I have a new piece up at the Guardian's "Comment Is Free America" about that cartoon that depicts a scene after President Obama has raped the Statue of Liberty. I try to put that cartoon and so much of the related sentiment in historical perspective:
The juxtaposition of this cartoon and the violence/assassination threats [against Obama and his supporters] are significant, as well, in historical context. One of the primary reasons given for mob action that resulted in the death of black men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the accusation that a black man had raped a white woman. The cartoonist has accused President Obama, figuratively, of that crime – say what you want about Liberty's greenish hue; women who historically represented the US, from Columbia to other depictions of Liberty, were white. Obama, according to the cartoonist, has violated this symbol of both white womanhood and America. This serves as more justification for retaliating violently against him.Please check out the whole thing!