Thursday, February 19, 2009

NY Post "Stimulus Monkey" Cartoon Stirs Controversy

Popular cartoonist Sean Delonas has found himself in hot water following this cartoon that ran on page 12 of The New York Post Wednesday.

The cartoon depicts two police officers making the comment, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill" over the body of a dead chimpanzee, presumably that of the chimp that mauled a Stamford, CT woman earlier this week.

While some simply see the cartoon's meaning to be that the stimulus bill was so crazy a monkey must have written it, others see a darker side.

"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," said Reverend Al Sharpton in a statement yesterday. "One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that 'Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill'."

"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?"

This morning Coe Allen, editor-in-chief of The New York Post released a statement countering Sharpton's remarks:
"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."
What do you think?

1 comment:

meredithjustice said...

Agggh. Why does the survey push us only to a yes/no response? What about areas of gray? What about subtlety? Anyway, the intent might not have been racist. Bush was often portrayed as a monkey in political cartoons. Or, it may well have been racist, intentionally (ha ha, can I get away with this?) or subconsciously. Either way, any editor with an ounce of sense would have told the cartoonist not to use a monkey because of our history of racism.