Is this racist?


At first glance of the  blurb entitled “New York Post’s Cartoon Apology” I figured it was just another cartoonist (and editor) inciting rage but I was uncertain exactly how (other than the cartoon’s obvious disagreement on the success or skill involved in crafting the stimulus bill). It took a more in-depth look for me to figure out that people were drawing (no pun) connections between the chimp pictured and our President. I am blissfully aware of the level of naivete I have discovered in myself – any implied connection between that chimp and any black human being was over my head. Completely.

 Of course, upon investigation I realize that intent, insensitivity (and context), and public impression are all factors contributing to making this incident an “incident”.

But I am curious how many people looked at that cartoon and also failed to make a racist connection?

What does it mean to not make that connection? Is it insensitive of me? Uninformed? Naive?

What does it mean to bring up the allegedly imlied connection and stoke the fire?

Or did the illustrator stoke the fire by drawing it?

I guess more than anything these types of media fodder bring up important public discussion of the burdens still being carried on all sides of this argument.


One Response

  1. This is a weird one. The cartoonist is a renowned homophobe and race-baiter, and while he (and initially the NY Post) claimed that the cartoon had nothing whatsoever to do with Obama, there’s something really weird about trying to connect (a) the shooting of an actual chimp the day before in Connecticut, and (b) the stimulus bill, which Obama signed that afternoon. It’s a connection that really makes no sense — which means that the cartoonist was indeed trying to link these two events, or he was drawing a really bad cartoon.

    Lost in all this is the fact that the woman who was attacked by the chimpanzee has pretty much lost her face. Literally. The chimp tore her face off, and doctors are considering a facial transplant. When the cartoon was drawn, it was unclear that the victim would even live. So add “tasteless” and “unfunny” to “possibly racist” and “illogical.”

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