They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill, says NY Post

Another chimpanzee, in fact.

http://www.tmz.com/2009/02/18/sharpton-spanks-the-monkey-cartoon-chat/

I tried to call the Post to ask whether the cartoon in fact refers to Obama. The surly phone attendent switched me to a surly editor who said that I need to write a letter to voice my concern. “I’m just asking a question,” I said. Moment of silence. “You need to write a letter,” he said.

I guess the monkey could represent Nancy Pelosi, although the history of using chimps to refer to women is rather non-existent. Harry Reid? Haven’t seen a lot of chimps that refer to old white men, either. But black men? Especially uppity black men who’ve climbed above their station? God, the examples are legion.

You think apes and monkeys ever get pissed off at hearing they resemble black people?

You know the shooting of a pet chimp was just a big item in the news, and the metaphor of chimps pounding away on typewriters has been around a while, and Obama didn’t really write the bill, so I’m guessing it’s not a racial dig.

Now Al Sharpton is offensive just all by himself.

I’m thinking the artist is implying the stimulus bill is so haphazard/slapdash/bad/incompetent it must have been written by chimps. Look how much screeching and arguing and poo-flinging went on in the last few weeks over what bits should be included and what should be cut. Obama didn’t write it himself, and neither did any one single Congressperson.

It’s not a very good cartoon and is way too open to misinterpretation.

Do recall, in your outrage, that Obama did NOT write the stimulous bill - Congress did. Most people actually know this. So, just maybe, the cartoonist is saying that the chimp is smarter than Congress…?

Naaaaah. No cartoonist would ever suggest that Congress is staffed by sub-simian intelligences. No, of course not.

It doesn’t seem racist to me. But it does seem stupid.

Is the artist just busting on an opinion that the bill makes no sense so it must have been written by a chimpanzee? If so, dragging in this blip-on-the-radar pop news item to make his point seems a little strident.

I think it’s stupid 'cause it can easily be seen as being racist. Ditto comments about the blip on the news comment as well.

I think the Rev. Sharpton is right this time. (He’s not always so lucky). Obama is identified in the public mind with the stimulus package, not Congress, so the cartoonist is identifying him with a chimpanzee.

Except, of course, the numerous references/pictures comparing Bush Jr. to a chimp over the last eight years.

Yeah, I don’t know how I missed that one.

You do realize, there’s a difference between equating one man with a chimp for a maximum of eight years and comparing an entire group of people with chimps for centuries, yes?

Sometimes a chimp is just a chimp, and this looks like one of those cases to me.

The gag about legislation being drafted by chimpanzees is a familiar cliche, and IMO there’s nothing racist about it.

I hadn’t heard of the recent cop-shoots-pet-chimp news story, so that part of the cartoon reminded me a bit of notorious police shootings of unarmed black people in recent years (Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell), which I thought was a distasteful association. But now that I know the cartoon setup was probably a reference to the pet-chimp incident, I’m not as bothered by it.

And by the way, I don’t think any conservative who hollered “racism” about the Oliphant Condoleezza-Rice-as-a-parrot cartoon (remember that one?) has even a smidgen of room to complain about Sharpton’s racial offensensitivity in this case:

“The Most Offensive Racist Cartoon Published In Major US Daily in 40 Years”

Huh? I’ve never heard of it.

Eh, I’ll believe the cartoonist just was going for stimulus bill=stupid=written by chimps, but you’d think he has to run the comic by a few people before publishing it, and someone would’ve called attention to the fact that the racist interpetation is pretty obviously going to occur to a lot of people.

In any case, I think we can agree that the comic is really unfunny. The “lets stick to random news stories togeather and pretend its a joke” genre killed political comics.

Do you have an example? Googling chimp+written+law doesn’t give anything like that in the first few pages.

The cliche about random monkeys typing nonsense is established and the story about the chimp being shot by the cops is current, so I think the cartoon is based on these and not racism. Sometimes a chimp is just a chimp.

Monkey’s have been used to describe acts that are easy (“So easy, even a monkey could do it”), or fouled up (“I could have chained up a monkey and gotten better results”).

But the cartoonist should have been aware that there was a danger of Obama = monkey comparison being (inadvertantly) made by the readers.

What Little Nemo said. Living in NYC, it was immediately and screamingly obvious to me.

Okay, not chimpanzees in particular, but certainly the idea of allegedly serious documents having been written by monkeys is a familiar theme:

School policies written by monkeys on typewriters

“if you read those stupid blog things instead of real newspapers, you’re reading junk written by monkeys.”

Monkeys Writing Scientific Papers

So would it be OK to compare Obama with a chimp as long as it was clear he’s the only one, and that the chimp doesn’t represent African-Americans as a whole? Just trying to figure out where the line is in your mind.

But for the record, I don’t really see it as referring to Obama at all since he didn’t write the stimulus bill.