‘Racist’ Barack Obama cartoon

Apparently Rupert Murdoch, owner of the New York Post, apologized for a political cartoon that some people felt was racist. You can read about it and see the cartoon here. Maybe I’m missing something… but how is this racist? I’m assuming the chimp is supposed to be Obama. George Bush has been compared to a chimp countless times, why is it suddenly racist if Obama is depicted as a chimp? Maybe it’s because the chimp is being shot by police? I really don’t know.

More importantly, how does this cartoon even make sense? I gather they’re insinuating that the author of the stimulus bill was no smarter than a chimp. But what does this have to do with the chimp that attacked that lady in Connecticuit? It’s like they’re trying to tie two unrelated current events together.

Really Rupert Murdoch should be apologizing for political cartoons, which are neither funny nor meaningful. It reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine gets someone at The New Yorker to admit that their cartoon doesn’t make any sense.

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6 Responses to ‘Racist’ Barack Obama cartoon

  1. amienowheels says:

    “Monkey” has been used as a derogatory term towards African-Americans in the past – ‘less than human’ is the inference. It’s not as widely used anymore, but I’ve heard it used in that way.

    And yes, just joining two unrelated current events in some sort of way that might be funny. Oh except no.

    i like political cartoons, just well done ones :)

    • amienowheels says:

      “The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that “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 are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?” – Al Sharpton – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/18/new-york-post-chimp-carto_n_167841.html

      • Mark Doliner says:

        I had no idea that “monkey” has been used as a derogatory term towards African-Americans.

        • amienowheels says:

          Yeh, it made me think of this other thing that happened a while back around here – basically, a professor had written a test with the question that started… “Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second.” (http://wikifun.blogspot.com/2006/04/condoleezza-gallagher-watermelon-and.html)

          Which, is apparently derogatory, and so the professor got in trouble. The blog post I linked to talks about the “ignorance of stereotypes” – I think as we get further away from the time where people made derogatory remarks against people of other races in the open and with regularity, we’ll have more of these situations where some people go “RACIST!” and others go “… what?”

    • I think the most offensive thing about this cartoon is that it’s unmistakable how racist it is. They can’t even say “No no, what I was trying to say was…” because if he wasn’t trying to be racist, then this cartoon makes even less sense.

      • modified says:

        I’m not sure if this is much of a defense, but my initial read of the comic when it came out was that legislators and senators were no more capable than monkeys when it came to passing the stimulus bill (lots of screeching and hollering and arm waving, but no real progress).

        That said, the racial interpretation is just a valid.

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