County Executive Dooley Says St. Louis Post-Dispatch Political Cartoon of Him is Racist

Categories: Politics

cdooleyhed.jpg
Charlie Dooley.
St. Louis almost got through the primary election for county executive without any huge accusations of racism. Almost.

With only a week to go, it's still hard to know whom voters will support on Election Day. Can County Executive Charlie Dooley mobilize the base that's supported him for a decade and keep his seat? Or will challenger Steve Stenger, chairman of the county council, win enough voters to his side with his message that "ten years is long enough"?

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch tried to help its readers answer that question this weekend by endorsing Stenger, an unsurprising move after years of editorial critiques of Dooley's cronyism and bungled political projects.

But it wasn't the endorsement that riled Dooley. It was the political cartoon, in which a smiling Dooley in a blue, pin-striped suit paints over the "here" on his "The buck stops here" desk plate, which now reads, "The buck stops."

See also: Stenger Makes His Case for County Executive, Dooley Calls Criticisms "Foolishness"

dooleycartoon.jpg
stltoday.com
Dooley's campaign says the cartoon is a callous, racist and proof that the paper's editorial board has always been out of touch with black readers, especially black leaders like Dooley.

"The editorial cartoon that appeared with their endorsement is perhaps one of the most insulting and racist works we have seen; for the publishers of this paper not to realize the potential insult of this cartoon is unimaginable," says Linda Goldstein, Dooley's campaign spokeswoman. "We are outraged and embarrassed."

Goldstein says the cartoon refers to "Buck," the archetypical caricature from minstrel shows of the mid-1800s that portrays a black man as untrustworthy and menacing, especially to white women. The Buck character played alongside other stereotypical roles, such as the Mammy, the all-knowing and strict maternal figure, and Uncle Tom, the good-hearted, religious, sober, non-threatening black man.

"Does that mean the Post editorial board and Stenger supporters are saving St. Louis County from a menacing black man? Is it an appeal to racist views of black incompetence and malfeasance?" Goldstien says. "The Post-Dispatch should know that such portrayals do not exist in either historical vacuum or outside the context of the tone of its own coverage of this race," Goldstein says.

See also: Trash Talk, F-Bombs Get St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in Trouble Again

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SteveStenger.com
Steve Stenger.
But Tony Messenger, editor of the Post-Dispatch's editorial page, says he's offended that the Dooley campaign is finding racial insult where none is intended.

"'The buck stops here' is the single most famous phrase in Missouri political history, used by former President Harry S Truman, who, by the way, integrated the armed forces," Messenger told The Missouri Times. "It is a simple measure of accountability, the ability of a leader to take responsibility for the actions of his or her administration. That's it, and that was the exact context in which it was used."

Stenger's supporters have their own theory for Dooley's sudden outrage: He needs a big turnout from St. Louis County's black community to win four more years in office. Singling out an endorsement as being racially motivated could be an effective ploy.

Goldstein says if the newspaper wanted to keep the cartoon without adding insulting racial implications, they should have drawn Stenger sitting at the desk.

"We understand the Harry Truman phrase and its meaning relative to accountability; this is not that," Goldstien says. "St. Louis County cannot be a welcoming community and build on diversity when its daily newspaper is so blatantly callous about its portrayal of African Americans in leadership."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

My Voice Nation Help
64 comments
Greg Kluempers
Greg Kluempers

Of course if he can't win on issues or his record pull the big-gun RACISIM.

Erik Olsen
Erik Olsen

I really hope Mr Dooley enjoys his retirement after November.

David Biernbaum
David Biernbaum

This campaign has been an insult to everyone's intelligence. Not one serious issue has been discussed. Not one idea from either candidate to make St. Louis County better.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

his last resort the race card....time for him to retire...

Bob Stclair
Bob Stclair

People that use the "race card" are truly the one's that are at fault in the problem ! Because anyone that even has any intelligence would explain there argument without resorting to the color of there skin as racist tool for escape of persecution . Now truly whom is the real racist here ? But then again ? It's easier to call me a racist than address the real issues !

Emily Nardoni
Emily Nardoni

Maybe we wouldnt be so adverse to having black folks in the office if they didnt keep screwing us over!

Dan Brown
Dan Brown

Dooley has turned his back on everyone that helped get him where he is, including organized labor, without us he has no chance anymore. Bye bye you crooked prick!

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

Let Me Pose a question to the rev: And you aren't ????? You've been a Racist ever since you're been in StL County/ Municipal Politics..... Remember the Alamo/ Well, Remember Northwoods, too !!!!

Jason M Parker
Jason M Parker

Dooley is a joke. He's had a ten year reign. He's a crook.

Joe Mundy
Joe Mundy

Idiot. WTF was raciest about it? Actually the cartoon picture is a great resemblance of him.

Matt Higgins
Matt Higgins

BULLSHIT, Dooley!!! People, stop playin' the race card!!!

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

When in trouble, play the race card. Pathetic.

Buck was a mid-1800's character? Perhaps all those who were alive in the mid-1800's might view the cartoon as such, and they would rightfully vote for Dooley (more than you think according to the voter rolls). Everyone else sees the cartoon for what it is.

Cornhusker
Cornhusker

Could the Post please publish a photo of Linda Goldstein? I'm dying to know if she looks as crazy as she is. Another one of Charlie's loony toon hacks.

Matthew Avitt
Matthew Avitt

In Charlies case the sign should have read "the buck GOES here" and an arrow to his pocket. He is crooked as they come. The only racism here is the people shouting racism!

nfmomof3
nfmomof3

From my understanding the buck stop here saying comes from an old poker saying. The buck knife was held by the dealer. I don't remember all of it but if one wanted they could look it up. I have never heard of it as a racist term.

Dean Berry
Dean Berry

Charlie is teaching me new racist words I didn't knew existed. Thanks buck, er Charlie!

Vivian Brotherton
Vivian Brotherton

I do think it's racist, maybe not intentionally; but someone of his era could definately be offended by this. That said, I'm voting for Stenger.

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

Dooley is the Racist for playing the race card over something that is not Racist, but insulting only to him.

spyder46rt
spyder46rt

I agree the cartoon is insulting but not racist.  The St. Louis Post has been cowtowing to the Right so long they have forgotten their heritage.

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

Ol Charlie playing the race card...AGAIN

Mark Swain
Mark Swain

I get so tired of the Race Card Bullshit, It is a one stop fix for everything when the truth cannot be accepted. BS pure BS

Scott Fogarty
Scott Fogarty

Dooley is a complete douche. Surprised he isn't on Obamas cabinet. Shady fuckstick!

David Hays
David Hays

And the FBI is racist for investigating his corruption.

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

What next will he threaten to shut the county parks down if we dont re elect his worthless self.. He should of brought the metro link to chesterfield so people that care about racism could get to work..

Bob Stclair
Bob Stclair

People that have nothing intelligent to say . Or just busted ! Will always pull the race card ! There the little kid that's going to lose a toy or be grounded ! It's always some reason it's someone else's fault ! AT LEAST BE A MAN ABOUT IT ! SHOW SOME KINDA DIGNIFIED PEOPLE THAT YOUR A MAN ! STILL ?

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing topcommenter

So, first we had the "Stenger is anti-woman" TV spot, and now we have the "P-D is racist" outrage.  Looks like we have a pretty good idea how the Dooley camp think the campaign is going.

Eric Ober
Eric Ober

Everything is "racisss" these days... Nobody cares anymore

Cassandra Garffie
Cassandra Garffie

It's a good thing the article explained it cause I was like WTF?

Todd Alan
Todd Alan

If hes too stupid to know that its a play on one of the most famous sayings in history, not a "racist" connotation that no one has ever heard of, he certainly doesn't deserve to be in office

Daniel Benedict
Daniel Benedict

I have this feeling that Charlie's campaign people are intentionally looking for racism where there is none. "The Buck" they're actually referring to is MONEY. Because the MONEY does stop with Charlie... and goes right into his pocket. Everyone knows that. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin, but some people are so desperate, they have to find racism anywhere they can to try and protect their weak position. It's time for Charlie to go, i don't care what color his skin is. What I do care about is his corruption and what it has done to the county.

David Ruth
David Ruth

Another saying of Harry Truman was "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen."

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

dooley is racist just like most black leaders in STL, they do a great job of keeping the HATE ALIVE, then wonder why so much killing....

Carolyn Schwarz
Carolyn Schwarz

Tony Messenger explained it all just fine. I kept looking at the cartoon and trying to figure out what was racist!

Adam Badtothe Bohn
Adam Badtothe Bohn

I haven't laughed this hard since I was a little girl. But seriously, I'm so much enjoying this - race baiting and progressive racial standards are being used against fellow leftists (whether Stenger, Post Dispatch, or others). You made this bed, Progressives, and now you get to lay in it. Schadenfreude, anyone?

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