I Thought Racism Was Dead. . . . It’s Not Even Sick!
Vol: 89 Issue: 20 Friday, February 20, 2009
I Thought Racism Was Dead. . . . It’s Not Even Sick!
If I’ve heard it once, I bet I’ve heard it a thousand times. The election of Barack Hussein Obama means that America has at last driven a stake through the heart of white racism. Racism is dead. Long live the King! (er, president)
So what’s the deal with the New York Post’s racist cartoon depicting a dead chimpanzee?
The Post’s Sean Delonas drew a cartoon that depicted the police shooting of a chimpanzee. Two police officers, one with a smoking gun, are near the chimp’s bullet-pierced body.
“They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says.
But soon after the issue hit newsstands, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and other black opinion makers such as CNN’s Roland Martin, blasted the cartoon as an attack on Obama’s skin color and African-Americans in general.
“Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama and has become synonymous with him, it is not a reach to wonder: Are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?” mused the ever-sharp Al Sharpton?
Probably not. Actually, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Congressional Democrats wrote the last bill. All by themselves. Barack Obama didn’t do anything except sign it. Indeed, a monkey might have done a better job.
(Hey — could that be the point the cartoonist was making???)
But let’s move back to American racism and how the election of Barack Hussein Obama has proved America is no longer a racist nation. When I first saw the cartoon, it didn’t make me think of Barack Obama.
It made me think of ten thousand monkeys typing at ten thousand typewriters for ten thousand years, since the lawmakers that signed the bill had no more idea of what it said than if that was how it came into existence.
(It isn’t like any of lawmakers actually read the bill. There wasn’t time. Don’t take my word for it. Ask them.)
Jelani Cobb, a Spelman College history professor and the author of a forthcoming book about Obama, told CNN that the cartoon offended him on many, many levels.
First, he was very offended because of the gun in the cartoon. Secondarily, he was offended because it was being held by a white police officer. Third, there was a dead chimp in the cartoon. Here’s how CNN described his reaction:
He winced at the cartoon’s gun violence as a stoker to the nervousness some feel about the safety of a black president in a historically racist country.
“When I looked at it, there was no getting around the implications of it,” Cobb said. “Clearly anyone with an iota of sense knows the close association of black people and the primate imagery.”
(I didn’t. I guess I don’t have an iota of sense. Or maybe I’m not as big a racist as Jelani Cobb.)
CNN tracked down Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams to get his impression of how racist the New York Post is. (Adams evidently doesn’t have an iota of sense, either.)
On the cartoon “danger scale” of 1 to 10, the chimp cartoon scored a 9, Dilbert creator Scott Adams told CNN. But not because it was racist. Just not funny.
Adams liked the cartoon, but judging its overall worthiness is difficult, a gauge best measured by an audience, not the cartoonist, he said.
“Any cartoon has to be a little bit dangerous, and he’s definitely achieved that,” he said. “You have to perceive that the cartoonist is in personal danger or there’s something dangerous about it, that at the cartoonist’s next cocktail party, half of the people there are going to want to poison his drink.”
Why is that? Because it was a racist attempt to suggest Barak Obama was a monkey that ought to be shot? Heck, no!
“Just like George Carlin’s seven dirty words, there are also no-no’s for cartoons, Adams said. “He’s got everything you shouldn’t have,” he said. “Gunfire, that’s the one thing you cannot get away with. And then he’s got violence against animals, also a pretty big no.”
(I half expect Al Sharpton to call for a boycott of Dilbert on the grounds Scott Adams called a cartoon of Barack Obama ‘an animal.’)
The BBC ran its story under the headline, “NY Post Sorry for Obama Cartoon.” Evidently, since the British don’t have American-style institutional racism, they had to be told that the monkey in the cartoon was really Obama.
The BBC tracked down its own racist, a guy by the name of Andrew Rojecki, co-author of a book called , “The Black Image in the White Mind”.
“The cops are saying, ‘Someone’s going to have to write the next stimulus bill.’ Well, who wrote the last stimulus bill? It’s Obama and the Democratic Party, but really it’s associated with one person – and that’s Obama,” Mr Rojecki told the Chicago Tribune.
(Again, Obama didn’t write the stimulus bill. He didn’t even READ it. His role was to sign it.)
“How could The Post let this cartoon pass as satire?” asked Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, in a statement.
“To compare the nation’s first African-American commander-in-chief to a dead chimpanzee is nothing short of racist drivel.”
It really, really would be. And if somebody did, I’d be the first one to freak out. I freaked out when liberal white cartoonists depicted Condoleeza Rice as an illiterate black nanny. In that cartoon, Dr. Rice was drawn to look like Dr. Rice. There was no mistaking the intent of the cartoonist in that particular cartoon.
But nobody “compared the nation’s first African-American commander in chief to a dead chimpanzee” except professional racists like Al Sharpton, Barbara Ciara and Jelani Cobb or liberal socialist rags like the BBC.
In that vein, the BBC noted that; “Cartoonist Sean Delonas has stirred controversy before, with cartoons which have made fun of Heather Mills’s amputated leg and depicted Muslims as terrorists.” Horrors! Muslims as terrorists! Heather Mills as an amputee! (Oh, the humanity!!)
If the NYPost wants to learn how to be both sensitive and accurate in its reporting, it should monitor the BBC’s balanced coverage of how the “evil racist Israelis are currently occupying Palestinian lands”.
Professional cartoonists were unable to find racism in the cartoon, although they were able to find some gun violence and cruelty to animal issues they could get upset about.
But let’s return to the central issue once more. The election of Barack Obama MEANS America isn’t racist anymore. I know that must be true. I heard it on TV about a gazillion times.
I also heard — on the same day, no less — that America is a ‘nation of cowards’ for their attitude on racism from America’s first black Attorney-General, Eric Holder. (Holder left out ‘tax cheats’ and ‘fugitive financiers’ and last, but not least, a ‘nation of whiners’.)
“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we — I believe continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards,” Holder told Department of Justice employees at an event Wednesday celebrating Black History Month.
He said that Americans are afraid to talk about race, adding that “certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment and at worst the questioning of one’s character.”
Consequently, Holder wants to ‘revitalize the Civil Rights Division’ to address American racism. The black population of the United States is about 13% of the overall national demographic.
Let’s see. America’s president is black. As president, he is also leader of the DNC. So the DNC has a black leader. America’s chief law enforcement officer is black.
The head of the Republican Party is Michael Steele. A former Lt. Governor of Maryland, Steele is, ahem, black. A nation of cowards? Hardly. A nation of racists? The evidence says otherwise.
A nation led by airheads? Now you’re talking!