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Obama ‘watermelon toothpaste’ cartoon in Boston tabloid called racist

There’s an ink stain on Jerry Holbert’s résumé after the veteran editorial cartoonist for the Boston Herald made a reference featuring President Obama that’s been decried as racist.

The cartoon — “White House invader got farther than originally thought” — shows Obama brushing his teeth in a White House bathroom while an intruder bathes in the tub behind him. The man says: “Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?”

Angry posters on social media derided the watermelon remark as racist.

“Really? No one notice the racism in this Obama cartoon in the Boston Herald? Really? Everyone else did,” tweeted cartoonist Mike Lynch.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick weighed in, calling the editorial offensive. “Frankly my expectations are not very high, it was stupid,” Patrick told Mass Live.

The Herald issued an apology and removed the offensive editorial cartoon from its website Wednesday.

“As Jerry Holbert discussed on Boston Herald Radio this morning, his cartoon satirizing the U.S. Secret Service breach at the White House has offended some people and to them we apologize,” The Herald said in a statement. “His choice of imagery was absolutely not meant to be hurtful. We stand by Jerry, who is a veteran cartoonist with the utmost integrity.”

 

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