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Interpretation, Plausible Denial and racially loaded imagery (NYPost cartoon)

PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Since its pretty far off the stimulus path ...
ElJeffe wrote: »
PantsB wrote: »
seasleepy wrote: »
On a somewhat on-topic note, have people heard about the clever editorial cartoon in NY Post today? And by clever I mean how the fuck could anyone possibly think that was okay in any way?

That's honestly one of the most racist political cartoons I've ever seen and that includes Civil War era cartoons

dot dot dot

If the intention was honestly chimp = black man hur, then yes, it is very racist.

I think it very unlikely that was the intention.

We may disagree.

Though we probably shouldn't do it in here, since it's not really stimulus-related.
This is the cartoon in question.

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Now to me two police officers shooting a monkey (or chimp) and commenting that this monkey wrote the current stimulus bill is beyond racially loaded. I don't think one can plausibly claim the cartoonist wasn't making a racial reference (ie that black people = monkeys, a traditional racist slur) when explicitly saying the author of the stimulus bill, the US's first black President, was a monkey.

Given the nation's and NYC's history of police officers shooting African Americans in cold blood, this imagery is only strengthened.

The cartoonist, who has a history of cartoons that have been called racially tinged and/or bigoted in general, claims he was simply referencing a story where a pet chimp was shot by police after it attack its owners. The connection of this event to the stimulus bill seems beyond tenuous.

So does someone have to come out and explicitly say "Blacks are X" to be considered racist? Or is the thinnest veneer of plausible deniability enough? Or is it "I know it when I see it"?

In my opinion, the cartoonist can't reasonably claim he was not trying to make a racial statement either as a reflection of his own beliefs or to stir up controversy. Either way IMO he should be fired and the editor should be severely reprimanded at the least.

PantsB on
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Spoiler:
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Posts

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2009
    The monkey = the dems.

    Not just Obama.

    People just like looking for racism because it's an easy way to push their agendas.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I didn't see the racial overtones until you pointed them out.

    I just looked at it and thought "wow, that is a dumb comic."



    Even if it is racist, though, well, there's free speech and freedom of the press. I'm not a fan of bigots, but we have to allow them their soapboxes as well if we want to have ours.

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  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I think a lot of people will see some racist commentary from this. As a political cartoonist who is supposed to deal with symbols to convey meaning, how could he not realize the implications of this cartoon?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Personally, I'd give the artist the benefit of the doubt and just chaulk this up to unintentional (subconscious?) racism.

    ಠ_ರೃ wrote: »
    cats are douches
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Russell wrote: »
    As a political cartoonist who is supposed to deal with symbols to convey meaning, how could he not realize the implications of this cartoon?

    I WILL get behind this statement.

    There's no way that the cartoonist couldn't have realized that it could be taken this way. Either he intended it this way, or he simply didn't care. Either way, he's an ass.

    But he's still an ass with the right to express himself.

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  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Also, honestly, how popular was that chimp story? How many people actually had that in mind when looking at this cartoon?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Obama wrote the bill all by himself?

    Huh. Where does he find the time.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

    I keep wanting to assume it's a "Million Monkeys on a Million Typewriters" thing.

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

    I keep wanting to assume it's a "Million Monkeys on a Million Typewriters" thing.
    Yeah that was my initial reaction as well

    Except it's one monkey

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's not a funny cartoon. I also didn't pick up any racial connotation. Without the context of the earlier story (re: pet chimp being shot by the police) it's halfway between nonsensical and childishly stupid.

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    i think im gonna claim that the cartoonist probably wasn't commenting on racism....

    he does often use racist themes (after looking back a month at the cartoons)

    hes not really that funny, i did kinda smirk at this one.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Some of the cartoonists other works

    When NJ started to allow same sex civil unions
    Spoiler:

    When NYC decided to launch an Arab-themed school (they have other similar themed public schools for gays, Jews and other groups
    Spoiler:

    Midterm elections
    Spoiler:

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    Spoiler:
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Russell wrote: »
    As a political cartoonist who is supposed to deal with symbols to convey meaning, how could he not realize the implications of this cartoon?

    I WILL get behind this statement.

    There's no way that the cartoonist couldn't have realized that it could be taken this way. Either he intended it this way, or he simply didn't care. Either way, he's an ass.

    But he's still an ass with the right to express himself.

    Agreed.

    He MAY not have been trying to be explicitely racist. But you'd have to be pretty dumb not to see the obvious racial context that can be drawn from it.

  • SpoonySpoony Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

    "Monkey" has taken on a more neutral meaning in the past few decades. I've heard people use it to describe both people doing menial work (register monkey) or idiotic people in general (those monkeys in Washington). I'd like to think that the cartoonist was making the point that the stimulus bill was so poorly constructed that a monkey could have done it, but it also seems odd that a political cartoonist wouldn't be aware of the racial connotations.

    My verdict: Not intentional, but the cartoonist is an idiot. Also, it's not a funny cartoon.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Djeet wrote: »
    It's not a funny cartoon.

    You just described 99.9 percent of all political cartoons. Political cartoons need to die.

  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's a bit of a reach to say that this cartoon implies that black people are equivalent to monkeys...

    To me, he took a fantastic news story (cops shooting an ape? bizarre) and used it as a backdrop to criticize the stimulus bill as being incoherent or poorly thought out, as you might expect from a monkey.

    edit: Also, not witty or funny

    Surprise.
    - Spy
  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Frankly given how often I have heard of senators/congressmen's performance likened to a chimpanzee I think they are just looking for things to cry racism.

    If I was kidnapped, woke up in a lab, told they were going to replace my vocal cords with those of Tony Jay, and lock me in a sound booth until the day I die I would look those bastards right in the eye and say "Alright you sons of bitches lets do this. This one is for the children."
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Spoony wrote: »
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

    "Monkey" has taken on a more neutral meaning in the past few decades. I've heard people use it to describe both people doing menial work (register monkey) or idiotic people in general (those monkeys in Washington). I'd like to think that the cartoonist was making the point that the stimulus bill was so poorly constructed that a monkey could have done it, but it also seems odd that a political cartoonist wouldn't be aware of the racial connotations.

    My verdict: Not intentional, but the cartoonist is an idiot. Also, it's not a funny cartoon.

    I'd say we'd have to go to that one poster's comment that says "any sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from malice" and see if it applies here. It doesn't really matter if he was being a racist or not, although he clearly is against arabs, he's a moron and I'm not sure why he has a job making cartoons that are supposed to be witty.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The NYpost being retarded is hardly even news

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Russell wrote: »
    Also, honestly, how popular was that chimp story? How many people actually had that in mind when looking at this cartoon?

    Well, the chimp story occurred within the NYC metro area (Stamford), so the NY Post's intended audience would be familiar with it.
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

    I gotta go with the "million monkeys typewriters" thing. I've heard of things being referred to as written or made by chimps before in a non-racist context. It's at least plausible.

    On the other hand, given the context of his other work, I have a hard time believing he didn't at least notice that the connotation was possible (or outright intend it).



    In reference to this specific instance (rather than the more general "plausible deniability and racism" aspect) I think people need to let it go. The man is the President of the United States, and at least one of if not the single most powerful man in the world. Additionally, he's going to be the target of a lot of criticism, every day, for the next few years. We're going to need to start holding our protests for more overt racism, if we want to have any chance of being taken seriously beyond about 2010.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.

    This.

    Really, I can't see what the joke would be, except to use the racist connotations. Either he's calling the President a monkey or... not sure what.

    That said, First Amendment, blah blah. This guy can draw racist comics all the live long day for all I care. If people are offended by it, then it's the NYPost's problem for printing it, they'll probably lose business.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    We're going to need to start holding our protests for more overt racism, if we want to have any chance of being taken seriously beyond about 2010.

    How more overt can you get than calling him a monkey? Does he have to be chucking spears in tribal garb? Does the cartoonist just have to write <word we can't say on PA> over and over as his cartoon before its overt?

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    Spoiler:
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's either racist or makes no sense at all. I'm not sure which the cartoonist would prefer.
    It makes perfect sense to me and it isn't racist. I saw it as 'the stimulus bill looks like something a crazy monkey pounded out.'

    Of course, looking at his other work, it seems that though my interpretation is non-retarded, the cartoonist apparently isn't.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
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  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    We're going to need to start holding our protests for more overt racism, if we want to have any chance of being taken seriously beyond about 2010.

    How more overt can you get than calling him a monkey? Does he have to be chucking spears in tribal garb? Does the cartoonist just have to write <word we can't say on PA> over and over as his cartoon before its overt?

    He would probably need to be a lot more explicit that the monkey is Obama for one ...

    Surprise.
    - Spy
  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I would care a lot more if it were in some publication with a bit more reputation than the New York Post.

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  • an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I was thinking "800 pound gorilla" ~ "800 billion dollar package" when I first saw it, not the typewriter analogy, nor that Obama is a monkey.

    Pony wrote:
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    Xbox - PearlBlueS0ul, Steam
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    We're going to need to start holding our protests for more overt racism, if we want to have any chance of being taken seriously beyond about 2010.

    How more overt can you get than calling him a monkey? Does he have to be chucking spears in tribal garb? Does the cartoonist just have to write <word we can't say on PA> over and over as his cartoon before its overt?

    It's not even apparent he was specifically referencing Obama, since it's not like Obama single-handedly wrote the thing. That said, his track record with racist overtones (though they've previously been limited to arab = terrorist) kills some of his benefit of the doubt.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    My brain made these connections when I saw the comic:

    Stimulous bill = written by Obama
    Obama = black
    Black = monkey
    Shot dead by police for no reason = black

    Maybe if the paper the day before had headlines involving monkeys that had nothing to do with blacks I would make some other connection and find it funny, but for me this is racist, tasteless, unfunny and unacceptable.

    Historical connections/comparison/uses for certain words are not forgotten as easily as you might think, it's the whole reason some people object to being called negro, or black.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The guy is just a retard.
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  • LuqLuq Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yesterday a monkey was shot by police, or at least there was a story about it yesterday.
    +
    "This thing is so dumb it could've been written by a bunch of monkeys."

    That is what I immediately thought of when I read it. Obama didn't write the stimulus bill. There are hundreds of comics depicting Bush as a monkey. To those taking umbrage at this, you are the reason there is an argument against political correctness.

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  • OrganichuOrganichu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Given how many people in this thread (on a highly Liberal forum) didn't see any racism, I don't think it's unreasonable at all.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    We're going to need to start holding our protests for more overt racism, if we want to have any chance of being taken seriously beyond about 2010.

    How more overt can you get than calling him a monkey? Does he have to be chucking spears in tribal garb? Does the cartoonist just have to write <word we can't say on PA> over and over as his cartoon before its overt?

    It's not even apparent he was specifically referencing Obama, since it's not like Obama single-handedly wrote the thing. That said, his track record with racist overtones (though they've previously been limited to arab = terrorist) kills some of his benefit of the doubt.

    I don't really see how it could be interpreted otherwise to be honest. I know that years of assholes like Sharpton Crying Wolf has made people resistant to making these judgments but you've got a cartoonist who had painted Obama as the founder of the stimulus less than a week before
    Spoiler:
    and who has an extensive record of prejudicial and racist cartoons saying that a monkey wrote the stimulus bill that Obama is the key and most prominent force behind (and the biggest author).
    Dman wrote: »
    Shot dead by police for no reason = black

    I mean to mention this as well. I initially didn't even remember the story about the chimpanzee, my first thought was to two cops shooting an unarmed black guy

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    Spoiler:
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Luq wrote: »
    There are hundreds of comics depicting Bush as a monkey.

    So does that make Bush the second Black president, after Clinton? I always thought he was a white man from Texas, color me surprised.
    To those taking umbrage at this, you are the reason there is an argument against political correctness.

    Since apparently "noticing blatant racist imagery" is your definition of "political correctness," I would like to thank you for the compliment. Our services are provided for free, you are very welcome.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yeah, given this guy's track record, he may just be stupid.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • OrganichuOrganichu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Just how racist are these dude's cartoons? So far of the ones posted only one was racially inflammatory.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    We're going to need to start holding our protests for more overt racism, if we want to have any chance of being taken seriously beyond about 2010.

    How more overt can you get than calling him a monkey? Does he have to be chucking spears in tribal garb? Does the cartoonist just have to write <word we can't say on PA> over and over as his cartoon before its overt?

    It's not even apparent he was specifically referencing Obama, since it's not like Obama single-handedly wrote the thing. That said, his track record with racist overtones (though they've previously been limited to arab = terrorist) kills some of his benefit of the doubt.

    Yeah, I thought of it along the 'million monkeys on a million typewriters' route rather than 'our President's a black and those people are monkeys' vibe.

    That said, I still find it offensive. Just not as someone who disdains racism (which I do) but as someone who enjoys comedy. Hey, douchebag cartoonist? You're doing it wrong.

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    That said, I still find it offensive. Just not as someone who disdains racism (which I do) but as someone who enjoys comedy. Hey, douchebag cartoonist? You're doing it wrong.
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    How can you not find this HI-LARIOUS!?

  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Hmm, in the span of two minutes reading this thread, I've gone from "WTF RACIST" to "eh, maybe he's referencing a million monkeys with typewriters" to "yeah, he probably meant to make the racist undertone subtle and failed miserably". Dude's got a hard on for equating Arabs with terrorists.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Couscous wrote: »
    That said, I still find it offensive. Just not as someone who disdains racism (which I do) but as someone who enjoys comedy. Hey, douchebag cartoonist? You're doing it wrong.
    09102002wz5.th.jpg
    13409006b490b05016al4.th.jpg
    How can you not find this HI-LARIOUS!?

    If you don't lol at the cartoon clearly the libruls have been influencing you with their nefarious political correctness.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
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