Thursday, February 19, 2009

The NY Post's Racist Cartoon

This racist cartoon is a disgrace. And you know what else is a disgrace? People pretending it's not explicitly racist. Are you fucking kidding me? It's not just a backhanded racist slur, it's like a death threat right out of a Klan newsletter. Fuck the NY Post for running this and not issuing an apology.

I heard a little thing on NPR today with a cartoonist saying he didn't read it as racist and people called in with "... I saw it as an allegory about congress..." I am certain I have grown up in a country where equating African-Americans with monkeys or apes is a common slur. Is it too uncomfortable or embarrassing for white people to admit we know racial slurs? Or is that we are ashamed and it's easier for us to be like, "Whaaat, I didn't even think that!"? That's bullshit. Or do people want to keep these racist tropes available by pretending that they don't know the meaning? This whole thing is infuriating.


The Post has offered a non-apology that is unbelievably offensive. I'm never buying the Post again.


john said...

what i find shocking isn't the racism (c'mon we all knew it was coming sooner or later) it's the overt violence.

As you say, straight out of the Klan's newsletter to the NY Post.

zs said...

Absolutely. It's a death threat or a death wish... it's just so fucked up I can't believe it.

Christopher Paquette said...

While I agree that this was a bad editorial choice to publish.... I do not agree with the racist connection. This cartoon has nothing to do with Obama. It is a poor attempt at a pun on the "Infinite Monkey Theorem". ( a room full of monkeys typing at random will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. )

Bad choice because few people have even heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, and therefore just make the racist connection.

patcaribou said...

ignoring the dialogue bubble, had this cartoon been published during the reign of W, and had this chimp represented the "smirking" one, no doubt there would have been much larger consequences.

drt said...

Hey Zoe, Could not agree more. While I am very familiar with the "Infinite Monkey Theorem," that one of the posts mentions, I'm much more familiar with all of the postcards, cartoons and racist tchotchke that has been an all too common feature of this country's "creative" output. With the demographics of the NY Post's readership, I have to believe the editors had to at least consider that more likely interpretation. I'm with you -- shocking racism. On a completely different matter, I'm happy to hear that we are finally getting you to Kutztown Univ., albeit several years since we first discussed that possibility. But as they say, good things are worth waiting for and we are patiently awaiting what I know will be an excellent visit. Best, drt

jonathan_lipkin said...

I agree that the Post is a terrible, right wing paper. However, I think the cartoon refers to a recent event where a chimp bit someone, and the cops had to shoot it. I don't think the cartoon explicitly is making the connection between the chimp and Obama, though I do see how you could infer it. So, IMHO, not directly racist though in poor taste.

jonathan_lipkin said...

From the New York Times:

Murdoch Apologizes for Chimp Cartoon
Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman of News Corp, which owns the New York Post, personally apologized Tuesday for an editorial cartoon published last week that showed a police officer telling his colleague who just shot a chimpanzee, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

“Last week we made a mistake,” he wrote in a statement printed on Page 2 of the Post. “We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.”

Gov. David A. Paterson, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others had expressed concern about the cartoon, which critics said implicitly compared President Obama with the primate and evoked a history of racist imagery of blacks. The chimpanzee was an apparent reference to the 200-pound pet chimpanzee that was shot dead by a police officer in Stamford, Conn., on Monday evening, after it mauled a friend of his owner.