Monday, October 24, 2011

Does this cartoon cross the line?

From the Queens Tribune:

U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) is scrutinizing a story in the Oct. 7 issue of The Wave and says the political cartoon that ran alongside the story is a “racist caricature.”

Meeks, whose district includes a portion of The Rockaways, is up for reelection next November. The Wave lists Meeks’ ethical troubles, including New Direction Local Development Corp, a non-profit started by Meeks and State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Jamaica) currently under federal investigation for allegedly mishandling funds.

“That kind of stereotyping of African-American elected officials that goes back to the days of Reconstruction just can’t be tolerated,” Meeks said. He said more than 25 of his constituents who read the paper called his office in outrage.

“It’s not only an insult to me, but an insult to every African-American that has seen that cartoon,” the Congressman added.

The article’s author and Managing Editor Howard Schwach disagrees. “It’s not racist and it was a reflection of the reality of the situation. Meeks and Smith are tied up in several schemes to get money and not do much for the community,” Schwach said.

Bolling, a black cartoonist, defends his caricature, and says it is just that - a caricature.


georgetheatheist said...

Can you believe the audacity of Shenkler's editorializing in the Tribune? Excoriating The Wave for alleged racist cartooning?

The Queens Tribune is in the forefront of racist bigotry by publishing Asian whore ads in its classified section every week. Where's Shenkler's sympathy for the women of color he exploits week in and week out in his newspaper?

Shenkler. Do you own a mirror?

Anonymous said...

Substitute Claire Shulman and Toby Stavisky in the cartoon. Different names, same game!!!

Anonymous said...

some of the african-american politicians seem to always invoke the "race card" ,when suspected of wrong doing ?

they will be vindicated or convicted, if the issue ever gets adjudicated .

we can not afford to have any more tax money stolen from us.

Anonymous said...

No matter how you cut it...
"Sho nuff, it tell da truth"...
"racist" implication or not!

That kind of defense strategy won't help them much in court.

Every body just loves to play the "race" card, especially when they're caught in the act red handed!

In my personal opinion...
it's a caricature with Ebonic dialogue.

Hey, you folks chose not to speak English correctly so buzz off!

Anonymous said...

I think that Asians invoke "racist" allegations far more often than do African Americans....or hang their defenses of lawbreaking on their lack of understanding English.

Anonymous said...

For that matter...
substitute that Republican duo, Dan Halloran's and Peter Koo's names.

Same 'ol game...over and over again!

Anonymous said...

I think that Asians invoke "racist" allegations far more often than do African Americans....

They definitely do. Mainly because they know how to make money off of it.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the cartoonist had to use the exaggerated lips on Malcolm Smith and the "Black English" slang - that just gives Smith and Meeks the opportunity to dismiss it, even though the content of the cartoon was right on.

Anonymous said...

The cartoonist could have made the same point without crossing the line that would trigger a complaint of racism. It's not racist, but close enough for a complaint to resonate with people.

Anonymous said...

was not John Liu of flushing ,Queens, the greatest advocate of "ASIAN RACE CARDS", while electioneering ?

it is reported that he submitted more press releases than any politician, over the past 10 years.

Anonymous said...

O.K. asshole....redraw it with skinny "White" lips on both these guys!

Then there will be a complaint..."Where's those full lips that we African Americans are so proud of"?

I suppose if Queen Latifa were drawn with a big T&A it would be racist....huh?

That's reality bub...not racism.

Anonymous said...

from "BIG"
"fraud case leaves California Democrats scrambling".

suspect is labeled "THE BERNIE MADOFF OF DEMOCRAT CAMPAIGN TREASURERS " $2.5 to $9.8 million stolen from the democrat politician"s campaign funds.

what will the cartoonist's depict with this scandal?

Anonymous said...

For that matter...
substitute that Republican duo, Dan Halloran's and Peter Koo's names.

Same 'ol game...over and over again!

Koo and Danny boy are ruining our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

black cartoonist racist lol

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling said...

I am the artist, Elgin Bolling whose caricature, and character is under discussion.

Since this story broke on Thursday, when I was interviewed by Veronica Levy of The Tribune, I have uploaded numerous written rebuttals, audio podcasts, as well as past editorials drawn fr the Wave of other African American as well as Caucasian elected officials. Furthermore I ave uploaded caricatures of people I have drawn randomly on the subway en route to my gigs as one of New Yorkshire most sought after live caricature entertainers.

My blog,at has been mentioned to every reporter I've spoken with or left a message with, and yet no one seems to recall me doing this come press time. I have articulately, patiently, and concisely stated my position only to have my words reduced to a soundbite.

I understand time constraints of the media, the CONGRESSMAN may be the MAIN story, but my name and work is being slandered here as well.

I welcome an opportunity by any blog, including this one to give me a chance to give my side of the story.

The balls in your courts. I hope someone picks this up.

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 12:

When an honest, unbiased source comes along, instead of a guy like Breitbart, who has a few axes to grind.

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling said...

Here us an excerpt from one post

Following is a letter I wrote to Errol Louis of NY1 Inside City Hall show, in response to him having Congressman Meeks appear to air his grievance about The Waves editorial, and my cartoon in general.

As I have maintained in my blog posts since this issue raised. The Congressman is entitled to his opinion, and should be allowed a forum to express himself concerning the issue that the cartoon points to.

He has the rift, from his point of view to call the cartoon racist.
It's that statement that I take odds with. Since cartoons don't create themselves, if you follow the logic, the creator of the cartoon must be a racist as well.

I have a right to defend my reputation as much as the Congressman has to defend his. It was my hope that NY1 would see it that way.

Thus far, they have chosen not to respond.

I wonder why?

From: Elgin Bolling
Date: October 20, 2011 11:58:32 AM EDT
To: ""

Dear Mr. Louis
My name is Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling Editorial Artist for The Wave Newspaer in Far Rockaway NY.
The first thing I would like to make clear is this:


Unfortunately, Queens Congressman, Gregory Meeks doesn't share the same opinion, as evidenced by his remarks on page 29 in a recent letter to The Wave, and most recently, on your broadcast, as listed below.
The editorial cartoon, he feels depicts African Americans in a way that is reminiscent of racist portrals from the film Birth of a Nation

As an Editorial artist who draws public elected officials, I am fully aware that from time to time I will encounter someone who is not pleased with what has been drawn, because a picture really is worth a thousand words, as another  editorial artist, Thomas Nast, would agree, no doubt , if he was still among us.

Surprisingly, throughout this whole affair, I have not received one email, or phone call to give my side of the story, and to answer these accusations, save for the Queens Tribune, last week.

I am easy enough to find, I am one of New York City's most sought after live Caricature Entertainers, and my blogsite, at

Is one of the most popular of it's kind online.

Since this issue first came to my attention, I have posted on my blog, numerous rebuttal articles, and audio podcasts refuting his claims of racist, divisive characterization of black elected officials, and show numerous pictures of past cartoons drawn for The Wave to demonstrate that.

For me, as an Editorial artist who draws Caricature,my intention is usually to find something humorous in the facial features if a subject and exploit that, by squashing, stretching,   Emphasizing or De emphasizing.

I demonstrate, how I have also, given equal exaggerated artistic treatment to Caucasian Public officials like Former School Chancellor, Joel Klien, Anthony Weiner, and even our very own Mayor.

I have no Ax to grind. I illustrate and interpret editorial copy. If I've committed any crime, it's been in being too humorous maybe, but don't sit there and assert that I'm a RACIST! After all, IM A BLACK MAN TOO!

Or did anyone stop to look at that fact? Does The Congressman truly think that I would purposefully draw a cartoon which demeans my own people? At best, that makes me a race hater and a fool. At worst, it makes me an Uncle Tom.

Feel free to go to my blog to validate what I've said here. 

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling
(ps I'm called Subwaysurfer because I draw caricatures of subway committed, NOT because I ride outside the train!)

a fellow political cartoonist said...

Mr. Bolling,
you have obviously hit a nerve in exposing these shady pols.

That's THE REAL POINT isn't it....not some concocted "racism"?

You shone a spotlight on these cockroaches who were trying to hide out in an unlit corner. hat's off to you!

The power of your (1st amendment protected right) political cartoon got them both right between the eyes.

Keep up your good work!

Democracy requires transparency.

Anonymous said...

Hey what two categories of people take umbrage at the content of political cartoons?

Extremist Muslims

and Queens pols...

Jerry Rotondi said...

The awesome power the political cartoon brought down even the venerable Boss Tweed.

Crooked Queens politicians
can no longer hide from truths expressed in pen and ink!

They're small potatoes compared to the likes of a William Marcy Tweed.

They should focus on cleaning up their acts or else book the red-eye to Rio---ASAP---before the investigatory agencies finally nail 'em!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to include Queens Crap on the list of blogs you follow...or did you?
Just sayin'...

PS Keep exposin' the corruption, no matter where you find it.

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling said...

This is an obvious, and laughable attempt at redirection of an issue that has been part of an ongoing political discussion long before I put pen to paper to draw an editorial cartoon.
Con Meeks, fighting for his political life swings out wildly at what he perceives to be the closest and easiest target. It's pitiful how he wants to, at this stage of the game, wants to take up the mantle of civil rights leader and"fight racism" by "speaking out".
Does he REALLY think that accusation diverts Anyones attention from the ISSUE the cartoon is pointing at?

A friend of mine just reminded me that a drowning man will grasp even at a paper cup floating by, thinking it can save his life.
.I'm the paper cup! LOL!

Anonymous said...

the left/ racists only label others that they disagree with politically , the racist name. years ago , it served them well and scared their opposition off.

in 2011, this tactic is old school. it no longer works. with the entrance of new enlightened conservative media, the left's use of this slander has died.

Mr. Bolling should continue his cartoon opinions of the corruption in government, whether it be democrat/liberal or g.o.p./conservative.

read "BIAS" by Bernie Goldberg, formerly of C.B.S.(60 minutes)

Anonymous said...

Hits the nail on the head!

Van Helsing said...

"Gooood eefning....and velcome to my news-rag castle".


If Shenkler owned a mirror there would be no reflection in it George.

He's just one of a slew of vampires bloating himself with the blood of ignorant voters!

Count Ackerman sleeps during the day an earth box filled with the soil of his native land...."Corrupt-ylvania".

Anonymous said...

Good Depiction - looks just like those creeps