Oxfam is a charity that was started in the UK during WWII. The charity is usually uncontroversial but recently came under fire when the Twitter account for Oxfam International tweeted a video for Pride Month.
The video contained an image showing a woman and two men grimacing with evil slanted eyes while an array of hands clearly belonging to people of multiple races pointed angrily towards figures representing LGBTQ people.
The LGBTQ group in the image did not appear to have a specific race and were represented by rainbow colors.
The subtitle read that LGBTQ people were “preyed on by hate groups online and offline.” The picture clearly showed that the diverse group with glowing red eyes were the “hate groups” being referenced.
There were multiple accusations of misogyny against Oxfam for using this image. Critics said that the word “Terf” was a misogynistic slur (it is but considering how many trans-critical feminists have proudly reclaimed it I personally don’t sweat the term) and said that Oxfam was clearly showing a caricature of JK Rowling.
It wasn’t a good look, especially since the cartoon appeared to turn the red poppy JK Rowling was wearing- a symbol in the UK to memorialize the fallen soldiers of WWI- into a badge that said “TERF.”
The disturbing narrative of the image Oxfam tweeted out, however, does not stop at JK Rowling (who is obviously not a vulnerable target), or women in general. The image also shows a blatantly racist image of an Asian man sneering at LGBTQ people.
The image also shows a caricature of an aggressive black man and many dark-skinned hands reaching towards a group of LGBTQ people.
Interestingly the group of LGBTQ people do not appear to have a race in the image. They are just represented by rainbow colors.
Studies have shown in Western societies that if a TV character is represented by a skin color that does not appear in the human species (green, blue, red, etc.) the viewers tend to automatically assume the character is white. The characters on The Simpsons were bright yellow but viewers knew they were white. The Smurfs were blue but viewers knew they were white. Burt and Ernie on Sesame Street were also assumed to be white.
That gives the message that Oxfam displayed during their Pride Month video a more disturbing resonance. It almost looks like a white supremacist-friendly narrative of “white genocide” in the face of an aggressive multiracial world. But with an LGBTQ twist.
Oxfam, to the charity’s credit, pulled the image and issued an apology. It was a rather lukewarm apology, but the important part was that Oxfam recognized that the image went too far.
Yanking one quick image in a longish Pride Month video, however, was still seen as “caving to bigots” by many trans activists. Harvard professor Alejandra Caraballo, who is trans, retweeted the racist image and stated: “If you’re upset by this video, you’re the problem.”
Yes, if you are black or Asian or a woman who is insulted by the clearly racist image, you are “the problem.” According to Alejandra Caraballo.
Did Oxfam “cave to bigots?” Yes, yes they did.
They caved to bigots when they allowed that image to be shown under their official Twitter account in the first place.
Fortunately Oxfam has now removed the image. The bigots, however, continue to reveal themselves as they indignantly retweet the racist caricatures and insist that those who are offended are “the problem.”
And we will not cave to them.