Obama, America and the Nobel: What’s the source of the vitriol?

El Pais cartoon     The mixed reactions to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize continue to pour through news media all around the world. The global scale of the response is astounding, including leaders of nations and the everyday person in the street.
   

It’s not hard to find someone on one side or the other. Some news services have focused on the negative, garnering negative comments from pedestrians in London, Madrid, and other world capitals.
   

Some of the reactions are routine and expected. Obama has been spoofed (or mocked, depending on how you look at it) by all the major talk show hosts. Saturday Night Live joined in, doing a spoof on the president and his prize. (You can watch the video here on a Huffington Post page about SNL’s spoof.) This is standard comedic fare and I’m glad that no one is spared.
   

But many of the reactions have been over the top, dripping with vitriol and making me wonder about the reasons behind them. Is it “merely” that the president has been in office for less than a year? Does anti-Americanism fuel the negative reactions around the world?
   

Or—dare I say it—does race factor in?
   

Take a look at this political cartoon from El Pais, a popular daily newspaper in Spain. A detail is our illustration today, but you can see the whole thing via the link. The cartoon depicts a black dove with an olive branch in its beak.
   

 

What do you make of it? Does it mean anything?
   
What’s your gut reaction to the cartoon?

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