News & Politics

Was Staten Island Pol’s Cartoon Racist? You Be The Judge!


Artist’s rendering.

It’s too bad no one is letting us see the allegedly racist email cartoon that Salvatore Ballarino, a member of Staten Island’s Community Education Council appointed by borough president James Molinaro, is reported to have forwarded to colleagues. True, the comic strip sounds bad — the Staten Island Advance says it “features cartoon-like speech balloons drawn out of [John] McCain’s mouth referencing lynching African Americans and equating African American babies with excrement.” Also, this strips “questions black fathers’ ability to support their families and states Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are always smiling, because they did not know they were black. After each ‘punch line’ the cartoon-like strip shows a photo of Obama’s face, positioned in such a way to make him look stunned and dumbstruck.” Ballarino denies imputations of racism, saying he has black friends and that “what was funny about [the strip] was the look on Obama’s face, like he didn’t even know what he was talking about.” The NAACP is not going for it.

To help our readers visualize the offending cartoon, we have supplied an artist’s rendering based on the Advance‘s description. You be the judge!



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