Miss Rice boasting about her role as “Bush’s Beard” and his “House N–. Another character demands that she “hand over your hair straightener,” and Mr. Rall adds that Miss Rice is being sent to an “inner-city racial re-education camp.”

Last month, Mr. Danziger, whose work is syndicated by the New York Times, drew Miss Rice as a barefoot woman sitting in a rocking chair holding a baby bottle. In one Danziger cartoon, she is depicted as the mindless Prissy in “Gone With The Wind.”

What is particularly disturbing is the length to which some liberals are willing to go in order to defend the use of such crude, condescending racial stereotypes when the target is a political conservative. Yesterday, when we asked Richard Prince of the National Association of Black Journalists about his views of the cartoons, he referred us to an Oct. 25 column he wrote, in which he appears to minimize the ugly nature of the Danziger cartoon. Although Mr. Prince quotes Mr. Danziger as acknowledging that the cartoon was “stupid,” the overall thrust of his column was that conservatives are making a mountain out of a molehill because: 1) the cartoon appears in less than 50 newspapers; and 2) the Iraq war is becoming another Vietnam, anyway, so administration spokesmen presumably have rude treatment coming. And, as Mr. Danziger indelicately put it to Mr. Prince in explaining his use of racist stereotying of Miss Rice: “Whenever this administration is in trouble they send out Condi Rice because the press, which is mostly white and male, gives her far easier treatment than it would a white male.”

As the savaging of Miss Rice shows, the political left has no reluctance whatsoever in going after black conservatives when it deems this necessary to put them in their political place.

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