"Monkey, oops, Chimp Business"


By now, amost everybody’s seen this rather regrettable political cartoon, right?


It seemed unavoidable that it would be interpreted as “President Obama is a chimp”, and a particularly angry, violent one at that. Actually, I personally interpreted it as “Obama hires angry chimps to write economics plans”, since I first saw it on the Internet and not in its original location in the New York Post which was opposite a page with an article about ‘Obama’s Plan’ complete with a rather large picture of the Commander in ChimpChief. Oops.

Some people I semi-respect have noted that there were many cartoonists and satirists who had depicted the previous President as a monkey or chimp (Un-curious George, those were the days), but considering the long-held and still-remembered racist attitude that Black People were less than human and more like the lesser Primates, it’s not a depiction to be taken lightly. There are other ways to caricature the current POTUS; I’m disappointed the editorial cartoonists haven’t picked up on his “mutt” comment more to show him as a mongrel dog (I could imagine him as Tramp in “Lady & the Tramp” in that spaghetti-eating scene, failing to win over a Republican ‘Lady’, then calling her a Bitch… COMEDY GOLD!).

What disturbs me most about Sean Delonas’ cartoon is its glib, thoughtless comparison of the Massive Stimulus Bill that hands out Massive amounts of money in various forms to a Massive number of people (of various levels of productivity and merit) to the violent attack of the chimp in which he basically tore his owner’s face off! I mean, who’s face is being torn off here? And don’t say “future generations”, because any negative effect, if the Stimulus fails to do enough of what it should, will be totally unlike a sudden violent attack. If Mr. Delonas really thinks this Massive Giveaway is like a chimp mauling your face, I definitely do NOT want to be around his house when Christmas Presents are opened.

Anyway, this got me thinking (which is always dangerous) that, while the Stimulus Bill was absolutely not like a Mad Chimp, some of the Republican Party reactions to it were! So I got out my PhotoSlop software, moved some letters around in Sean’s sloppy word balloon, and made up a version of the cartoon that might be a little more appropriate…


…except for one thing, Michael Steele, the current Chairman of the Republican Party is technically Blacker than Obama. Except when I thought of the idea, I wasn’t thinking of him, I was thinking of the current Unofficial Head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, who has frequently played the part of both the Mad Chimp and the 800-Pound Gorilla (not a fat joke). But does it matter? Is the cartoon doomed to be hopelessly insensitive and racially insulting no matter how it’s framed? Well, I did come up with one more idea…


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