The fact that the legislature wrote the bill is a red herring in this argument. The cartoonist clearly knows what he is doing, as do all political cartoonists, and so do the editors who approve such things. People who will snicker at the racial overtones and forward it to their equally racist pals don’t care who wrote what, only that it is demeaning to Obama and blacks in general. A chimp is just a chimp? Yeah, and “Barack The Magic Negro” is a merely a paean to his achievements.
You can’t go around comparing any african-american to a chimp and not risk being tapped with the racist stick,even if you have a non racist reason for it.
Is it ‘fair’, no; but that’s history and culture and I think that any editor worth is salt, would’ve put the brakes on using the image of a chimp, shoot dead by cops in the street, with a bill that is associated with an African-American; regardless of who wrote the bill.
The same way I think people would have an issue with a “waste disposal” bill associated with Joe Liberman and the image was of two prison guards tossing a rat into an oven; even if Joe Liberman didn’t write the bill and the city has a history of rats benefiting from eating waste at an inciderator plan.
Symbolism is a double-egded sword and I think good editorial staff is able to gauge which symbol is going to have the greatness weight and it seems to me that in this case, whether it’s a fair burden or not; the weigh of history has the strongest pull.
I don’t think the intent was racist, yet I can see how it can be interpreted fairly by many as such. It is a slopy, idiotic cartoon and the artist deserves criticsim
If the cartoonist didn’t mean that in a racist way, then good grief — how blind would a person have to be not to see that? It isn’t as if the GOP faithful were waving stuffed monkey dolls adorned with Obama stickers, or anything. Christ.
Blacks don’t like the chimp reference because it was meant as being less intelligent than a human. Politicians don’t like the chimp reference because it was meant as being less intelligent than a human. Nobody likes being called a chimp because it means being less intelligent than a human. Please explain why one person’s dislike at being called a chimp is less valid than another’s or more valid. For the record it looks to me like it’s a reference to politicians, but why can you say a bad thing about them and it’s alright to do it?
A chimpanzee is a great ape, not a monkey.
But aside from that, the argument that one lone chimp represents Congress as a whole is ridiculous. They’ve shot one chimp. One. How then does the cop conclude that they’ll have to get someone else to write the next bill? Wouldn’t there be 534 still remaining to write bills? The death of one Congresscritter does not stall bill writing for the Congress as a whole.
Chimps don’t seem to mind, and would likely find your characterization offensive, with good reason. I’ve seen chimps that could play tic-tac-toe, and I’ve met a lot of really, really stupid humans.
Umm, 'cause being a politician is a choice being Black, not so much?
A chimp by any other name smells as sweet.
This is just RO…nothing here except by those who are bound and determined to see racism in anything and everything. When they show a chimp in the Oval Office sitting at the presidents desk…oh, wait. They HAVE shown that numerous times. Except it was referring to Bush. :smack:
As many people here have pointed out, whether it was intentionally racist or not, it’s not a very good cartoon.
Yeah, I was seeing it as ‘on typewriters’ joke, not an Obama joke, myself.
Well, I do have to admit that the inclusion of Sharpton’s picture in the top corner of the cartoon showed incredibly bad taste by the original cartoonist (for the humor impaired insert the tongue in cheek smiley here). In addition, the thought of Sharpton spanking the monkey leaves me a bit wigged out…
You seem to like a guy who’s read a his share of political cartoons. Are you really that surprised that this one doesn’t hold up to your literal analysis?
For what it’s worth, I’ve read a fair bit of the legislation (I’d venture to say I’ve read more than many of the legislators had when they approved it) and, to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that chimps had taken a significant role in the drafting.
I’d’ve liked the joke better if the stupid cop had shot a potted plant, perhaps an Aspidistra, multiple times, and it lay there bleeding on the sidewalk. The joke would make as much sense as it does now, and it’d be funnier.
How would it make as much sense? To me, your analogy makes no sense at all, while I get the joke in the comic just fine. The reference to monkeys and typewriters goes back even before my time, and it’s in pretty common usage. I haven’t heard the one about enough potted plants being able to write legislature though. Do you have a reference?
It wouldn’t have the reference to the chimp rampage, though. (It’d suck regardless but at least you can understand what they were trying to do.) And then people wouldn’t be talking about the Post’s cartoon on TV.
I believe absurdism is what **Squink **was shooting for – a plant writing a bill – as opposed to a tortured take on a not very clear whatever it is (monkeys on a typewriter) all wrapped up in a news story that no one other than those affected are even going to remember in three days…
I’m in favor of more absurdist political cartoons. As an elementary school child I used to read the things by the bushel, but they haven’t improved over time.
I’m not seeing the torture here except from the folks outraged by this. I’m also not seeing how this isn’t pretty clear. It SEEMS pretty clear from my perspective, especially considering the recent stories in the news. If they showed a potted plant shot dead with the same caption I think the reaction of most people (and the editor of the comic) would be ‘Huh? Why didn’t they use a monkey?’.
What difference does it make if people do or don’t remember the story 3 days from now for that matter? The cartoon was published NOW…not 3 days from now. Again, this seems almost a willful effort to BE outraged just for the sake of outrage.
It’s just not a great editorial cartoon. It’s not particularly insightful or amusing. Then again, I’m not a New Yorker, so contextually it’s message is lost on me as well.