Is Ted Rall a Racist?

by Laurence on 8/19/2005 · 8 comments

In today’s Eurasianet cartoon, Rall appears to depict Uzbek refugees as ignorant bumpkins or criminals–despite the fact that Uzbekistan has historically had a higher literacy rate, as well as more PhDs per capita, than the United States of America.

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Robert Mayer August 19, 2005 at 3:20 pm

I see what you’re saying. I got that impression at first too. In conjunction with what it says at the top, I think what he’s trying to get across is that because of the situation in Uzbekistan, that’s the kind of things that people there have to do.

Brian August 19, 2005 at 4:12 pm

Yeah, I think it may have been an awkward attempt to raise awareness of the plight of the poor Uzbek… selling silverware, getting hassled by the police and getting paid poorly in poor jobs.

With that said… I don’t get it. I mean it doesn’t have that much irony or zing to it.

Josh Narins August 21, 2005 at 11:46 am

How many of the 440 were PhDs? Wouldn’t that be a lot more relevant?

Is GW Bush a racist?

Almost ten years after the passage of Civil Rights, he was living in a “white’s only” building.

Howard Dean, by contrast, had black roommates in college.

Ted Rall isn’t a racist, so much as having a predictably ignorant perception of Central Asia.

jonathan p August 22, 2005 at 6:13 am

Gimme a break. It’s not “racist” (whatever that means anymore). It’s just bad humor. A lame attempt to point out the hardships Uzbek citizens are used to.

Matt W August 22, 2005 at 9:33 pm

Racist? The cartoon depicts Uzbeks as impoverished, unemployed and accustomed to brutal treatment by agents of the state, which they are. The last cell (with a guy in a poorly-fitted suit offering to exchange dollars in a men’s room) got a smile out of me, because I got offered sketchy deals all the time while living in Uzbekistan– an amusing, sometimes aggravating fact of life there. Oops, I guess that makes me a racist?

Nathan August 23, 2005 at 9:41 am

Josh, questions about racism aside, one of Rall’s problems is that he occasionally peddles himself as well-informed about Central Asia–a credential that seems mostly to have to do with his having travelled there and believing in oil company conspiracy theories.

jonathan p August 24, 2005 at 6:16 am

well, what makes someone “well informed?”

Does one need to carry an official “CA Expert” card or something? Need to graduate from Indiana University? Need to read (and believe) everything Ms. MB Olcott writes?

Rall probably is just as “well informed” about CA as many of his readers (viewers?) are.

Azjon February 13, 2006 at 5:23 am

I don’t think that they are rasist at all. I can tell you that as an Uzbek. I think that they are funny and pretty close to reality.

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