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.