‘Ape’ cartoon draws wrath from NAACP double-standard machine
By | 2009-02-24T00:00:00-07:00 Feb 24, 2009 | 12:00 am|Categories: Opinions|

Many of you reading this probably don’t know who Sean Delonas is and, before last week, I didn’t either. But now, Delonas and his employer the New York Post are under fire over a political cartoon that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others claim is “racist” and is a form of “hate speech.” Sound the bell, folks, because the opportunism train is coming to town! On Wednesday, Feb. 18, the New York Post ran a cartoon by artist Delonas that lampooned the recent story of a Connecticut woman who was mauled by a pet chimpanzee. In the cartoon, two officers are seen talking over a chimpanzee that they have just shot dead, saying, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” President Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus bill the day before the cartoon was printed, and several groups and individuals — the NAACP and the Rev. Al Sharpton included — have claimed that it is “racist” and likens blacks to monkeys. Sharpton, in a statement on his website, wrote, “The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best, given the racist attacks throughout history that have made African-Americans […]

Many of you reading this probably don’t know who Sean Delonas is and, before last week, I didn’t either. But now, Delonas and his employer the New York Post are under fire over a political cartoon that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others claim is “racist” and is a form of “hate speech.”

Sound the bell, folks, because the opportunism train is coming to town!

On Wednesday, Feb. 18, the New York Post ran a cartoon by artist Delonas that lampooned the recent story of a Connecticut woman who was mauled by a pet chimpanzee.

In the cartoon, two officers are seen talking over a chimpanzee that they have just shot dead, saying, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

President Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus bill the day before the cartoon was printed, and several groups and individuals — the NAACP and the Rev. Al Sharpton included — have claimed that it is “racist” and likens blacks to monkeys.

Sharpton, in a statement on his website, wrote, “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 … Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama … it is not a reach to wonder whether the Post cartoonist was inferring that a monkey wrote it?”

“Al” was so quick on the “racism” trigger that he seems to have forgotten his own sordid past. I’m sure former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney remembers, though. In 2007 Sharpton came under fire for comments he made about Mormonism and how “those who really believe in God” would defeat Romney’s presidential bid. Can anyone say, “double standard?”

The cartoon was not racist, but rather, did what political cartoons do — use satire and social commentary to convey an opinion about a current political or social situation.

The opportunism and knee-jerk reaction that has been demonstrated over this story is incredible. National Urban League president Marc Morial, according to CNN, called the cartoon “unacceptable.” Jeff Johnson, a Black Entertainment Television host, said, “None of this is appropriate on any level,” and civil rights leader Earl Ofari Hutchinson demanded an apology from the Post.

But the NAACP, in perhaps the biggest form of faux outrage, called for the firing of Delonas from the newspaper.

According to NAACP opportunist, I mean, President Benjamin Todd Jealous, “There is consensus that if the Post does not … get rid of the journalists who are responsible for this bit of hate speech seeing the light of day, we will move this from a local, regional issue to a very national issue.”

Was that a threat, Todd? Aren’t there much bigger fish to fry, like perhaps Sharpton, or maybe even Jesse Jackson? The double standard that is present here is nothing less than appalling.

Where was the NAACP’s outrage when Sharpton insulted Mormons nationwide, or when Jackson called New York “Hymietown,” in reference to its Jewish population, or called Israel a “theocracy?” Apparently, that stuff was all fine and dandy by NAACP standards, and was not considered “hate speech.”

Political cartoons are always going to be misunderstood by those who don’t get their meaning, but to cause this kind of uproar is just ridiculous. This incident only goes to show that the NAACP lives by a set of double standards.

Many of its supporters have less than savory records themselves, and the lack of outrage the NAACP demonstrated during the scandals they have caused is nothing less than outrageous.

Perhaps the NAACP should change its own name to the “National Association for the Advancement of Opportunists?”

Gerry Wachovsky is a graduate student and a columnist for the Daily Forty-Niner.

 

5 Comments

  1. Your name February 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    “Whiteman” You talk about any type of “baiting” but insinuate editors are “race baiting” by allowing writers to express their views as protected in the First Amendment? Much like that crappy cartoon? As it indicates on the last italicized line of the article, Wachovsky is a “columnist” not an editor. Your suggestion is called censorship and wouldn’t that be lovely.

  2. Whiteman February 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Somehow the focus goes onto Sharpton ( who I happen to think has it right ) rather than to the substance…Is Sharpton a grand stander? Yes. Is that really the issue ? No. A little common sense and honesty about public perceptions about race would serve the Post and Gerry. Is this about scoring points against organizations and individuals you don’t like or is this about the issue of race baiting on the editorial page. When I hear people defending the Post on this one (especially by making it about Sharpton or the NAACP) I keep thinking “Come on, we’re better than this”. Time to enter the 21st century folks.

  3. Whiteman February 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    “Instead of presenting a sound logical argument, you resort to baseless ad hominem attacks. It is an undeniable fact that racists have historically equated African Americans with monkeys and apes. It is a fact that racists view Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as apes. A simple Google search will prove that point. It is a fact that the simulus bill is viewed as Obama’s initiative. The media protrayed him as the main proponent of the legislation. I commend Al Sharpton and the NAACP for speaking out against that racist cartoon.” I totally agree with the sentiments above. Not that free speech should be controlled, but that editors are called to task when race baiting. How about a little common sense?

  4. Blackman February 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Instead of presenting a sound logical argument, you resort to baseless ad hominem attacks. It is an undeniable fact that racists have historically equated African Americans with monkeys and apes. It is a fact that racists view Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as apes. A simple Google search will prove that point. It is a fact that the simulus bill is viewed as Obama’s initiative. The media protrayed him as the main proponent of the legislation. I commend Al Sharpton and the NAACP for speaking out against that racist cartoon.

  5. GO BEACH February 25, 2009 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Sharpton hadn’t been in the news in a while so i had a feeling he’d rear his head for this one. easy to understand why ppl would be offended, considering the history of african americans being linked to apes, but i felt that this was an error in judgment on the editors’ part rather than racism. it is also worth mentioning that obama did not actually write the bill himself, which eliminates the possibility that the chimp could be him. also consider the expression “so easy, even a chimp can do it.” its hard to take anything sharpton says seriously considering his past offenses and i find it sickening that our mainstream media continues to parade this race-baiter out time after time as if he’s a voice for the african american community as a whole

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