It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
The New York Post is standing behind a cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police. The cartoon in Wednesday’s Post by Sean Delonas shows two police officers standing over the body of a bullet-riddled chimp. One of the officers says the other, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
In a statement, Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan said: “The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.”
Initially, my response was that Sharpton was overblowing yet another issue until I saw the cartoon. The stupid part is not just the cartoon itself. It is the utterly inexplicable defense of the cartoon by the Post.
The problem is not the concept itself. Considering Congress a group of chimps is not a problem. The problem is that it was not directed at Congress bu–
You know, at this point no one should have to explain something like this. It should be apparent that you do not equate a black, person with a monkey, which is how Africans and their descendants have been viewed in the past. It should be apparent that you do not put a sign in the background that states “Beware of Dog” with two white cops in the forefront shooting at a historical racist caricature of black people. It should be apparent that you do not pretend as if you have no idea what everyone is talking about when they call the cartoon offensive.
You simply do not do that.