Monkey business

This cartoon from a recent edition of the New York Post has sparked some heated debate over whether or not the it’s racist.

In the cartoon depicted two police officers and a chimpanzee that has just been shot by one of the cops. One officer says, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

It’s typical for editorial cartoonists to link two current news stories, in this case the shooting of a chimp after it mauled a Connecticut woman and President Obama’s signing of the stimulus bill. But according to a CNN report, black opinion makers like the Rev. Al Sharpton ask, “Are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?”

It’s no secret that black people have been associated with primate imagery in the past and frankly I can’t believe this cartoon made it past the paper’s editors. Furthermore, some say including gun violence in the cartoon was in poor taste because of the nervousness some feel about the safety of a black president in a historically racist country. And I wholeheartedly agree. Also, let’s not forget that a woman was nearly killed by a chimp and to make light of that is pretty insensitive too.
Bottom line — this cartoon is NOT funny.
But maybe you disagree. Tell me your thoughts on this editorial cartoon.

3 Comments

  1. i think they thought they were being all South Parkish but it had the opposite effect/affect(i flunked english).

  2. Javacia – I totally agree…at best this cartoon is heavy-handed. At its worst, it’s hateful, disgusting and reeking of bigotry.

    But it’s also very telling. African-Americans – and other minorities – as well as those who constitute a sympathetic majority cannot afford to believe that the election of a Black president means we have crossed King’s mountaintop into a promise land of milk and honey. There is still work to be done. There are still minds that refuse to see past terrible stereotypes and beyond skin color.

    The best jokes and cartoons resonate because they tell the truth. Where is the truth in Delonas’ cartoon?

    -Alexis (aka “pleasebelieveme”)

  3. I don’t even know how to BEgin to comment on this “cartoon.” I agree Jai. My second or third thought was… I don’t see how in the heck this got past the paper’s editors. I’ll keep my first thought(s) off your blog.

    The donkey, chicken, and watermelon on a “food stamp” wasn’t racist; neither was him dressed as Aunt Jemima. So…I guess we’re all supposed to assume that this wasn’t either. This was just, yet, someone else trying to be funny. I can assure you that I’m not racially sensitive, and I found absolutely nothing funny about either.

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