Let me clear some things up about the New York Post cartoon I featured yesterday.
First off, I was well aware that this was a crack at the incident involving the Old Navy chimp. I was aware of this when I first saw the cartoon. By the way does it really matter if it’s a monkey or a gorilla or an ape or a chimp? Really?
Secondly I am aware that Obama did not write the stimulus bill. This point is irrelevant. The stimulus bill is his. It became his as soon as he was inaugurated. It went from “The Stimulus Bill” to “President Obama’s Stimulus Bill” in all of the papers (including the New York Post). So the fact that he did not write it is irrelevant. Let me ask you something. Who does the song “Respect” belong to? Otis Redding who wrote it, or Aretha Franklin who made it hers? What would most people say?
Third the argument that its okay because George Bush was always compared to a monkey is ridiculous. Here is a newsflash people, GEORGE BUSH IS NOT BLACK! Barack Obama on the other hand is (in case you hadn’t heard). So lets forget about the fact that George Bush was compared to a monkey because he was so damn stupid and instead focus on this. I can call a white guy a monkey as an insult. There is nothing insensitive about it. No years of hate and prejudice tied to it. No references to being from the jungle associated with it. I am just calling him a dumbass. If someone would just have said, “hey Barack Obama is an idiot”, I would have no issue with them. I might not agree, but I will not accuse them of being racist. However for a big market newspaper (with “professional” journalists and “professional” editors) to put out something which associates any black man, let alone our president, to a chimp is just plain wrong.
Like it or not, there are certain hot buttons when it comes to black people. People always think its because black people can’t get over slavery. I’ve heard people say things like, “It happened over a hundred years ago, get over it.” How naive are these people? Really? This is not only about what happened during slavery, this is about all the crap that black people have had to live through since. What many are still living through now. Just because you, Ms. I Love Black People, have never called anyone a nigger doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t. Just because you didn’t know the negative connotations that a chimp has for black people, doesn’t mean that this guy at the New York Post didn’t. I think it’s kind of hard for white people to understand how black people (or other minorities) can be so sensitive about certain terms because there is no equivalent word that I can think of for them. I mean “cracker” is a bad word, but I’ve never seen a white person get hurt too much by it. The usual reaction is yeah I’m a “cracker”. Big deal. Am I wrong here?
(Note: I tagged anyone who left a particularly interesting comment yesterday. There were just too many to reply to in length.)