Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NY Post Cartoon Depicts Author of Stimulus Package As Dead Chimp

Sean Delonis, known for his vile cartoons in the New York Post in which gays marry sheep and Al Qaeda celebrates the election of Democrats, is under fire for a cartoon that refers to a 200-pound chimpanzee that recently attacked a woman and was shot by a police officer. In the cartoon, an officer is shown shooting a chimp and stating, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." 

The Reverend Al Sharpton, Governor David A. Patterson, Senator Kirstin E. Gillibrand, and Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, among others, criticized the cartoon. Rev. Sharpton, who has been the subject of negative drawings by Delonis, said:

The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best, given the racist attacks throughout history that have made African-Americans synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual inference to this form of racism when, in the cartoon, the police say after shooting a chimpanzee, “Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.”

Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him, it is not a reach to wonder whether the Post cartoonist was inferring that a monkey wrote it?

Post editor-in-chief Col Allan denied that the cartoon was racist:

The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.

Allan's statement makes no sense. First, the mauling of a woman by a chimpanzee is not an appropriate subject for a parody. Second, what does a chimp have to do with the writing of the stimulus package? It would seem that Sharpton is correct when he asserts that the cartoon is steeped in  racist associations with African-Americans. That point was backed up by Andrew Rojecki, associate professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Rojecki, who co-authored "The Black Image in the White Mind," said:

“Of course I would say it’s racist. There’s no question about it. The cartoonist, whether he did this consciously or not, was drawing upon a very historically deep source of images about African-Americans that African-Americans do not have a lot of control over.”

At this point, the best that the Post could do would be to admit that the cartoon is indeed racist and to apologize for publishing it. Nonsensical statements like the one made by the Post's editor-in-chief only show how out of touch the paper is.


Judi H said...

This cartoon is beyond out of line. Remove the racism from it and it is still directed at the president and through the drawing implies that the police shoot the president. Another columnist asked if the reaction would be as great if GWB was still president and I believe the answer to be yes just on the grounds mentioned above. That being said, it is really hard to remove the racist intent from this thing. How can those responsible at the Post justify this and still consider themselves themselves reputable?

deano said...

Attorney General Eric Holder is correct. Everytime a white tries to discuss racism, barely getting the first word out of their mouth, 15 blacks turn, point their finger, and yell “Racist!!!”. Being cowardice is our only option. Also, this cartoon would not be an issue if Obama were a Republican. The “double standard” is alive and well….

Jeff Tone said...

Judi H: Indeed, it is impossible to remove the racism from this cartoon. The Post cannot consider itself to be reputable and responsible unless it apologizes and completely disavows this vile drawing.

Jeff Tone said...

Deano: The cartoon has nothing to do with Obama's political party and everything to do with his race. The cartoon uses traditional racist imagery in reference to our first African-American president. The real cowards are on those who run the Post, who refuse to honestly own up to their own racism.

Regarding Eric Holder, he said that we are cowardly because we don't talk "about things racial." By "we," he meant the entire country. He was not pointing out anything about black people specifically, nor did he even imply any generalization about "15 blacks."


It appears that once again, the 'REV'? Al Sharpton is digging for something to scream racism about. I agree that if Obama was republican, this would be a non-issue. No apology should have been even considered by anyone at The Post.
The 'reverend' is a blackmailer, trying to scare by means of boycotts. His support-in lieu of a real congregation-comes from Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, Colgate Palmolive, and many other large corporations. Their support of him is born out of fear of him.
When will freedom of speech apply to conservatives also?

Jeff Tone said...

Jaqueline: There's no basis to this argument that if Obama were a Republican, the cartoon would not be an issue. Restating it doesn't make it so. It denies the fact that the cartoon is about race, not political party.

Attacking Sharpton personally does not invalidate the point he's making about the cartoon.

Regarding freedom of speech for conservatives, I'm not aware that Rush Limbaugh or Shawn Hannity have been taken off the air. Freedom of speech does not mean that one cannot be criticized for what one says–or draws.