If the White House can be invaded by an intruder, if President Barack Obama can be blamed for everything under the sun, including climate change, there is no reason to expect he would be immune to the imaginative flights of cartoonists, as we’ve seen on the front page of the New Yorker and other publications.
But apparently, the Boston Herald stepped over the line of impropriety with a cartoon drawn by Jerry Holbert, depicting the recent White House invader cavorting in the bathtub while Obama is brushing his teeth. “Have you ever tried the watermelon-flavored toothpaste?” the invader asks.
Wednesday, the editors of the Boston Herald issued an apology. “We sincerely regret if we inadvertently offended anyone,” the editors said, according to Talking Points Memo.
CNBC commentator Keith Boykin agreed that an apology was needed. The cartoon, he said, was “racist and offensive and the Herald should apologize.”
The editors said the cartoon was “outrageous” and “unfortunate” and evoked a racial stereotype of Black Americans being obsessed with watermelons that dates back to plantation days.
Such stereotypical depiction was particularly upsetting to African‑Americans recently emancipated from slavery because it reminded them of their days in bondage.
At first, when the editors were confronted with the objections, they attempted to justify it, saying the cartoonist was merely reacting to the flavor of the toothpaste in his own medicine cabinet.There is such a Colgate toothpaste and mouthwash product on the market.