Sometimes Pictures Speak for Themselves

Just when some of us were starting to feel like we have made strides in race relations in this country the NY Post offered an apology yesterday for publishing a highly offensive cartoon that depicted Pres. Obama as a dead chimpanzee.

Here’s their apology:

Wednesday’s Page Six cartoon – caricaturing Monday’s police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut – has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp’s body: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says.
It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.

But it has been taken as something else – as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.

This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.

However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past – and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.
To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon – even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.

I don’t see how referring to an African American man, any man, not just one who happens to be our president, in a racist, stereotypical and caricaturish way can be seen as anything except backwards, ignorant and beyond belief. Then add to that the fact that it is currently Black History Month and the whole affair just leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. Unfortunately, for some of us it’s a old, familiar bitter taste.

How far removed is the NY Post cartoon from these popular family cartoons of the 20th century?

These sad reminders/remainders of our past are from Jim Crow Museum’s Collection at Ferris State University and more of them can be viewed here:

While I’ve never been one to read the NY Post (I know some people like it for the gossip and/or sports) I’ve never forgotten how one of my teacher’s referred to it as a 4th grade reading level, biased dirtrag. While the apology was posted yesterday, the cartoon has cummulated into outrage online and across the nation. Some are calling for a massive boycott against the Post and its advertisers, a call for advertisers to back away, the firing of the cartoonist as seen here and here There is currently a protest scheduled this evening in front of their Manhattan HQs as well.

What are your thoughts on the topic?


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