Pro-Con: Was a political cartoon showing a dead ape a racist stab at Barack Obama?


What was the New York Post thinking? Earlier this week, the Big Apple tabloid ran a political cartoon that showed a couple of befuddled cops standing over the bullet-riddled body of a chimpanzee. As one cop stands with a smoking pistol, the other cop ponders that now “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

The reference to Barack Obama is inescapable.

Even from Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing rag, this flagrantly racist slam on the nation’s first black president is a new low.

The Post defends its publishing of the cartoon, saying, “It’s 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.”

Even that statement seems to indicate The Post views the president as some sort of a violent chimp.

Ken Schram, KIMA-TV, Yakima, Wash.


Al Sharpton and other civil rights activists think a New York Post cartoon compares President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee and is thus racist.

I don’t agree. It appears instead to be a cartoon that tries to make fun of Congress’ much-maligned stimulus bill — and falls completely flat.

In other words, I buy the explanation that Post editors have offered for the cartoon by Sean Delonas: The dead chimpanzee in the cartoon didn’t represent Obama but a famous chimp that was shot dead a few days ago after it attacked its owner and others in Stamford, Conn.

It’s easy to link the cartoon to an attack on Obama, considering he’s thought by many Americans to be the main backer of the stimulus bill.

But in the end I don’t believe a cartoonist and his editors would be so ignorant as to represent Obama with a chimp, given its obvious racist connotations.


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