Monday, February 23, 2009

NY Post Chimp/Stimulus Cartoon: Racist/Treasonous Or Tempest In A Teapot?

Personally, the way I see it: MANY people wrote the stimulus bill and this was just a commentary on how absolutely ridiculous the cartoonist thought the final legislation was.

As much as I lean left, I find it embarrassing to watch people twist some of the statements made by the cartoonist. On Countdown With Keith Olbermann, the host said that the artist said the chimp was meant to represent Pelosi, not Obama, and Olbermann mentioned how advocating the shooting of one rather than the other was cold comfort. What the cartoonist actually said was that, if the chimp represented any one person, it would be Pelosi, not Obama...but wasn't meant to represent either.


  1. Under normal circumstances I would agree with you, but ... and its a big one and one I've not heard anyone really discuss. See the sign on the pole? See how you can clearly see the word "Dog"? Now correct me if I'm wrong but term used in conjuction with the chimp makes the artists intention very clear. You notice his word balloon goes out of the way to slightly cover everything but that one word.

    Just my .02


  2. I wonder where all these socially conscious leftwing pundits were when Condy Rice was represented in political cartoons that were openly racist a couple of years ago.

  3. I'm lost, Rich: what should the significance of the DOG being completely uncovered be?

    I'd disagree on it looking purposeful, regardless, as much of "BEWAR" (sic) is left uncovered.

  4. Dog is a common term of slave traders past and present. From the Jews to the Negroes, they were all called dogs it was a way of dehumanizing them.

    I had a long post typed but the damn page crashed and I just don't have the type to go off on another rant, especially now that it is out of my system. LOL!


  5. You don't find it suspect that the artist put a sign on a pole above a dead chimp with one word blocked and misspelled and no room for the other, but yet Dog is perfectly placed. Maybe it is coincidence, but my Spider-sense is tingling and as a person with friend of many nationalities I was not the only one that noticed.


  6. I have to respectfully disagree with you. The comic has blatant racist overtones. You have to remember who is reading the paper (I presume average americans). I'd say that the majority of Americans would assume that since it's been billed as "Obama's" stimulus bill, that he wrote it. In addition, on pages before the comic in the same paper, there is a picture of Obama signing the legislation. This again, makes the reader think that he authored or coauthored the bill.

    The shooting of the monkey in cold blood is even more disturbing. First the reader may assume that the monkey is meant to represent Obama (whom many feel is the major proponent/writer behind the stimulus bill). This is wrong because of the negative imagery Blacks have endured for years in American media...that being compared to various primates.

    What is more frightening is that the monkey, that many feel represent Obama, is shot in cold blood by White cops. As you know, Obama has had many life threats from White supremacist groups. In addition, he has had more life threats than any presidential candidate in history. This comic is then viewed as an assassination on Obama.

    I think it was insensitive. The comic obviously did not intend for it to be interpreted that way, however, the fact that it "could" be interpreted that way shows the artists and papers lack of professionalism. Its like saying something racist around a racial minority, and then telling them...I didnt mean for it to sound that way...I swear I'm not racist!

    Jayson L.

  7. Ha! There's my answer I guess. Liberals don't care about racism unless it affects one of their own pet ethnics.

  8. Not to be funny "Anonymous," but if you had some examples of cartoons that depicted Condi in a racist would help your argument. I dont ever remember her being portrayed as a primate or her being shot in cold blood in a comic. So at least ONE example of a racist comic would be nice. Thanks!

    Jayson L.

  9. "The comic has blatant racist overtones.
    The comic obviously did not intend for it to be interpreted that way, however, the fact that it "could" be interpreted that way shows the artists and papers lack of professionalism."

    Blatant overtones would generally need to be intentional or else they aren't very blatant. There's a bit of inconsistency to your position.

    "Its like saying something racist around a racial minority, and then telling them...I didnt mean for it to sound that way...I swear I'm not racist!"

    It's, again, a bit inconsistent to use this example while, at the same time, absolving the artist of intent. Someone who makes a racist statement may not mean to offend, but they generally know they are being racist (even if they feel it is true/correct/right).

    "In addition, on pages before the comic in the same paper, there is a picture of Obama signing the legislation. This again, makes the reader think that he authored or coauthored the bill."

    You're now blaming the artist for something put on a separate page that he had no control over. It isn't fair, when trying to derive the meaning of a piece of art, to pin the artist down with things the artist couldn't control or even be aware of.

    "What is more frightening is that the monkey, that many feel represent Obama, is shot in cold blood by White cops."

    Are you seriously not aware of the chimp attack that influenced the artist to combine two news stories to, in all likelihood, simply make a commentary on a piece of legislation that he felt was terrible and out of control (or terribly out of control, even)?

    Are we saying that white cops are equivalent to KKK members now? Because, if we're not, then we can really drop the idea that the two cops are white means anything other than the artist lazily drew what he knew. Are we suggesting that, had the artist made at least one of the cops a minority, there'd be no brouhaha? I highly doubt that.

    What we're doing here is taking one unfortunately possible interpretation of a piece of it (that the chimp could have been meant to represent Obama) and then piling on a lot of bits that involve a lot of stretching to include.

    Though, I'll say this: Rich almost pulled me into throwing my paranoid hat on with the BEWAR(E) OF DOG sign, since such a sign seems out of place in the scene the artist drew. I still don't see anything to what was or wasn't covered and the misspelling of BEWARE (as I believe the E is just meant to trail off as the sign wraps around the post).

    And to the anonymous right wing guy: produce the examples, please. Can't really comment on something that was not previously brought to my attention.

  10. Obama lovers are a friggin joke. Remember the Rev. Lowery say "brown would stick around,” the “yellow would be mellow,” the “red man would get ahead, man,” and the “white would embrace whats right.”?? That was O.K. I suppose. His words are without a doubt racist. Shove it up your asses Libs and stop being so hypocritical.

  11. Except if you notice the sign has a clearly defined border and therefore you may want to put your paranoid hat on after all.

    In all seriousness though whenever Al Sharpton or Gloria Allred insert themselves into a racism/feminism argument I all but cringe. I absolutely abhor the fact that I have to take Al Sharpton's side on a racism issue as he is one of the biggest racist there is. But at the end of the day if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck, it's probably a chimp.


  12. It is my belief that the comic knew the strip had racist overtones, as did the paper and higher ups, and allowed it to be posted to garner sales and publicity for their paper. Perhaps I should have been more clear with my points.

    This coincides with the picture of Obama being pages before the comic. I feel it was all very strategic and done in a manner to manipulate the American populous.

    I was very aware of the chimp attack. However, the connection between the rampant chimp and the piece of legislation was less obvious than the racist one. This has been backed up as many people did not even get the strip until it blew up and the artist had to explain it.

    No one ever said the White cops represent the KKK. I simply made a connection to White cops killing the chimp in cold blood as many police officers did to Blacks in the past. I only mentioned the KKK because they have been extremely vocal in their disdain for Mr. Obama and have made numerous death threats. Even many supremacists have made failed attempts at assassinating him. Perhaps if one of the cops had been a minority it would have changed the interpretation of the comic...but that is an unknown at this point.

    And personally, I do not see so much stretching. Many people viewed the comic as racist without even hearing cries of racism on the news. This is why I say that it was very easy to interpret as racist. People are so afraid to admit racism in this country and its astounding. Covert racism is the worst because people attempt to hide it, but the person whom its against always knows.

    The Dog reference has gone under the radar. And it does appear that there is a clear boarder around "bewar." This is even more disturbing. It would be nice to see the artist explain the strip in more depth...but I think its 15 minutes are up. People have since moved on the watermelon email which I hope everyone agrees IS blatantly racist.

    Two questions: How is Rev. Lowery's comments racist? And secondly, How is Al Sharpton one of the biggest racist there is?

    Jayson L.

  13. Lowery was referencing Obama's election as a new beginning. Then he goes on to say "when white will embrace whats right". You're seriously going to ask how that remark is racist? Its blatantly more racist than that dumb chimp cartoon. That fact that it needs to be explained as to how it is racist tells me that you were one of the many mindless that voted for Obama.

  14. Jayson & Rich: You really have to think about perspective, here. The sign is clearly meant to wrap around the pole. While the border is clearly visible and the E isn't, that doesn't mean that the E isn't supposed to exist somewhere on that sign. If the white border was particularly large on the right end, it would show more clearly than the E. There's something little scribbled into the space between the R and the border, which convinces me that the lack of a clear E is poor planning and lazy use of perspective.

    Remind me, again, what significance BEWARE being shrunk down to BEWAR is supposed to have? It's supposed to just make it that much more important that DOG is rendered clearly? And we don't see a stretch here at all?

    To the anonymous right wing nut: the fact that you keep falling back on restating the quote and that it is racist, without being able to provide any sort of explanation as to why it is racist, indicates to me that you're likely mindlessly regurgitating what someone else said on talk radio without paying enough attention to be able to vomit up their rationale here.

    Obama voters are mindless? That's blatantly more racist than the dumb Lowery quotes. That fact that you don't realize that...oh, you get the point...


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