Now for anyone who is still naïve enough to believe racism and/or racial discrimination is a thing of the past let me introduce you to the latest of a string of incidents that you may not be aware of that continues to happen all around us.
You would think Rush Limbaugh would have done this, but it’s the so-called “Big Bad Liberal Media” that sneak this one in. I speak of the New York Post.
For those who are unfamiliar or oblivious to the racial connotation of a monkey and how it relates to race let me attempt to offer you a very brief history lesson of being Black in America.
This drawing from Josiah Nott and George Gliddon called “Indigenous Races of the Earth” was drawn in 1857. This drawing was the beginning of the ridiculous suggestion that Black People ranked between White People and Chimpanzees in terms of intelligence. The lie was perpetuated throughout America as truth by Whites during a time in the U.S. when racism and bigotry was socially acceptable and common place. Today we still find it, but the lie is more secluded and socially sophisticated.
Now to address why this cartoon is considered to be racist and not just insensitive towards animal rights?
It does show a level of insensitivity towards animals, but it’s the text and the known history of not only the NYPD, but the relationships between Blacks and the police. I’m more than happy to go there, but want to stick to this issue for the moment.
Now to add the text to the cartoon that reads, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill” the day after President Obama signs the Stimulus bill and the fact that he’s Black (which I could go into that for those who want to debate the “One Drop Rule” and how that relates to the President.)
Footnote: I want to add that it’s also interesting how this depiction comes almost a week after Charles Darwin’s 200th Birthday to and how it can spark the conversation about Social Darwinism. But I’m trying to not overwhelm you with the depth of sophistication of the subtle message this image suggests in form of a cartoon.
The cartoon in today’s New York Post is telling of the silent rise in the sophisticated racial & discriminatory attacks reported since 2008. I’m still amazed of the ignorance of history that some people and institutions continue to exhibit.
Throughout American history the racially motivated reference of Blacks with monkeys has been made, most recently history in Pennsylvania at a McCain/Palin political rally.
One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual inference to this form of racism when, in the cartoon, the police say after shooting a chimpanzee, “now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.”
What the Hell is that suppose to mean? You talk about respect for authority or the Office of the President.
But this isn’t the first time a New York Post cartoonist has come under heavy fire in the past for racially tinged cartoons. Does anyone remember the cartoons depicting 2001 NYC Mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer and Rev. Al Sharpton? And who can forget the magazine cover of the New Yorker Magazine last July.
Some will often try to ignore the racial implications out of being uncomfortable speaking about the subject or fear of being questioned. For those who have read this blog for any length of time I hope you can conclude that I tend to understand where you’re coming from and will question when it isn’t clear or objectionable.
I understand if this is you, but do not be afraid to speak out against racism or discrimination. Now some have tried to use these words against me, but it still doesn’t fit, because whenever I’ve seen discrimination I’ve always spoken up or clarified the intentions of the person accused regardless of politics, race, preferences or religion.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” he wasn’t just talking about one group of people or a single issue. I invite you to chime in on your sincere thoughts, ideas and suggestions regarding this cartoon. But if I can quote King for the millionth time it would be this principle that I continues to motivate me to even share my opinion about the things I blog about. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This may not matter to you, but your silence says more than your words if it doesn’t.
References & Inspirations New York Post – 02/18/09 “Sean Delonas Cartoon” Wikipedia “Scientific Racism” Wikipedia “One Drop Rule” Wikipedia “Ethnographic” Wikipedia “Popular Racist Ideology”