Was it a "GOP Jew"? An angry, gun-toting, radical right winger?
No and no. Haaretz provides the answer (which in itself is also ironic...)
A Palestinian-American has been revealed as the creator of the "socialist joker" image, a doctored poster of President Barack Obama found on highways and in cities across the United States this summer.Reminder: "The Joker [poster] has been called 'mean-spirited and dangerous' by the U.S. President's supporters." (source)
Many initially took the portrait - featuring the president with the carved-in smile of Heath Ledgers's character in the Dark Knight - to be the work of a conservative opposed to Obama's liberal ways.
But it turns out that Firas Alkhateeb, 20, is actually a liberal himself from Obama's hometown of Chicago, who would have preferred to see Dennis Kucinich elected.
Alkhateeb told the Los Angeles Times - which unmasked his identity - that the poster had been meant more as a joke than as a political statement. The original draft of the image was meant to satirize, or in this case "jokerize," Obama's picture on the October cover of Time Magazine.
Regardless of his intentions, the iconic image has turned into a political statement. An Obama critic downloaded Alkhateeb's image off of the photo Web site Flickr, printed it out as a poster, and tacked on the word "socialism" before pasting it up across Los Angeles.
The image has sparked debate among Americans of whether its message is racist, if it is related to the ongoing conversation of reforming health care, and of just how liberal the new U.S. president may be.
But for Alkhateeb, none of this seems to matter. "After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ," he told the Los Angeles Times. "From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him.
Dangerous...dangerous...oh, it was made by a liberal Palestinian American? I guess it can't be that bad...
Additional Update for the google-challenged:
For the benefit of those criticizing your chosen source regarding the reaction of the American left to the Obama/Joker poster, here are some more links (the "well read" commenter is looking dumber by he minute)
· Washington Post:
Obama as The Joker: Racial Fear's Ugly Face: 'Political' Poster Turns On Violent Symbolism
"[The poster is] subtly coded, highly effective racial and political argument. Forget socialism, this poster is another attempt to accomplish an association between Obama and the unpredictable, seeming danger of urban life.... Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time. The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black."
· Daily Kos:
This Pic Will Make You Sick
"There are two ways to view this image. (1) a reference to the 'Joker' in the Batman movie, and (2) as Obama in whiteface as a minstrel show clown. This is dogwhistle racism.... These are Scary Sick People who must not be allowed to 'win'.
· Huffington Post:
Obama as Joker? Dead Heath Ledger? Vampire? ...Or Just Wingnut's Enigma?
"As part of the hate offensive, wingnut blogs… are trying to build buzz around this Obama poster.... [In] this chilling Obama as Joker... 'the only thing missing is a noose'.... Besides the allusion to the President as a psychopath and more insidiously, a man behind a mask, does the chalk exploit race by suggesting the man is playing at being white?"
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד