Bearman Cartoon: Aussies and Racism

1 9 10 Bearman Cartoon Australia BlackFace KKK

Now my Australian readership (which is about half the visitors on this site) might take offense to my latest editorial cartoon, but remember I poke fun at Americans all the time.

It seems that when some guys did a blackface version of the Jackson 5 on an Australian Gong Show and guest judge Harry Connick Jr found it offensive, some (not ALL…some) Australians responded that blackface isn’t offensive like it is in the United States.

Then when KFC put out an ad where a white guy gets a bunch of black folks to sit down so he could watch the game by pulling out a bucket of chicken, some Australians responded that Americans took it wrong and it isn’t offensive like it is in the United States.

Now it seems that an Indian cartoonist got upset that Victoria police were slow to indicate that the murder of an Indian student in his belief was a race crime.  So he published a cartoon in the Delhi Mail Today of a Victorian Police officer in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.  Now the Acting Prime Minister of Australia has come out and said that the cartoon was offensive.  Really??  The KKK as I understand is strictly an American racist organization so clearly it can’t be offensive like it is in the United States.

Thanks to the Daily Cartoonist for turning me onto this story.

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  1. frigginloon says:

    Blahahahaha Bearman …that friggin deputy Prime Minister Gillard had to come out and say it. No one cares :). Everybody is so precious these day. Lets be grateful they are taking their “whatever” out in print and not with a friggin AK47. No worries mate, grab ya self a tinny and watch the sharks attack the slow moving tourists 🙂

  2. frigginloon says:

    Gosh, for a minute when I saw the cartoon I thought it was a Bearman Condom 🙂 I think it’s eye just winked.

  3. Danica says:

    [rant] Hm. I forgot the Blackface incident even happened… ‘Cause it’s not even viewed a racist act in Australia. Just ’cause an American was a guest judge, and HE got offended (he’s not even black, btw), suddenly we’re a racist country?

    And then the KFC ad. Pfft. I never got to see the ad on TV. I had to find it on YouTube. The uploader wrote in the description that it got taken down because the guy commented on being in “an awkward crowd of black people”. His words were actually “awkward situation” and what was awkward about it was not the crowd he was in, but that what they were doing was stopping him from watching the cricket match. Aussies love cricket (I don’t :P).

    Do Americans even know what cricket is? Just ’cause they had the KKK, why is everything that everyone else does suddenly a racist act? Why can’t you bloody Americans just LEAVE US BE! [/rant]

    • The point was the first two examples which people in America find offensive but those in Australia don’t as you said are no big deal. My point is why then is a truly American racist org like the KKK suddenly offensive to the Australian government when it is used to poke fun at the police in an obviously racially charged case.

      Either it all is or none of it is.

      • Danica says:

        I think it was the fact that our own police forces were being compared to the KKK because they hadn’t come to a conclusion about why an Indian man had been stabbed. The Indians in India claimed that the Victorian police were being racist in saying that the man was stabbed BECAUSE he was Indian, when in fact, they didn’t know. (does that make sense?)


  5. The competing monologues on this post might be interesting?

  6. Bo Lumpkin says:

    Is it racist to assume that someone else is racist? Y’all are scarin’ me with all this racist news. It is getting kind of scary wondering how people are going to take some stuff. I just want to say that I have some upcoming comics with a Confederate soldier but there ain’t nuthin’racist about it.

    • I think anyone especially in America isn’t born racist, sexist, etc etc. It is learned. You are born in raised in the US and your are going to have some -ist tendencies. The question is do you realize it and seek to improve yourself or do you just use certain situations to reinforce your views.

  7. George says:

    Well, speaking as guy who’s rumored to be Black, I find myself attuned to racial sensitivity. From an African-AMERICAN point of view, that KFC ad should have gotten canned before it left the pitch meeting, but foreign countries truly don’t view racist stereotypes with the same stigma. I understand that, but a company with an origination in Kentucky (a U.S. state, I’ve heard), assumed that it would be okay because Americans weren’t the intended audience for the commercial.

    I think that most stereotypes or racial slurs are regional. There are probably some innocent things I can say on my part that may piss off someone from another country who has a completely different set of slang, colloquialisms, and stereotypes.

    Even in my comic, if Hank was Mexican, Black, Chines, or what have you, I would probably catch so much flack for the way he behaves. I would get mail daily detailing that I’m perpetuating a negative stereotype of whatever race I could have made Hank. That’s why Hank is your average, identifiable, Anglo kid. Nobody thinks about the color of his skin when he does the stupid, silly, insensitive things that he does. I can concentrate on the inside of the character and not the exterior shell.

    But stay tuned, I have an interesting (to me, anyway) mini-story dealing with race relationships starting on January 18th. 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      imagine!! such an intelligent comment fromthe creator of Hank, damn..

    • As a cartoonist, I purposefully try to have multicultural characters in my cartoons. That being said, I have to be careful when I use them because the meaning of the cartoon can change in some peoples mind given the look of who might be saying what.

      • George says:

        I have several characters of diverse nationalities too, and I find it interesting that I have to pick and choose which ones I’m gonna use depending on what the joke is. I don’t want to offend someone, so I have to be careful how the character is being ridiculed. It must be due to personality or situation and not the fact that he or she is of a certain nationality. Racial sensitivity is not as simple as it appears.

        • jammer5 says:

          Since I have no figures of any nationality, might I ask the question then, Can badly drawn stick figures be any nationality, or is two dimensional the limiting factor? Flat screeners want to know.

      • frigginloon says:

        Yep Bearman, because that policeman looks decidedly brown 🙂

    • jynksie says:

      OH-MY-GAWD!!! ….George is, is BLACK?!? o.O …all this time I thought he was simply the color of funny!!! *grin*

      Putting funny aside, I so agree with what George is saying here, when his comic began, I wondered why he went with a white character… yes, I did wonder. However, as I got to know his writing style and saw the kind of character he wanted Hank to be, I realized had he done Hank as anything else, sadly, the humor would have been lost to people crawling up his arse with stereotypical rants! Which to me, is sad, because the humor Isn’t about Hanks genetic color/ethnic code, but simply Hank!! I’d be loving this comic regardless of his choice.

  8. Midtoon says:

    I am grateful I was born and raised in a place where race was basicaly unimportant and racism was at best something you read about or watched on TV and at worst, an antiquated attitude your grandmother had whenever you dated a girl whose skin was a shade or two darker than yours. Of course, if that had been my case, and I am not saying it was, such girls did not even get offended by the antiquated attitude and actually laughed it off as “old people’s” idiosyncracies…

    Now, age discrimination was an entire different story, but that is not the topic of this thread.

    • George says:

      That’s what I find interesting about living in California now. We have a little bit of everything out here. I find myself trying not to stare, but in Virginia the majority of our community was composed of only blacks or whites. The majority of the Hispanics I knew were employed in the migrant worker industry that supplied our considerable farming operations. It was like everyone operated according to the stereotypes: People of Asian and Indian descent were our doctors and health professionals. The African-Americans and Caucasians ranged from the standard gangstas, Uncle Toms, yuppies, rednecks, and trailer trash. There was medium ground, but I’m just describing the extremes.

      Now that I’m out here in SoCal, I see all types of races and there’s more racial sensitivity. My stepdaughter had a white boyfriend for a minute and no one batted an eyelash. If she was in VA, it would have been tolerated in public, but frowned upon in closed circles. I don’t know if times have changed, but region plays a large role in acceptance of certain issues.

    • Bearman says:

      The neighborhood I grew up in was 40% Black and 40% Jewish. The real culture shock to me was going to college and there being less than 3% of each.

      Growing up most of my -isms had to do with lifestyle. Druggiess, How you wore your clothes (and not that you got them at Zayres and Value City b/c we did too but that you wore your pants on your knees or bought them in a size you shouldn’t have worn when you were twelve.)etc etc.

  9. i don’t care for racists.

    or Indians.

  10. Lynn says:

    oh sure, sit over here all nice and calm when you are wreaking havoc on MY BLOG! it’s all about Bearman over there. geez, get a tv spot already!!

  11. G says:

    Some very interesting commenst being left here. Not sure if I can come up with something that would fit in this current debate.

  12. yorksnbeans says:

    Man….I got to this party a bit late!

  13. David says:

    B, you just compared yourself to Heidi Fleiss… is there something you’re not telling us? Hollywood Madam?

    Man, I didn’t even hear about the black face incident. I need to pay more attention.

  14. Dan Long says:

    I look forward to the day when people stop being offended by things. Really, I almost don’t even understand what “being offended” means. So somebody says something you disagree with. Then think “I disagree with that”and move on with your life. I don’t get what all the outrage is about.

  15. frigginloon says:

    WTF I used a Bearman condom now i am pregnant …..where’s my lawyers 🙂

  16. Kunal says:

    lollllll….this had me in spits of laughter..

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