A Quick Remedial Course In Racist Iconography, Part Two

In part 1, Kyle wrote about why the Obama Monkey sock puppet that came out last year was juuuuust a bit racist.  Thanks to Rupert Murdoch’s pet cartoonist at the New York Post, I have to write part 2.  Here’s the Republicans’ idea of good, clean criticism of Obama:

Yup, the solidly Republican NY Post really published this.

I don’t even know where to begin…

If you’re one of those people who will complain about all the Bush/Chimp pictures over the past eight years and claim that, because of those, depicting Obama as a chimp isn’t racist, fine.  I most certainly do not agree with you, and in fact, your views are not “fine,” but for the sake of argument I’ll heed your point and move on to the fact that this cartoon shows, in a positive manner, that the chief execctive officer of this nation should be shot dead. There is no way around it, no way you can argue against this fact.  It is set in stone; there is no other interpretation.

Unless you’re incredibly dense.

Had a cartoon like this about Bush come out during his administration, and was then published in one of the largest mainstream media publications in the country, Republicans would have been apoplectic.  They would have screamed, “The nutroots want to assassinate Bush!”  Michelle Malkin would have based a whole book around the cartoon called “Unhinged II.”  But when the tables are turned, Malkin is the first to defend the cartoon:

When I think of racial cowards, I think of the people cowed by mau-mau-er Al Sharpton — now attacking the NYPost over a cartoon lampooning that crazy dead chimp.

Malkin’s comment discussed racism in larger context, and here she is criticizing Sharpton for railing against a cartoon which obviously shows the president shot dead, except the president is in the form of a chimp.  The president just happens to be black, too.  But there’s nothing hateful or racist about that, nooooo.

Sister Toldjah, one of the most shameful assholes the wingnutosphere has to offer, also chimes in:

I hope like heck that the NY Post stands firm and doesn’t offer the slightest apology for this non-racist cartoon, because if it does, it will just mean that white people will once again have to take a back seat (no pun intended) to race hustlers like Sharpton whose forms of “discussion” on race equate to them talking, and you listening.

Charming.

So what if I drew a cartoon about going to Texas, shooting some jerk in a cowboy hat with a stupid smirk on his face dead, and had the shooter saying “They’ll have to find someone else to place the country in the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression,” what would the Republicans say?  Hmm?

This is absolutely fucking despicable.  You don’t advocate shooting the president.  Unless the president is a Democrat, of course. Then you can say whatever crazy rumors about them that you want, and if a crazy gunman unloads a clip at the White House, it’s a-OK!  Right?

Barack Obama is the President of the United States.  Some people like him, others seem to hate him — but it’s time to show the man a little fucking respect for the office he holds.  Besides, as we all should know, threatening to kill the president is illegal.  I have a modest suggestion: slap some handcuffs on Ole Rupe and his cartoonist.

Update: NY Post claims the cartoon satarizes the recent shooting of an enraged chimp in Connecticut.  Yes, because we all know that history will remember such throw away stories.

As for those who will say that Obama didn’t write the stimulus bill, one question: Do you remember what senators wrote FDR’s New Deal bills?

7 Responses to “A Quick Remedial Course In Racist Iconography, Part Two”

  1. dualdiagnosis says:

    “Update: NY Post claims the cartoon satarizes(sp) the recent shooting of an enraged chimp in Connecticut.”

    LOL, where have you been? Did you really have no awareness of the raging chimp in CT before you wrote this?

  2. tas says:

    Sorry DD, I tend to pay attention to actual news stories that matter, not the shit that gets played up in tabloids and cable “news”.

  3. Greg says:

    “Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Some people like him, others seem to hate him — but it’s time to show the man a little fucking respect for the office he holds.”
    I absolutely agree with you. Though I didn’t vote for him, the man is our president, and he deserves respect. This being said, I was curious to know what you thought of President Bush getting a shoe thrown at him? That’s just a tad disrespectful to our highest office, no? Also, i’m interested to know your thoughts on the film “Death of a President.” I’m not sure if you remember, but it was the mockumentary which depicts the assassination of Bush. Thanks in advance.

  4. tas says:

    There’s a huge difference between chucking a shoe at somebody for completely and totally fucked up your country and saying that a president should be shot simply because of a piece of legislation.

    If somebody wishes to argue this then, quite frankly, I don’t wish to argue with them. I have better things to do then waste my time.

  5. Dynamic says:

    To be honest, I rather think it actually DOES satirize the shooting of an enraged chimp. I don’t think they were aiming to put the image of the president getting shot into public discourse (I freely admit I could be wrong, I’m an eternal optimist when it comes to human intentions).

    That doesn’t alter the fact that it was a pretty poorly aimed attempt – I’d never heard of the enraged chimp story and without that background I couldn’t come up with a single alternate explanation for what was going on in the cartoon, other than the President getting shot.

    I think if they’re willing to go ahead and say “hey, we were trying to say this, obviously fumbled painfully badly, we’re very sorry” then it’s worth forgiving and moving on. There are more important battles to be fought.

  6. Dynamic says:

    Greg – I think you’ll find that we all agree that there is no place for calls to assassinate the President, be he Bush or Obama.

    Impeachment? Sure. Nothing could have been more deserved for good old G.W., although I’m going to have to settle for the impeachment of his utterly discredited and failed ideas that history is even now piling on us in great, heaping, economically destructive servings. But assassination? This is the United States of America.

    Besides, I believe in gun control. Tough to kill people without guns, no matter what the NRA might tell you.

    As for the shoe – I think anyone who can’t tell the difference between a journalist throwing a shoe at the man directly responsible for the death of tens of thousands of his countrymen, and advocating the direct assassination of our own leader, then it’s not worth my trying to explain, because they aren’t going to get it.

  7. Craig says:

    When I first saw it, my first reaction was it was inappropriate. But after thinking a bit about it, the key part was the word “write”. Not “endorse” or “promote”. Obama clearly did not write the bill. Congress clearly did.

    Editorial cartoons sometimes use an unrelated hot topic in the news to help make a larger point. The downside is that not everyone will get the reference, and the cartoon itself will have a shorter shelf life (people won’t remember the reference six months from now). The chimp attack story was big on cable news at this time and apparently in the New York media.

    So, to me, for anyone to not acknowledge the likely connection that was being attempted here, gives me the impression that they aren’t being totally intellectually honest about it.

    That being said, someone at the Post should have had the sense to consider unintended interpretations that could be made. This was Obama’s first big-time bill, and he had been pushing it hard publically.

    So, in the end, I think a better (and funnier) representation of the stimulus author should have been used.

    But an intentionally inflammatory racist cartoon that also encouraged the assassination of a President? Step away from the hyperbole machine.

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