Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is not a clear parody of a current news event



I'm trying, but I can't see how this isn't a racist cartoon. And, I don't quite see that this is an explanation of anything:
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.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Odd because I'm having a hard time seeing how the cartoon is racist at all. I guess the idea that it is racists is some tie between the chimp represents Obama? I didn't think that Obama wrote the stimulus bill, the congress does that. The president simply signs the bill into law. (Along with cheerleading it along the way.) In anycase, I thought the suggestion was that the congress is a bunch of monkeys, which doesn't strike me as racist or far off the mark.

-Matthew

b said...

it's not racist. it's not funny, but it's not racist. if it had been a gorilla, then it would have been racist.

Leo said...

It doesn't really matter if there is some innocuous way of interpreting the cartoon. It's clear that the cartoon has the immediate effect of causing people to think that the president is being compared to a chimpanzee. This is not the sort of recherche interpretation that only literary scholars could dream up--pretty much any American adult, upon examining this cartoon, will have the same thoughts. (Anon above is playing dumb, and he knows it.) Since the cartoonist and the New York Post's editors are themselves American adults who can feed and dress themselves, they were also in a position to know that the cartoon would send this racist message. And yet they chose to publish the cartoon anyway. So the cartoon has a racist message, knowingly delivered. I think that's enough to count it as racist.

Degenerate and Close Personal Friend said...

I really love Matthew's suggestion that an accurate grasp of the Constitutional division of powers is the key to this comic, and that those who see the racism must, a fortiori, just not remember their civics classes.

Perhaps he should also point out that the smoke from a police-issue handgun wouldn't linger long enough for there to be that much simian exsanguination--or that the picture can't even be of a chimp, as chimpanzees are three dimensional and made of flesh while the cartoon is two-dimensional and ink-on-paper.

Mark said...

Seriously? You think that's racist?

This seems like a case of serious hypersensitivity. Maybe I could understand if there wasn't the chimp that got shot by police, but even then...

Robert said...

Leo is right. No more comments without responding to what he said. I mean, people, how hard is it? Even if a watermelon truck crashed on I-95, you just can't put your first black president at the scene without knowingly reinforcing a racist stereotype!

Matthew said...

I'm inclined to agree with you. Those playing dumb on this seem to me to be akin to those that claimed the Obama/Curious George t-shirts were also not meant to be racially incendiary. Even if it wasn't supposed to be an intentionally racist cartoon (and I'm convinced that it was), it's so horribly insensitive that it should merit an apology.

exapologist said...

Holy freaking God.

Shocked about the content, and yet not shocked at all about the source.

David said...

I have to agree with those who disagree with you, Clayton.
This seems a very clear parody of a current news event. I fail to see how anything but paranoia can turn it into something other than a parody of the mad-chimp story. (It is tasteless to parody such a story, but lack of taste doesn't imply racism.)

Contrary to Leo, the chimp in the cartoon doesn't stand for the president. It stands for the Congress that wrote and passed the stimulus bill.