Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Liberal white arrogance


This raises some issues, but not necessarily the issues that Pastor Wickham intended. 

What's the viewpoint of this cartoon? It has more than one viewpoint. There's the viewpoint of the cartoonist. It's intended to be a statement in favor of resettling "Syrian refugees" in the US.

Then there's the viewpoint of the reader. The cartoon tilts the issue in order to make the reader see the issue from the cartoonist's perspective. To agree with the cartoonist.

Then there's the viewpoint of the characters. The cartoon is an analogy or allegory of the "Syrian refugee" crisis, in which the Pilgrim stands for Syrian refugees while the Indian stands for those fearful, heartless, unChrist-like evangelicals who oppose importing Muslim "refugees" into the country.

Given the heavy-handed analogy, Wickham is casting the Indian in the role of the bad guy. He's the villain in this cartoon. The native who's too hard-hearted to share his land with desperate refugees.

As a matter of fact, it wouldn't surprise me if many Indians think it was a mistake to let the white man into the country. Many Indians were killed and dispossessed as a result.

Yet the implied viewpoint of the cartoon is that a reader ought to condemn the attitude of the Indian character. Surely it's not the cartoonist's objective that a reader should agree with the attitude of the Indian character. For that would be siding with the "anti-refugee" position. 

Isn't it awfully presumptuous for Pastor Wickham to create an Indian character as a mouthpiece to express the viewpoint of a white cartoonist? I imagine many Indians would resent a white guy using them in that way. 

1 comment:

  1. and to think back in October castigating the evils of Columbus was the thing. Now in the latest attempt at glib wit an Indian is being used to say they should have welcomed the European settlers? That does seem to boomerang, since it wouldn't seem implausible to suggest that the European settlers should have been regarded as hostile combatants aiming to obliterate the cultures that already existed.