Sooner Blue

Mostly politics, a few current events, a squirt of seltzer down yer pants .. a little blog for my rambles and rants.

2009/2/19

Black President + dead chimp = racist cartoon.

@ 09:24 AM (66 months, 7 days ago)

There's no getting around it. Even my conservative friend says it's offensive.
 
The rightie tabloid (stories of alien abduction), The New York Post, owned by FOX News boss Rupert Murdoch, ran a cartoon implying that a crazed chimpanzee wrote the recent economic stimulus bill, which was actually developed and championed by our nation’s first black president.
 
The cartoon by Sean Delonas shows two police officers, one with a smoking gun, standing over the body of a bullet-riddled chimp. The caption reads: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
 
Looks like a classic piece of bigotry right out of the Jim Crow era.
 
"NEW YORK (Reuters) - African Americans criticized a New York Post cartoon as racist Wednesday, saying it likened President Barack Obama to an ape -- a potent image in the history of racism toward blacks.
 
The cartoon, which the newspaper defended as a parody of Washington politics, depicts a police shooting of an ape, playing off the real shooting of a pet chimpanzee in Connecticut this week. One of the police officers says, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."[..]"
 
http://uk.reuters.com/article/usPoliticsNews/idUKTRE51H7N420090218
 
Now I love a good political cartoon, our country has a rich political cartoon history - Ben Franklin published the first one - but this one stepped over a boundary.
 
There should be a distinct line between attacking a person's political philosophy and attacking a person's racial dignity. Like it's okay to depict a politician as a snake...just leave the snake's race out of it.
 
People of color are very sensitive to racist stereotypes of blacks as monkeys...if the newspaper didn’t mean to be racist, do they really want some people thinking that they might be? Or at the very least, seen as joking about murdering the president?
 
I guess we need to rework our ideas about satire...we have to consider certain sensibilities when dealing with people who have a history that we shouldn't make fun of, or trivialize.
 
Would we put up with the NYPost printing a cartoon that lampoons a Jewish person in a prison death camp? Or an American Indian slaughtered at Wounded Knee?
 
There are places that even satire should NOT go. It may seem hip to stretch the boundaries...but, in the end, it just looks like an attempt to be cruel.
 
Of course, the cartoon will be reproduced in papers all over the world...a world that already thinks we're a nation of violent racists. Just when Obama's election was beginning to change people's minds about us...
 
And yes, I know that righties are frothing at the mouth, whining about how certain cartoonists depicted George Bush as a chimp for years. Indeed they did, and were called vicious and unpatriotic for doing so.
 
But those cartoons were not about his race...and I can't recall a single cartoon in the mainstream press showing Bush being shot to death by the police.