Some folks are up in arms about a picture of the Whitehouse with watermelons growing in the yard and the caption “No Easter egg hunt this year”.
Being familiar with the mechanics of humor, I know you need two things for something to be funny: truth and exaggeration. But as Frank once pointed out, if you don’t have truth, a popularly accepted stereotype – true or not – will generally work just as well.
Ok, so there’s a stereotype that black people like watermelon, and since the President is black, he’d plant watermelons on the White House lawn. Ha ha ha.
Oddly enough, the California mayor who sent this to a black business woman said that he was unaware of this stereotype, so I’m not sure why he thought this was even a tiny bit funny.
The big problem, though, is that the stereotype this mocks isn’t a character flaw. Lots of people like watermelon. *I* like watermelon. Plus the fact that blackness is such a superficial aspect of Obama. It’s like mocking his ridiculous, sticky-out chimp-ears. It’s too easy of a target. It’s not even remotely clever.
However, the picture itself has a delightful visual incongruity about it, watermelons have other characteristics besides being stereotypically liked by blacks, and Obama has characteristics other than skin color. So let’s try a different caption:
Obama’s Victory Garden.
Still got the racial stereotype, but at least it drags in a political angle by referencing the obsessive comparisons of Obama to FDR.
Green on the outside, Red on the inside.
Obama is a “watermelon” – using his environmentalism to cover his communism. No racial stereotypes involved at all. Purely political.
Thanks to America’s failed public school system, the White House was forced to lower the standards for the Easter Egg Hunt.
Here it’s just carping on public policy, and those are just giant eggs lined up in rows. Only Al Sharpton would imply racism now!
So don’t be mad at Grose for being a racist, be mad at him for forwarding a sad, weak-ass joke that he didn’t even get.
Enough with the lecture, let’s just have fun with it.
* OBAMA’S GROWING POD PEOPLE!
* From the book “101 Jokes That Colorblind People Won’t Get”
* Obama’s response to Barney Frank’s complaint that his administration “didn’t have enough fruits”.
* White House receives Alternative Energy grant for “harnessing the power of the sun”.
* “Alien: Resurrection” Director’s Cut DVD includes this shocking alternate ending.
* Because fried chicken doesn’t have seeds. [Yeah, I know, but it's still better than the original]
* Meanwhile, behind the White House, the Incredible Hulk’s litter box training showed great promise.
* Yet another protest demanding increased taxes and regulation to stop global warming.
* Obama vows to never again buy ‘marijuana’ seeds off the internet.
* The real reason Obama won’t sign a bill to stop illegal immigration.
Caption along in the comments if you’d like.