If you all have been following what has been going on all over social media, you would have seen the anger which has erupted over a cartoon depicting SERENA WILLIAMS throwing a tantrum and reducing NAOMI OSAKA to a white, blonde woman, essentially erasing the idea that a half black (Haitian) and half Asian ( Japanese) tennis player has just won the US Open.
Also it probably won’t come as a surprise that the cartoonist who made this RACIST and SEXIST cartoon is an Australian named Mark Knight, who draws for the Herald Sun ( Australia’s version of Fox News in print form). He tweeted his cartoon, which depicts Williams throwing a temper tantrum ( and Knight drew her to look like a “savage”) at the US Open Finals and he totally erased the winner of the US Open Osaka by replacing her with a blonde white woman. Now before I go into talking about why I am so livid about this cartoon, here are a few updates of the outrage over social media.
Many high profile people, including J.K Rowling and Kathy Griffin have called out the sexism and racism in Knight’s cartoons and the America’s National Association of Black Journalists issued a statement calling the cartoon racist and ‘unnecessarily sambo-like’:
‘The art of editorial cartooning is a visual dialogue on the issues of the day, yet this cartoon grossly inaccurately depicts two women of colour at the US Open, one of the grandest stages of professional sports,’
The newspaper under fire The Herald Sun has defended Knight (check out their Tweet) as well as a number of other cartoonists and journalists ( who all happen to be privileged white men) who claim this has nothing to do with gender or race…. pfft….as if. Knight himself defended the cartoon by posting another cartoon he drew days back of of Australian tennis player NICK KYRGIOS behaving poorly at the Open. To me, this is not an excuse because he can be double accused of being a racist as Kyrgios is half Malaysian ( on his mother’s side). And that cartoon was not drawn as offensively as the Williams – Osaka one was.
So my thoughts? Well let me make it easy to read and comprehend, here they are in dot points:
* Portraying Serena Williams throwing a tantrum is MISOGYNISTIC, RACIST and absolutely disgusting. Williams had every right to be frustrated and getting a penalty from the umpire shows that the umpire had poor sportsmanship and was sexist.
* Male tennis players swear at umpires and receive no penalties and do not get attacked this way. Look at the history of John Mcenroe….
* Knight also erased Osaka’s Haitian and Japanese background and made her white and blonde. This is how misogyny and white supremacy work hand in hand to pull down black women and other WOC.
* When the crowd was booing Osaka, Williams did ask for calm and told everyone to give Osaka her moment – to me this shows true sportsmanship.
* Knight cartoons highlights what is inherently wrong when privileged white men think it is ok to be racist and sexist. He claims it is not about race or gender, but really, he is blinded because he himself enjoys white privilege.
* Knight and The Herald Sun need to come off their high horse and issue a public apology to both Williams and Osaka. This cartoon is absolutely disgusting on every level and needs to be condemned.
Of course, I have more thoughts on all this, but I will be rambling on for days in a fit of anger if I do. With that, I will leave my post here.