The cartoon lady in the top picture is black, unfairly paid.... and grinning her face off anyway.
The cartoon lady on the bottom is white, unfairly paid.... and somewhat upset.
From obviously the same White House artiste who brought us the cheesy "Life of Julia" series comes a brand new series of e-cards supposedly touting the Fair Pay Act. Rather than storming around the country demanding a national minimum wage as he did during his last campaign, Our Leader just wants all the people to send these cartoons to our friends and neighbors, in case they didn't know working women exist in a living hell and are either ecstatically happy about it or mildly chagrined, as the case (or race) may be.
What we really need is a conversation about the stagnating wages of both sexes, not to mention the fact that in not one of the 50 states does a minimum wage job pay a month's rent. Not one. Or how about the fact that unions are being destroyed at a dizzying clip, or that those touted "re-shored" manufacturing jobs at places like tax-evading, profit-bloated G.E. pay only half of what they did just a few years ago? But I digress.
In one of the e-cards, another cheerful white woman is shown in the express lane of the grocery store. We are told, "It's true, in more than 50% of American households, women's salaries help pay the bills, buy the groceries and provide for their families."
The implicit message, of course, is that Cheerful White Woman has a husband who also works, since she only "helps" to pay the bills. If she were the sole breadwinner, she would not be smiling in the supermarket. You can trust me on that.
I have to say, if the Romney campaign put out cartoon crap like this, buying into the mythology of the happy slave woman, there would be hell to pay, cries of racism. But since a black president's staff is putting out the distasteful propaganda, don't expect Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O'Donnell to gin up any manufactured outrage. They'll save the outrage for when the Romney campaign makes fun of the cartoons. Or when Republicans block the bill in Congress in another War on Women skirmish. But it will be win-win for the Democrats anyway -- they'll have another wedge issue to fund-raise off.
This latest White House propaganda campaign is obviously geared toward solidly middle-class, independent, Ann Romney-leaning women voters who don't have to worry about impending eviction or having enough money in a single crappy checking account to feed their kids, and who don't want to worry about the poor women who have no choice but to worry about this stuff. And it is also bending over backward to prevent the Republicans from bringing up that "angry black woman" malarkey again.
How in the world can an anti-sexism, post-racial politics P.R. campaign come across as so damned... sexist, and even racist? Once again, this White House will succeed in pleasing nobody and offending everybody.
|No Need to Worry About Food Stamps. My Salary 'Helps'!|