Draptoresponsia Case Study #9: Darleen Click

~Warning: Highly Offensive Imagery in this Post~

Normally I come up with a witty-ish title for these cases before I do the whole "patient this, patient that" routine.  Not this time.  This, time draptoresponsic Patient #0009 is Darleen Click. She posted the following cartoon last week (thank you, Field Negro):

For one, this is not "freedom of speech".  If anything, this is a First Amendment Violation.  This is not satire.  This isn't even hipster racism.  This, in fact, is more than just blatant racism: it's also sheer misogyny, and it's from the drawing board of a woman.

Although she implies her work is not racist, Darleen contradicts herself by implying she accepts that it is:
Oh I know I’m going to get called names on this. But I’m not going to play that game anymore. Like the sign at one of the TEA parties that said “it doesn’t matter what this sign says, you going to call it racist anyway.” When even the lawsuits now being brought by 30 plus state AG’s is considered racist, it is time to stop playing that game.

[...]I expect this will also flush out the usual Stockholm-syndrome “conservatives” who wring their hands and say “oh you can’t say that! People will take offense!”

Heck, I want to shake them up. This is supposed to be a post-racial era? Then deal with the fact that the President of the United States is the head of a gang that just raped our American principles.

I made it a cartoon and not a photoshop and the “woman” is green. Deal, people.
Darleen not only casually invokes the racist myth of the Negro rapist, but she also unsuccessfully attempts satire at the expense of rape victims.  She is right on par with Sandra Bernhard.  There is nothing clever or avante garde about this piece.  Darleen obviously knows we don't live in a post-racial era; just because white liberals swear by that ludicrous notion doesn't mean people of color co-sign (and note how she uses the supposed notion of post-racial America as a justification to be racist).

Darleen is officially, by far, the Ugliest Face of anti-healthcare reform, and the latest example of white privilege.  She presents the core symptoms of draptoresponsia: arrogance, petulant anger, aggression, and avoidance.  She's arrogantly confident enough to create this piece and publish it.  She thinks her anger at a policy - which she doesn't even bother to explain - to justify associating a man she doesn't know personally with a concept so personal and traumatic as rape.  She is aggressive in her desire to get her point across by any means necessary, even if it means forgetting that Barack Obama is a person...after all, forgetting is one of the core benefits of white privilege.

Darleen is avoidant of admitting the real reason for her petulant anger; to admit it would mean to face something about herself that she, like millions of other White Americans, would strictly prefer not to.  She knows what she's done is wrong - not simply "offensive", but wrong - but still is comfortable in believing that as long as she insists this is simple about disagreeing with a policy, she can justify her sociopathic expression.

And this is what foreign nations mean when they talk about the hypocrisy of White American "democracy".  This is why nations adamantly resist White American ideology - to the death, when necessary.  In their eyes, White Americans have not changed since the genocidal founding of their nation.  Darleen - and others like her - are just the latest evidence that most modern White Americans are no different from their predecessors in their way of thinking.  In fact, New York Times columnist Frank Rich effectively points this out in his article "The Rage Is Not About Healthcare".
When Social Security was passed by Congress in 1935 and Medicare in 1965, there was indeed heated opposition. As Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post, Alf Landon built his catastrophic 1936 presidential campaign on a call for repealing Social Security. (Democrats can only pray that the G.O.P. will “go for it” again in 2010, as Obama goaded them on Thursday, and keep demanding repeal of a bill that by September will shower benefits on the elderly and children alike.) When L.B.J. scored his Medicare coup, there were the inevitable cries of “socialism” along with ultimately empty rumblings of a boycott from the American Medical Association.

But there was nothing like this. To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. That’s because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.

The apocalyptic predictions then, like those about health care now, were all framed in constitutional pieties, of course. Barry Goldwater, running for president in ’64, drew on the counsel of two young legal allies, William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, to characterize the bill as a “threat to the very essence of our basic system” and a “usurpation” of states’ rights that “would force you to admit drunks, a known murderer or an insane person into your place of business.” Richard Russell, the segregationist Democratic senator from Georgia, said the bill “would destroy the free enterprise system.” David Lawrence, a widely syndicated conservative columnist, bemoaned the establishment of “a federal dictatorship.” Meanwhile, three civil rights workers were murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse.
Darleen will no doubt insist her piece is all about wrath towards a policy - people like her will all cling to this notion and swear this manner of expression not about race and insist it has nothing to do with President Obama or his family "personally"...even as they drag race and misogyny into their disagreements with "policy".  However, denial, disrespect, and delusion are not synonymous with "disagreement"; the words are not interchangeable by any means, and yet when confronted with this simply linguistic fact, people like Darleen remain delusional, in denial, and childishly disrespectful - to everyone.

Suggested treatment for Darleen Click?

White America, it's very likely you're not going to deal with people like Darleen quickly and efficiently.  That's just not your way.  White privilege acts as a deterrent to dealing with people like her; it tells you "not to worry", it "doesn't matter", it's an "isolated incident", and everyone will soon forget all about people like Darleen.

But history never forgets about people like Darleen, and just as you cringe to look at the ones who came before you, those who come after you will cringe in the same manner when they look back at you as you are now.

And for White Americans who claim to be spiritual, remember that even when history and society do let you off the hook, the universe itself forgets nothing.  In the end, we are all accountable for what we do, or don't do but should...whether we pay up in this life or whatever comes after.

* Clinician's note: Darleen Click brings us one case study closer to turning Jensen's Theory of White Fears into Jensen's Law.  As a quick refresher, "White fears" according to Dr. Robert Jensen are:

1) "...facing the fact that some of what we white people have is unearned."
2) "...fear of losing what we have -- literally the fear of losing what we own if at some point, the economic, political, and social systems become more just and equitable."
3) On whites becoming a minority: "Are non-white people capable of doing to us the barbaric things we have done to them?"
4) On being "seen-through" by non-whites: "What if they can look through our anti-racist vocabulary and sense that we still really don't know how to treat them as equals?"

Darleen, whether directly or indirectly, exhibits all four tenets of Jensen's Theory.  The last tenets resonates in particular; she reduces a man she doesn't know to a soulless rapist by indulging the typical draptoresponsic tendency to not see a person of color...as a person.  To do so suggests to us that Darleen is not a decent human being - which she has freely and willingly shown us herself - and which is why I'll end on this note:

[on comparing draptoresponsia to a real-life mental illness]

At its worst, I would have to say sociopathy.

It's very important that I bring this up.  In the film Dogma, Loki, a fallen Angel of Vengeance, slays several white board members who've committed abominable acts.  His reasoning?  Well, I could paraphrase, but he says it best:
Do you know what makes a human being decent? Fear. And therein lies the problem. None of you has anything left to fear anymore. You rest comfortably in seats of inscrutable power, hiding behind your false idol, far from judgement, lives shrouded in secrecy, even from each other.
In other words, their privilege set them apart from being human, because it turned off the most crucial and defining quality of humanity: conscience.


  1. Ugh. I can't believe that cartoon. And I hate how Teabaggers and white conservatives think it is acceptable to say and do anything so long as they complain that people will knee jerkingly call them racist.

    The other day I was watching Eyes on the Prize on PBS and they were showing footage from the protests and riots against desegregating Ole Miss and Little Rock high schools. I immediately say parallels to the fear-mongering and hatred bandied about by segregationist politicians and the radical conservative fringe then and the right wing politicians, talking heads and tea baggers of today. At first I thought my comparison was overblown as we have not experienced the same levels of violence and disregard for the law today, but the more I see and hear things like the cartoon above, the more accurate the comparison becomes. It may not be as violent and the rhetoric may not be as blatantly racist and incendiary, but the core of it is the same.

  2. And yet we'll all be told to "deal" and simple "ignore it" so they'll go away. Forget that every time these people get dismissed they just come back something even more detestable.

    You know...like terrorists.

  3. what a bloddy bitch!

  4. The cartoon is disgusting. Grrrah.

  5. what.the.fuck. I need to meet a Tea Baggin' bitch in person. I would spit right in his/her face.

    You know, it was one thing when people made fun of Bush, at least people were honest and didn't hide behind things like "I'm attacking a policy" when anyone reading the cartoon for the 1st time out of context would have no idea WTF her point is other than the HORRIFIC racism and insulting of rape victims.

    I'd at least be able to respect someone who actually LOGICALLY and INTELLIGENTLY attacked a policy. I might not agree, but I'd accept their position on it. This shit is just an excuse to be a racist with a reason. It's the most ignorant form of dissent I can think of in modern times.

  6. I can't even believe how people can defend such a cartoon. I nearly threw up the first time I saw it, and I still can't get over that. What the fuck is up with these people? Seriously, where the fuck is their sense of sacred? For a group that so cherishes their national symbols and shit, they sure have no problem denigrating two very important national symbols.

    Fuck this racism and the "it's just a cartoon" schtick they rode in on.

  7. That was the most disgusting thing I ever saw. Now clever or witty at all but offensive to blacks, rape victims, and true Americans. My mouth hung open in disgusted rage. She needs to GDIF like three seconds ago ugh


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