Is TNR’s Chris Christie Illustration Racist?

A conservative website thinks so.

article_inset_macgillis_1The New Republic has a big story out, examining the patterns of questionable behavior by Chris Christie during his career, and a conservative website is taking exception to the illustration that covers it. The illustration, at left, is apparently racist.

The Blaze comments:

The illustration shows Christie retrieving a newspaper outside an impressive home wearing boxers, an open bathrobe and a gold chain around his neck.

There is something overtly Italian-American stereotypical about it, markedly a reference to fictional crime boss Tony Soprano.

“Christie is half Sicilian,” remarked one person on Twitter who saw the image. “If someone portrayed a black politician as a gangsta I know exactly how The New Republic would react.”


Christie is, indeed, half Sicilian, coming from his mother’s side.

Of course Chris Christie has long embraced associations with The Sopranos and the state of New Jersey. He had state flags flown at half-mast when James Gandolfini died last year and even turned up at the funeral.

  • Al Satan

    Italian is not a race. Did a bunch of black people create this? Then maybe you can argue racism. But being that it more likely was whites I don’t think so. Now many Italians don’t mind playing the gumba mafiosi role everyday of their lives. They all want to believe they have connections. Now I’m half Italian before all you Guido’s start crying. I just don’t act like one.

    • Steven Bannister

      Lol, it’s true

    • John Holmes

      yes, a bunch of black people did create this.. if not, their liberal jew counterparts.

      • http://mfinley.com mfinley98

        It started when black people kidnapped themselves and sold themselves into bondage. Greedy Jewish black people.

        • DragropeJustice

          No. Black people sold EACH OTHER into slavery. Not themselves.

          • http://mfinley.com mfinley98

            Good thing the land of the free saved the black people from the black people. A lesser nation would have kept them and put them to work.

            Does dragrope refer to James Byrd? If so, we’re not just horsing around.

          • DragropeJustice

            It refers to your mama’s tampon string.

          • http://mfinley.com mfinley98

            My mother’s been dead for 47 years. You’ll probably have something classy to say about that, too.

          • DragropeJustice

            Well, she’s out of her misery. And by “misery” I mean her son’s presence.

          • http://mikefinleywriter.com/ mfinley98

            It’s surprising more people are not flocking to the conservative banner, with all its talented and personable advocates.

          • DragropeJustice

            Well, we can’t all be as warm and fuzzy as Walter Mondale.

          • Lucille

            No, but one would hope that we all could make just a little bit of sense.

          • DragropeJustice

            Ideologues never make sense…that’s why no one will hang out with them but like-minded kooks.

          • DragropeJustice

            Wait. Did you not catch the joke? “Warm and fuzzy”…”Walter Mondale.” It was ironic sarcasm.

          • Lucille

            My, my DragropeJustice…you are articulate…and very impressive. What a wit!

    • docd777

      Although its not exactly racism, it is a prime example of
      anti-Italian bias, a pejorative photo,an example of anti-Italian
      prejudice.So I don`t want to hear the garbage “excuse” that any Italian
      embraces the Tony Soprano or the Mafia image.That doesn`t wash because
      most African -Americans will cringe at one of their own who “embrace”
      the” GANGSTA”-image or use the” N”-word.I don`t care how many ignorami exist within the ranks of ANY ethnicity.I don`t like it when I hear about Irish-drunks, dumb Poles, or cheap -Jews but too many among all of those groups say it`s OK, whereas I say it`s not

      • Al Satan

        Go down to South Philly and prove me wrong.

        • docd777

          Nah,I`d rather visit all of those Non-Italian bigots from Kensington , to prove myself correct! LOL!

          • Al Satan

            You do that.

      • Christina

        I’ve NEVER once met a black person who cringed at another black person who embraced the gangster image. :( I’ve only see them encourage each other to be hoodlums.

  • Brandon Smith

    This is something that I truly don’t understand and spend a decent amount of time thinking about. I’m black, but frequently in discussions about racism or prejudices, Italian Americans chime in about their being persecuted. But the thing is, I don’t really ever SEE any of it and they never seem all that offended by it. Take for instance the video game character of Mario. I could ABSOLUTELY see someone being very offended by the stereotypical character. But Italians don’t REALLY seem offended. They mention it’s a characature, but they don’t really seem to care all that much. Consequently, I don’t care all that much. And before someone says “yes it’s offensive, but they just don’t cry about it like black or women do”, the reason black people and women are offended by things has nothing to do with just having hurt feelings, it has to do with the very real facts that stereotypes and racism have a direct correlation on things like not being hired for jobs when qualified or making less money for the same job as white men. Etc.

    • John Holmes

      i am offended by your blatant racism. Go home.

    • John Holmes

      btw, if you are not qualified for better jobs.. you will not get better jobs.. just the way the world should have always operated. Dont play second fiddle, unless you can play it right. Stop begging for handouts, be the one handing out. Otherwise, you will play yourself to extinction.

      • Lucille

        Brandon Smith does not sound like a man begging for handouts. He is far and away more articulate (and, probably more successful) that many of the bloggers here.

    • Brandon Micelli

      Your Mario example says it all Brandon. There is nothing about Mario that is offensive to Italians, and the fact that you could empathize with an Italian who finds it offensive speaks volumes about the differences in our cultures. I’m going to be blunt – decrying everything reminiscent of stereotypical black culture as racist is why your culture hasn’t been able to get ahead in a modern America that IS ready to embrace you. Having an Italian accent is not offensive. Being pudgy with a mustache is not offensive. The plumbing profession is not offensive. You could even replace the mushrooms and fire flowers with spaghetti and meatballs, and we would still not be offended. Yet, if the character was a high school janitor named Jamal who ate fried chicken to power him up, blacks would be up in arms. As an Italian American, I’m honored that a Japanese video game mogul created an Italian character to be the flag bearer of his company.

      • Brandon Smith

        Nice rant but you’re not understanding what I’m saying. Italian American’s DO find Mario offensive. Most notably, Italian American game journalists such as Jeff Cannata or Vinny Caravella of Giant Bomb. They say it anytime a conversation about Mario comes up. It’s something I’ve heard many, many, many times from dozens of Italian americans over the years. My question, and apparently you are completely unqualified to answer it, was how seriously non-Italians are supposed to take it because Italian Americans don’t seem to be very organized in doing away with it. In short, I hear the complaint all the time but I never hear anyone saying what should be done about it. I’m saying I totally understand how Mario COULD be offensive and I would be right there with them if they said he needed to be changed, but nobody seems to say that. They just say how offended they are when he shows up.

        • Brandon Smith

          For instance, this particularly funny bit here in which Vinny decries the Mario racism:

        • Christina

          I’m an Italian America and I love Mario. I don’t find him offensive at all.

    • http://mfinley.com mfinley98

      You are saying something reasonable and right. Don’t let the trolls get you down. The day is coming when “playing the reverse racism card” will lose much of its value. You are asking what a judge would ask: “Has harm been done?”

    • DragropeJustice

      “Being offended” is something far too effeminate for most Italians to go in for. Only old women, beta males and closet gays “get offended.”

      • Jane Yavis

        Have you ever listened to talk Radio??. They’re offended about something new every day, and of course, the old they lowered the standards so blacks could get the job is a never ending subject. Considering the path John Homes took,,,,,Brandon is right on target. Thanks John for proving his point.

        • DragropeJustice

          Talk radio is for sissies.

      • Gary Carkeek

        You can’t be called a ‘closet’ gay – your comment is way out of the closet, lol

    • Kerri

      Umm… Where do you live? Because where I live blacks have an advantage getting hired over whites. My friend took the city fire department test and they ended up throwing all of the tests out and creating a new one because not enough blacks passed it. It seems more like blacks have an advantage over whites to me. And what is up with affirmative action? Bottom line is WHOEVER is the most qualified should get the job and it shouldn’t matter what race/ ethnicity you are. If my house is on fire I want the most competent ppl putting it out-

    • docd777

      Although its not exactly racism, it is a prime example of
      anti-Italian bias, a pejorative photo,an example of anti-Italian
      prejudice.So don`t want to hear the garbage “excuse” that any Italian
      embraces the Tony Soprano or the Mafia image.That doesn`t wash because
      most African -Americans will cringe at one of their own who “embrace”
      the” GANGSTA”-image or use the” N”-word.

  • iseewhiteppl

    White people are quick to toss around the word racism and clearly dont understand what racism is. Racism is an institution of oppression based on race. What about the picture is oppressive or demeaning? The last I checked Tony Saprano is a beloved tv figure in the white community. He’s not being compared to an ape or any other non-human species (like whites have been doing blacks for hundreds of years). White folks live in la la land.

    • Racism? Bullshit!

      But apes are beloved. They are the most popular exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo.

    • MCCARTHY

      “Tony Soprano is a beloved tv figure in the white community”…Generalize much?

      • Martha Bartha

        The TV show was very popular but the actual character was a scumbag. Some people can’t tell fantasy from reality.

    • http://mfinley.com mfinley98

      I disagree, while being on your side generally. Racism is not REALLY an institution. Racism is the belief that one group is more human than another. Keep to this fine delineation, and you won’t get suckered into “reverse racism” trollbait. Having a racial element or even disparagement is not racism. Action based on belief in one group’s superiority is necessary to qualify.

    • DragropeJustice

      This line of thought is very ape-like.

    • Gary Carkeek

      Puke,. puke, puke, vomit, puke. You got a ‘brown-ness’ measure for whites and non-whites, loser?

  • John Holmes

    Italian is not a race.. like african or what PC retards like to call, “african-american”… How can something be racist, if we are human race? This is a skit for fun, and if you dont like it, go home. Sorry, PC will no longer be tolerated.

    • Brandon Smith

      I can’t tell whether you’re intentionally being obtuse or whether you just don’t know anything about anthropology, but that whole “we’re all the human race!” thing is just… no. That’s not how it works. On a genetic level are different races. Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid, for broad starters.

      • Ken

        Actually on a genetic level these are not different races. They are variations of a single species. All humans are descended from a single female in Eastern Africa. Check out the humane genome.

      • coco0331

        So, could we call a crede invader and created to be generic?

  • Tiredofbias44

    Yes it is . For the meanest of purposes. TNR has a fetish for making stories conform to the prevailing “liberal narrative” Currently the Democrat narrative is that that all conservatives are evil and that press is to portray them in degrading and dehumanizing ways.

    Tea Party people are to be dehumanized as Tea baggers and racists. Chris Christe is to be dehumanized as a fat pig, bully, Dago. Portraying his face in that of an Hollywood caricature of a fat, Italian gangster is intentional and vile. It serves as a device to dehumanize Christie while stirring the basest instincts of their readers. It is a literary device to prepare the reader for a vile and insulting article designed to conform to the liberal narrative. To encourage liberal readers to wallow in anger, vindictiveness and to assert hypocritical rage.

    Yes the piece is racist through and through.

    • Gary Carkeek

      Your article has no basis in fact – are you a prophet ?(even in your own puny mind). Too mentally starved to use facts?

    • Bort a rico

      And here I thought it was just a political cartoon. Oh wait…

  • Annette Greco

    Racist. Good thing he hasn’t adopted, or the kid would risk being the butt of “black baby” jokes like Romney’s grandson. Ain’t no double-standards like the double-standards of the Sanctimoniously Politically Correct.

  • CapitolIntel

    Illiterate journalists and editors. It is at the most an ethnic slur and not racism. Christie is a disgrace for all people with Italian heritage so it isn’t even a ethnic slur. Funny how white journos like to throw the Race card around.

  • Ed King

    Why are they calling this an illustration? It’s some kind of photo collage similar to what is done in third grade art classes. I’ve been an illustrator for forty years, and it’s done with pens and ink and brushes and paint.

  • Tom Livingston

    What a crock.

  • Beto Sabio

    GOOMBAH !!!!