Even a monkey could understand why so many are offended by Sean Delonas' cartoon in the New York Post depicting a chimpanzee shot by police. In the cartoon, one officer says to the other, “They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
Claims of racism specifically aimed at President Obama have been flatly denied by the Post and just as flatly apologized for. (Seriously, when are people going to stop pegging the bullshit meter by apologizing for how someone else feels rather than for what they’ve done? Shining the light of your “regret” on the feelings of others instead of what you did just adds you to the list of all the other passive-aggressive douchebags to ever plague our planet.)
It would have been just as lazy, unfunny, and offensive if the policeman had been shown saying the same thing after shooting a Muslim television CEO. And why wasn’t that the depiction? Would it have been offensive to the CEO's victim? Or has not enough time passed since the Muslim cartoon debacle?
C’mon, you remember what that was all about, right? Americans went high and to the right to defend the cartoonist. Maybe that’s because the majority of those he offended weren’t American, and none of them were laid up in a hospital hoping for a face transplant and incapable of saying, “What the fuck?!”
The historically racist comparison of a black man to a primate is so blatant it’s simply impossible to believe the cartoonist (and his editor) didn’t realize it would be taken that way. It’s not just offensive, it’s insulting that the Post could expect it would be taken as anything else. A pot shot at the poorly-written stimulus bill and not the person who helped write it? What-freakin’-ever.
It’s never funny to insinuate the assassination of a president, but if that’s where we’re at then we should have been privy to a cartoon of a weasel getting shot in the Oval Office a year ago. (True, no one had been attacked by a weasel, but my god, is that really necessary to make it “funny”?) Denying the intention behind using a primate to satirize President Obama is the only laughable thing about the cartoon.
There is still the unbelievably tasteless and under-addressed issue of using one woman’s ungodly suffering as a joke. The only other person I know of who has even mentioned this is cartoonist Chip Bok. (Don’t remember him? Funny, since I already mentioned him in passing. You’re not going to remember Delonas in a few years, either.)
Bok said, "A woman was terribly mauled and almost killed. That's really the only grounds by which [my editors] would throw out a cartoon. When it involves somebody's life like that, I would tend to stay away from it." Bok drew the 2006 cartoon of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb crafted out of his turban. It was published in the Akron Beacon Journal.
Citing editors and the post-9/11 climate for having dumbed down cartoon satire to the point that all we have left to choose from are piles of unimaginative tripe is as thinly veiled an attempt around the controversy as was the thinly veiled shot at Obama.
Finally, Delonas’ cartoon was just stupid. It should have offended anyone with a sense of humor. Why no stampede of America’s comedians? Slackers.
It must be noted, for those who have forgotten, that Americans have the right to express themselves however they want as long as it doesn’t impede anyone else’s right to the same. Delonas’ cartoon impeded no one and neither did his editor by giving the go-ahead, evidenced by the uproar and outrage of those offended by it.
Delonas and his editor did, however, once again illustrate one of the advantages of a free society: precise identification of a racist asswipe. Worse than losing any job, that’s a professional tattoo he’ll have to wear for the rest of his life.