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Old 02-19-2009, 01:23 PM   #1
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Sharpton, Others Call Stimulus Cartoon Troubling



NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New York Post cartoon Wednesday drew fire from civil rights activist Al Sharpton and others who say the drawing invokes historically racist images in suggesting an ape wrote President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.

The artist, Sean Delonas, called Sharpton's reaction "ridiculous," and the newspaper defended its decision to run his cartoon. But other African-American leaders joined Sharpton, who has been the butt of previous Delonas panels, in attacking what they called the cartoon's racial overtones.

"Sean Delonas' cartoon in today's New York Post is insensitive and offensive," National Urban League President Marc Morial said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. "Comparing President Obama and his effort to revive the economy in a manner that depicts violence and racist inferences is unacceptable."

The cartoon showed two police officers standing over the body of a chimpanzee they just shot, a reference to this week's mauling of a Connecticut woman by a pet chimp, which police killed after the attack. In the cartoon, one of the officers tells the other, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

The nearly $800 billion stimulus package was the priority for Obama, the first African-American U.S. president, who signed it Tuesday.

"The cartoon in today's New York Post is troubling at best, given the racist attacks throughout history that have made African-Americans synonymous with monkeys," Sharpton said.

Sharpton questioned whether Delonas "is making a less-than-casual inference to this form of racism."

"The Post should at least clarify what point they were trying to make in this cartoon, and reprimand their cartoonist for making inferences that are offensive and divisive at a time the nation struggles to come together to stabilize the economy if, in fact, this was yet another racially charged cartoon," he said.

In a brief phone interview with CNN, Delonas called the controversy "absolutely friggin' ridiculous."

"Do you really think I'm saying Obama should be shot? I didn't see that in the cartoon," Delonas said.

"It's about the economic stimulus bill," he added. "If you're going to make that about anybody, it would be [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, which it's not."

Col Allan, the Post's editor-in-chief, said the cartoon "is a clear parody of a current news event."

"It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist," Allan said in a written statement.

But Sharpton and Morial were not alone in their criticism. Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said the Post showed a "serious lapse in judgment" by running the cartoon.

"To think that the cartoonist and the responsible editors at the paper did not see the racist overtones of the finished product should insult their intelligence," Ciara said in a written statement. "Instead, they celebrate their own lack of perspective and criticize those who call it what it is: tone deaf at best, overtly racist at worst."

Jeff Johnson, a former activist turned Black Entertainment Television host, said provocative cartoons are good, but that "none of this is appropriate on any level."

"The Post ultimately has to answer ... [for] a specific reference to the president of the United States to violence and to his connection to an animal likeness," Johnson said.

In California, civil rights leader Earl Ofari Hutchinson called on the Post to apologize.

"In times past, that depiction of African-Americans has been vigorously condemned as racially offensive," Hutchinson said in a statement issued from his Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. "The cartoon also subtly condones violence. We call on the Post management to issue an immediate apology and a statement that racial insults will not be tolerated by Post writers and cartoonists."
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Someone wasn't thinking...
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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I think enough of you know I believe 'race' is at the top of list of problems we still have in this country.

And I don't find A G Holders remarks yesterday to be, excessive?


However, I have been hearing about this cartoon for some time now.

And now that I have seen it, I don't think it is a big deal.
( I expected there would be some indication that the chimp was Obama, it is not there.)

That bill was written by Congress, with input form several sources, if anything this cartoon suggest to me that bill is a piece of crap that could of written by a chimp.

And there is also, the tie-in of the recent tragedy of the chimp that had to be destroyed by Police because it viciously attacked a person.


And in a way, I don't fault Sharpton's reaction, with his life experience.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:48 PM   #4
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Let's not forget that a

Chimpanzee

did write the first stimulus bill back in 2008.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
And now that I have seen it, I don't think it is a big deal.
( I expected there would be some indication that the chimp was Obama, it is not there.)

That bill was written by Congress, with input form several sources, if anything this cartoon suggest to me that bill is a piece of crap that could of written by a chimp.
I agree with you on this one. However, I can see how the knee-jerk reaction would be toward the other reaction.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
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If the editors of the Post did not think people would react this way then they are too out of touch with the public to write a newspaper. They knew exactly what they were doing and how people would react, regardless of what the cartoon was actually implying.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:06 PM   #7
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I agree with you on this one. However, I can see how the knee-jerk reaction would be toward the other reaction.
I agree, that is why I wrote

And in a way, I don't fault Sharpton's reaction, with his life experience.


Quote:
I WILL NOT FOLD.
i'm old school, i like the fluff and fold
I do most of my own folding these days
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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i'm old school, i like the fluff and fold
I do most of my own folding these days
Ha!
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:57 PM   #9
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It would be a horrible cartoon even if it wasn't blatantly racist (which I believe it is). Since when is the sight of a bleeding, dying animal supposed to be funny?
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:22 AM   #10
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I suppose that if I saw this cartoon without having first read anything about it, my assumption would be that it alluded to the "monkeys at typewriters could've produced this garbage" idea. On the whole it's a poor and very heavy-handed 'statement,' particularly given the eyebrow-raising implied depiction of the stimulus writer(s)' violent death; normally you'd expect the visual references to be much more blatant when something that shocking is implied. That makes it more likely for readers to make the associative leap that the chimp represents Obama.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
However, I have been hearing about this cartoon for some time now.

And now that I have seen it, I don't think it is a big deal.
( I expected there would be some indication that the chimp was Obama, it is not there.)

That bill was written by Congress, with input form several sources, if anything this cartoon suggest to me that bill is a piece of crap that could of written by a chimp.

And there is also, the tie-in of the recent tragedy of the chimp that had to be destroyed by Police because it viciously attacked a person.


And in a way, I don't fault Sharpton's reaction, with his life experience.
I agree. I think, maybe, the Post assumed too much of its readers with this one. And it's why I lament the dumbing down of everything, mainly because you have to these days to avoid misinterpretations and knee-jerk reactions like this.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:32 AM   #12
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We need to keep it literal people.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:36 AM   #13
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I don't know if they just weren't thinking or if they knew exactly what they were doing-but I would think that a good general rule would be to never use a monkey in anything associated with President Obama

Referring to Bush as a chimp just isn't the same thing, for obvious reasons

We went through all of those issues during the campaign-with people who made Curious George t-shirts to represent him and other, let's just say, racially insensitive--->downright racist things.

This is what the Post said about it today

Wednesday's Page Six cartoon - caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut - has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp's body: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," one officer says.

It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.

Period.

But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.

This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.

However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.

To them, no apology is due.

Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:15 AM   #14
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Apparently he's also known for some of his cartoons about homosexuality and gay rights

Loathsome: Ten Cartoons from Sean Delonas

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Old 02-20-2009, 11:27 AM   #15
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