A cartoon published by a national Australian newspaper of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris has been called out as racist.
What We Know:
- The Australian is one of Australia’s most prominent newspapers. The cartoon the newspaper published shows Biden deferring to Harris and saying, “I’ll hand you over to this little brown girl while I go for a lie-down”. The cartoon sparked outrage online but the newspaper, owned by a conservative News Corp still went along with its publishing.
- Members of the left-leaning Australian Labor Party criticized the publication. One member, Andrew Leigh said in a tweet, “Racism has no place in Australian public life. The Australian should pull today’s offensive cartoon off their website and issue an immediate apology.” Former race discrimination commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim Soutphommasane, expressed that the newspaper used racism as part of its business model.
Here's your little reminder of how ludicrously racist Australian commercial media are. This is in the country's only national daily newspaper: pic.twitter.com/7oN7bjRWLO
— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) August 13, 2020
- Johannes Leak, the man who made the cartoon has been under fire before for his offensive content. In November, he published a cartoon depicting offensive comments towards a refugee family. According to The Australian Editor in Chief Christopher Dore, Leak was using the words of Joe Biden from a tweet he previously made.
“The words “little black and brown girls” belong to US presidential candidate Joe Biden, not Johannes Leak. When Johannes used those words, expressed in a tweet by Biden yesterday, he was highlighting Biden’s language and apparent attitudes, not his own. The intention of the commentary in the cartoon was to ridicule racism, not perpetuate it. In the context of Biden’s words, this is evident. Clearly some, including those without that context, have wrongly attributed Biden’s words to Johannes, and in doing so have attributed abhorrent and inaccurate motives to him. The Australian, and Johannes, opposes racism in all of its guises.”
News Corp in Australia has also been under fire dating back to 2018 when it published a cartoon of Serena Williams that sparked outrage from not only Australian residents, but also civil rights leaders.