Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Racist political cartoon? Or just making a point about the stimulus package?

Below there is a link to a cartoon that was published in the NY Post today. Since its publication there have been many reactions to it. As Sam Stein from the Huffington Post described it, "The drawing, from famed cartoonist Sean Delonas, is rife with violent imagery and racial undertones. In it, two befuddled-looking police officers holding guns look over the dead and bleeding chimpanzee that attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut. 'They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,' reads the caption."

Seriously? We are now comparing the author of the stimulus package (many of whom would agree is Barack Obama) to a rabid chimp? If you are willing to give the cartoonist the benefit of the doubt and say that this was not representing Obama as a chimp and instead just saying that a chimp could have written the stimulus bill, then you are ignoring an entire history in the US of African-American's being represented as monkeys in ractist attacks. Clearly, there is no way to look at this cartoon without having that history accessed in the collective brain of the US audience. Thus even if we try to give the cartoonist the benefit of the doubt, this cartoon, while attempting to say that even a monkey could have written the bill is in fact showing an overtly racist act of violence with two white policemen shooting a monkey who is meant to represent Obama. For shame NY Post, for shame!

NY Post Cartoon

Huffington Post Article

4 comments:

z said...

there have been some comments from the more conservative bunch that bush was also often depicted as a monkey. personally i think w/ a black president and america's history of racist depictions, new rules should apply in this case.

in case others are feeling like mr. delonas is a victim here for some reason here is an article in the nyt about this incident and a quote about another totally insensitive cartoon he drew that fed on stereotypically conservative fears.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/chimp-stimulus-cartoon-raises-racism-concerns/?hp

"Mr. Delonas has drawn ire from a number of groups for past cartoons in The Post. In 2006, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation denounced a cartoon of his that showed a man carrying a sheep wearing a bridal veil to a “New Jersey Marriage Licenses” window, a reference to the State Supreme Court’s ruling that year requiring the state to grant same-sex couples the same legal rights and benefits as heterosexual couples through civil unions."

Anonymous said...

The cartoon makes no sense as "humor" unless the monkey represents Obama. A new low for the Post.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how this is racist. It isn't funny but I don't find it offensive.

Anonymous said...

i am not down with racist stuff, but the timing might have something to do with the recent news about chimp attacks...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090218/ap_on_re_us/chimpanzee_attack

...there is enough fodder here for another post altogether.