"Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit." Aristotle
E. Ethelbert Miller asks: "Why does a political cartoon ignite violence in many parts of the world? Is it the power of image over text or a combination of image and text? How does a good cartoon work (on the mind)? Are there issues of class at work when people become offended by a cartoon? Are political cartoons only for the educated?"
Those people, in my view, were usually socially timid, even cowardly, and mired in what we later came to call political correctness (which is a twin for being religiously pious and "correct"), so this is not a question about "class." (And they certainly didn't mind when the ox was being gored for a political belief held by those they disagreed with.) They were also rather hypocritical, because in private they would laugh at and enjoy such work (as we did the comedy records of Redd Foxx in the '60s, or those of Richard Pryor in the '70s), but disavow in public that they approved of or enjoyed it. In other words, their reaction to the drawing was, sadly, all about themselves. Their self-righteous selves. Their image of themselves.