If only they'd invest in putting this many spices in their food...

Image by Mark Knight

I mean...wow.

I count several different issues (several flavors of insults, really) with this cartoon. Some of them are racist stereotypes, and others, microaggressions.

  • "SHE'S AN ANIMAL": Serena Williams (shown in the forefront of the image), is drawn by Knight in an ape-like fashion. Drawing Black people animalistic ways, especially as apes, is rooted in a centuries-old racist stereotype, which places Africans (the parent population of Black people) as the most basal version of humans (closest to the great apes). A related stereotype also places Europeans as the "apex" of humanity (furthest from the great apes).

  • "SHE'S NOT FEMININE": Her ape-like appearance and display of anger, combined with the stockiness and disproportionate length of her limbs makes "Serena" look masculine. The perspective in the picture guides our eyes back to the more slender, feminine figure of "Osaka". "Osaka" is not having an outburst. "Osaka" appears calm. And you know what happens next: we end up comparing the two, and "Serena" looks even uglier. The sexism that we've been force-fed from birth kicks in, and we sympathize with the masculine, ugly woman less. Somehow, she doesn't deserve our sympathy or understanding.