This cartoon, emailed to us recently by a reader, appeared in the "Heilbronner Stimme" this past April 19th on page two:
This ugly caricature, drawn by Jürgen Tomicek, reminds us that the old anti-American stereotypes (in this case that Americans are primitive and gun-obsessed) and hateful attitudes are alive and well in Germany in 2007. Incidentally, this is one of those local papers for which Markus Guenther writes - you can see the sort of coverage the audience expects when it comes to the United States. Fair and objective is not what comes to mind...
You can contact the "Heilbronner Stimme" with comments by clicking HERE. You can contact cartoonist Jürgen Tomicek directly via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please keep all comments professional and respectful.)
Endnote: If any of you see similar cartoons or caricature in German papers - including local papers - please don't hesitate to email us with that so we can document them on this site. (Hattip: Heidi H.)
UPDATE: One of our readers writes:
"Ray left out the context. This cartoon was published on April 19th. Obviously it refers to the Virgina Tech massacre on April 16th."
So - if this is supposed to represent Virginia Tech - shouldn't the man on the right be a young South Korean and not an old white guy? Secondly - how does the insane act of one person translate over to an entire nation?
You might legitimately argue that, factually speaking, there is more gun violence in the US than in some other nations - but this cartoon is essentially a smear on all Americans - caricaturing them as primitive, violent and gun-obsessed.
Finally - the Virginia Tech killing was the act of a deranged loner with no obvious ties to a larger ideological movement. The Islamic suicide bombers (whether Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad or others) are part of an organized collection of sects out to implement a very real ideology worldwide - the destruction of Israel and the United States and the implementation of Sharia law over democratic society. In the process, they have intentionally targeted civilians on all levels for death. How anyone could compare that to - or place it side-by-side with - an "American Way" is beyond me and utterly disgusting. Try as you might to argue context or mitigate this hate in some other way - it is what it is.
Interesting comments section this time.