Yes, I am aware of regional American history in which black people were sometimes referred-to as ‘porch monkeys’.
But please tell me how this cartoon is racist?
According to Roland Martin, it’s a racist attack on the president. “The cartoonist didn’t hang a sign around the neck of the chimp, so he left it up to the reader to determine exactly who the cops were referring to. We all know that the stimulus bill was the first priority of the new president, so when reading the caption, it was easy to infer that the cartoonist was implying the president of the United States.”
I’m a smart guy.
I’m pretty up on the news.
I saw the story about a chimpanzee that was shot in Connecticut after escaping and attacking several people.
If I hadn’t seen the CNN editorial, I wouldn’t have known about the cartoon (I don’t get the New York Post frequently). Now that it’s become a broohaha, I’m looking at the cartoon.
Mr Martin is sorely mistaken – no one I know would’ve seen a racist comment being made in this cartoon. Nor a statement against the President of the United States. Congress wrote the bill (even if the President did back it).
The statement obviously being made is that Congress is a bunch of monkeys, and a chimp could do no worse.
In my experience, it’s people like Mr Martin, Al Sharpton, and others who constantly bring-up racism (who, may I add are black themselves) who keep the issue alive and well.
In my experience, skin color has never had any role in any interaction I’ve ever had. Where I grew up, the line of work I now have, jobs I’ve previously held, and where I’ve gone to school all show that if the person (irrespective of ‘color’) gets his work done, is pleasant, and overall just a ‘person’, they’re fine. I have friends of all sorts of colors and backgrounds. None of them feel any race issue.
I have a huge problem with hyphenated Americans. Other countries don’t have hyphenated citizens. There are no African-British. No Italian-Canadian. Never heard of a French-Chinese. So why do we have African-Americans (especially when a large percentage of black folks in America didn’t come from Africa)?
We are a post-racial country, as long as folks like Mssrs Martin, Sharpton, Jackson, and myriad others who vault themselves into the public eye keep quiet. Did America do wrong by other colors in the past? Absolutely. We participated in enslaving blacks (who we typically received as already-enslaved blacks from competing tribes), turning Chinese into barely-human workers to build railroads, etc.
This cartoon, and the [apparent] whirlwind of attention it is getting, just go to show that the only reason it’s an issue is because a few people make it one.
Had Roland kept quiet, anyone who had missed the cartoon wouldn’t have known, and everyone who saw would have gone along with the surface, obvious, not-read-into ‘meaning’ of the drawing as a political statement drawn on top of a recent news story that the stimulus bill was written by monkeys.
“News stories” like this contribute to people hating the news media. When the media becomes the news, makes the news, and comments about its own news, they’re not reporting’ the news’ – they’re participating in a narcissistic, self-aggrandizing series of congratulatory back-patting to make themselves feel better.
Maybe folks like Roland Martin could go back to doing something productive in life, rather than making an issue of something that isn’t there.
Comments on “how is this racist?”
Yeah, Roland Martin, he’s a piece of work. I liked this thinly veiled arguments that Mike Vick shouldn’t be in jail on dog fighting charges. When I saw the article I thought the cartoonist was referring to Congress who have been collectively acting as sensible as the dead chimp. If Martin knew as much as he claims he’d know that Congress writes Bills and the President signs them. Roland is grasping at straws here.
I’m sorry Warren, but if you can’t see how the cartoon could be construed as racist then you’re either incredibly naive and ignorant of history, or profoundly intellectually dishonest. Even the New York Post now agrees since they’ve apologized for it.
Tanner, first, the Post didn’t apologize for the cartoon, they apologized that certain people (including Roland Martin and Al Sharpton) chose to read-into this cartoon something that isn’t there.
Second, I am well aware of history. Anyone who would think this was a slight on the President is remarkably naive, or just wants to be offended. There is nothing in the cartoon that indicates the comment is aimed at the President: Congress writes bills. The President merely signs (or vetoes) them.
Perhaps those who want to be offended are the problem, and not those who make something that is purely innocent on its own. A good hermeneutical, exegetical response to this cartoon would look at the surface meaning. On the surface, this is a reference to the shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut. On the surface, as anyone who knew anything about how our country works would know, Congress writes legislation (hence being the Legislative Branch).
If you want to change from exegesis (reading what is there) to endogesis (reading-in to the material), you are welcome to do so. But saying that that is what it *really* means is intellectually dishonest.
The cartoonist, the editors, and the publishers all say they didn’t think anything was “under the surface”. Could it be to save face? Certainly. But why presume the worst of these professionals? Isn’t it more reasonable to presume they’re not all lying, and that they’re actually telling the truth?
People who want to be offended will be regardless of what anyone does. That is a huge problem in our politically-correct society – we can’t be seen to possibly offend anyone, whether or not there really is an offense to be taken.
A perfect commentary on this situation can be found here: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/28/101-being-offended.
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