People who are more aware of politics and political bloggers than I am are apparently up in arms over a recent Financial Times column that likened President Barack Obama to Felix the Cat. Writer Niall Ferguson said:
“President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat. One of the best-loved cartoon characters of the 1920s, Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky. And that pretty much sums up the 44th president of the US.”
Right. And Ferguson sees a lesson for Obama in Felix’s fate:
“Even Felix the Cat’s luck ran out during the Depression. His creator Pat Sullivan drank himself to death in 1933, baffled that audiences now preferred mice like Mickey and Jerry. President Obama should take note.”
I find that baffling as well.
Ferguson claims he wasn’t being racist, pointing out that:
“Felix the cartoon character was a black cat, not an African-American cat – in other words, he was not one of the (quite numerous) 1920s figures in popular entertainment that mocked the mannerisms of the descendants of slaves.”
I would really like to see an African-American cat who is not also black. But that’s just me.