NY Post’s Ape Cartoon More Than Harmless Satire

Racist cartoon depicts monkey as author of stimulus bill

The New York Post and Sean Delonas have done it again. This time, Delonas, who draws the editorial cartoon that appears with the daily’s Page Six gossip column, depicted two police officers standing over the body of a dead monkey. One officer’s gun is smoking after just being fired.

The other officer says: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

Without that caption,  the cartoon would be pretty innocuous considering that in Connecticut Monday, a pet chimp was killed by local officers after maiming a friend of its owner.

The cartoon isn’t clever. It is simply offensive, racist, and totally uncalled for. Delonas, who is known to push the envelope with some of his cartoons, has pushed it right off a cliff. (For his many homophobic cartoons in 2008, GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, named Delonas one of its worst offenders.)

There is no misinterpreting this cartoon. Before folks over at the “No Spin Zone” — yes, I’m calling you out Bill O’Reilly and your colleagues at Fox News — say I and others are overreacting to a harmless satire, let’s analyze the cartoon.

Congressional Democrats under the leadership of President Barack Obama wrote the stimulus bill. The bill is being viewed by many observers as Obama’s bill. The officer refers to the dead chimp, which is lying in a pool of its own blood, as the author of the stimulus bill. This cartoon plays into the racist stereotype of depicting blacks as monkeys.

You see, this is why we must ignore calls to end Black History Month. Certainly, this country elected an African American president, but as this ignorant cartoon painfully illustrates, there is still a long way to go for full and complete equality.

Of course, the Rev. Al Sharpton has weighed in on the mess, accusing the New York Post of racism. “The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best, given the historic racist attacks of African Americans as being synonymous with monkeys,” wrote Rev. Al Sharpton, a crusader of civil rights. “One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this. … Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him, it is not a reach to wonder, ‘Are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?’ ”

Col Allan, editor-in-chief of the New York Post, issued the following statement in response to the cartoon and Sharpton: “The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.”

I would like to think that Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments at the Department of Justice’s African American History month program were in response to the Post cartoon, but the reality is his speech

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  • Timothy Barber

    Fox News does not surprise me with their response. I can believe that the artist could have intended for his image to be purely satire;however it should have been someones job at the Post to see the potential reference. As a American who happens to be black,I am offended. Just as I was when the shoe was thrown at Bush. No I don’t care for Bush but he was my President.

    This incident proves the need for minority involvement in press and media! Yes we have a Black President, but ignorance and racial bias is a part of the USA that we all call home. The least of our problems is a the opinion of some artist being printed in a newspaper. We can choose not to support any company that needs our dollars!!!!! The bigger issue is will we support the struggling Black Press and Media that at least attempt to promote and not degrade people of all colors. Peace and God bless.

    • Dulciita

      they are uarawne of the racial symbolism of the monkey in our culture is a liar or idiot, or so naive as to be a danger to himself and others. I think this is generally your take, correct?5) Muted commentary? Maybe. The other message screams at the top of its lungs. Again, allowing the real message to get lost in the uproar points to (at best)the general incompetency of those involved.6) Getting back in the limelight? Your cynicism is showing, my friend. You’re a better person than this.7) No argument. I’m a fool, too.8) Who am I to mess with your punch line just because I disagree?

  • rogr

    THIS WAS THE ARTIST’S PUBLIC WAY OF EXPRESSING
    THE OWNERS TRUE, PRIVATE BELIEFS THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE APES.
    THEY PROBABLY FEEL THAT THEIR READER DEMOGRAPHIC WOULD CONDONE IT. HEY, FOX NEWS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE.
    FORTUNATELY FOR US.. PEOPLE LIKE THEM WILL NEVER MAKE IT TO SUCH A HIGH IMPORTANT POSITION LIKE PRESIDENT.
    IF THE OWNER IS OVER 50YRS OF AGE, YOU CAN BET HE HAS THE MINDSET OF A NON-BLACK AMERICAN OF THAT GENERATION, EVEN THOUGH HIS PARENTS CAME HERE ILLEGALLY FROM A COUNTRY THAT WAS CLEANING OUT THEIR LANDS OF UNDESIRABLES.
    I BET HIM MOMMA IS PROUD OF HIM,,WHERE EVER SHE IS.

  • Anonymous

    Even if the Republicans/Conservatives use their usual scapegoats, don’t some of those who adhere to this party find it strange that these instances keep coming up over and over again, and that they have to scurry around over and over again to try and defend the authors of these instances?Even if they doubt are to doubt every single one of them as simply a “misunderstanding” that’s an awful lot of “misunderstandings” don’t you think?

    “Barack the Magic Negro”, this story, Mike Huckabees statement, Curious George, the Obama and Michelle terrorist picture, terrorist fist bump, etc. the list goes on. If their party is so guilt free from any of that, then why is it that these so called “coincidences” keep coming up and them having write them off constantly? There comes a point where you have to say “okay, something obviously doesn’t add up here”.

  • john

    lmao calm down

  • Black in America

    I found it hurtful, however I was challenged today by a non-minority co-worker and it made me think. They asked if I was hurt because it was a cruel reminder that nothing has changed around race issues or because I am black and am overly sensitive.

  • Katherine

    Oh my word… How is this man still employed? Wouldn’t liberal New Yorkers be completely appalled by racist, homophobic cartoons? This doesn’t seem like any accident, ESPECIALLY if this man has created controversy with his cartoons before. He knew what he was doing.

    In reference to Black in America’s comment, whether this was intentional or not, anyone who is making a nationally public statement, no matter what medium, needs to be more aware and sensitive to issues like this. Race, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc. are all very sensitive topics that one has to consider when broadcasting to a large group of people. Only people with hate as a motive would be reluctant to this.

    I’m white and grew up in a diverse area (New Orleans), and although I do know of the stereotype I don’t think I would have even made the connection of the monkey being a racial insult. This is most likely because I wasn’t raised hearing anything like that from my parents, or friends that I can remember (white or black). It may also be that I’m part of a younger generation, it doesn’t seem like a common reference, although I’m sure my peers know of it as well. I HOPE that the latter is the case, rather than simply because of being white, or raised by intelligent people. It would be relieving to know that slurs and hate CAN actually die with the older generations.

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