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

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Posts

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The story that this is racist and everyone was just too stupid to realize gets harder and harder to swallow. I still see that certain people just have a much greater imagination for seeing racism than others, even when there is a completely alternate, simpler, non-racist explanation for the imagery.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    My goal is that somewhere down the road we have progressed as a society to the point where we can tell people of any race, any color, any creed, that they are dumb fucking monkeys with stupid monkey ideas.

    Jeffe has a dream.

    I have a dream this afternoon that being able to call dumb folks "monkeys" will become a reality in this day.

    And with this insult I will go out and carve a tunnel of ridicule and mockery. With this insult, I will go out with you and tell folks just how damned stupid they really are. With this insult, we will be able to achieve this new day when all of God's Special ones, black idiots and white idiots, dumb fucking Protestants and dipshit Jews, will be able to cup their hands and shout to the morons bringing 15 items into the 10 Item Or Less aisle:

    You're a monkey.

    You're a monkey.

    Goddammit, man, you are one dumb fucking monkey.

    The problem with using monkey as an insult of intelligence is that it ends up insulting the intelligence of monkeys. It's the most counterproductive insult.

    Like "I know you are but what am I‽"

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Kagera wrote: »
    'Signs'

    SIGNS!!!

    Jesus PantsB, of all the arguments I've read so far yours seems the weakest.

    "See he's connecting him to the stimulus bill meaning he's obviously implying he authored it meaning Obama is CLEARLY the monkey."

    No PantsB, NO.

    Wow. How can I answer that?

    I'll counter with Yes Kagera Yes! (Nailed!)

    A clear racist said that a monkey was responsible for writing a piece of legislation that is the first African American President's first major policy initiative. Its not fucking rocket science.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    To me, the statement 'find someone else to write the stimulus' seems obviously intended to draw the comparison between Obama and the monkey. That one is a black man and the other is a historical racial epithet only reinforces this view in my mind. The cartoonist may not have thought he was being racist, but that only gets you as far as the guy who thinks 'arabs = terrorist' isn't racist. (That is to say, not at all)

    Well if that Chimp hadn't gone nuts and needed to be put down the cartoon probably would have never been made.

    So obviously the CHIMP was the racist all along.

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast. I drive real fast, I'm gonna last.Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Judging on the quality of the rest of this guy's comics, it seems like if this was supposed to be a shot at Obama the word "OBAMA" would be written across the monkey's chest or his head would be like a cross between Obama's head and a monkey's. To say that this is intentionally racist is probably giving the guy a bit too much credit.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Kagera wrote: »
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    To me, the statement 'find someone else to write the stimulus' seems obviously intended to draw the comparison between Obama and the monkey. That one is a black man and the other is a historical racial epithet only reinforces this view in my mind. The cartoonist may not have thought he was being racist, but that only gets you as far as the guy who thinks 'arabs = terrorist' isn't racist. (That is to say, not at all)

    Well if that Chimp hadn't gone nuts and needed to be put down the cartoon probably would have never been made.

    So obviously the CHIMP was the racist all along.

    phantom%20scooby%20doo%20unmask%201.jpg

    tea-1.jpg
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
  • TheBlackWindTheBlackWind Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The "monkeys on a typewriter" reference wouldn't even make sense in this context. Like, does he think the bill is awesome or what?

    Pokemon Black FC: 0518-7386-3511
    Pokemon Black 2: 0519-5108-3139
  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast. I drive real fast, I'm gonna last.Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The "monkeys on a typewriter" reference wouldn't even make sense in this context. Like, does he think the bill is awesome or what?

    Yeah I mean the "joke" just seems to be that the bill is so stupid that the only explanation is that a monkey must've written it.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    No, he obviously thinks the bill is what those monkeys pound out before successfully reproducing the full works of Shakespeare.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
    Thomas-Vail.png
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'm not seeing racism here
    I'm seeing a terrible, terrible comic that means nothing, but no racism

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I read this as the stimulus bill being stupid, as if written by a chimp (which is an ape and not a monkey, you heathens!)

    but I suppose it's not totally unfair for others to interprate it as being racist

    JKKaAGp.png
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2009
    No, he obviously thinks the bill is what those monkeys pound out before successfully reproducing the full works of Shakespeare.

    "It was the best of stimuli, it was the blurst of stimuli..."

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    What tends to get me about this "Its Racist" is that there is such a variation on what could be counted as racist. It made me think of an old episode of Rescue Me where... long story short You Tube had it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7yFHkvAYbQ

    My point on this is that you could draw/write/create/wear something that a casual observer might construe as racist when you had no intention of portraying that or even any idea such a thing could be construed as that.

    Im going with Speed Racer on this one. Based on his previous work if the monkey was meant to imitate Obama it would have had some obvious reference to Obama. Possibly his face, a hope symbol on his chest, something, and in gigantic letters BLACK GUYS ARE TOTALLY MONKEYS.

    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."
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    If what you want is to parse "racial insensitivity" and "racism" to be dramatically different things, that strikes me as a foolishly semantic argument not worth pursuing. "Oh, that's not racist, its just racially insensitive!" It isn't prejudicial in regards to race, its just prejudicial in regards to race.

    Umm... except racism != racial insensitivity. Racism requires a sense that one race is fundamentally different, usually inferior, to another. Racial insensitivity is, in its basic form, just not giving a shit if you offend someone or not caring about race-specific hardships. The two are different things, and I think it's silly to treat them as the same. They shouldn't be addressed the same, as eradicating them are very different beasts.

    For example: AA

    One might think blacks are every bit the equal of whites, and yet not want any government programs targeted towards blacks. Is he a racist? No. Will telling him that blacks and whites are equal accomplish anything? No. Rather, he should be educated as to the plight that blacks might currently face due to institutionalized racism, or overt racism, and thus be made to support the alleviation of these things.

    Conversely, if someone just thinks blacks suck, what are you going to gain by teaching him how blacks are harmed by a lack of AA? It's what he wants, in the first place.

    Treating racism and racial insensitivity as the same is a little like treating anger and sadness the same. After all, they're both just negative emotions, and the solution is to just be happy!

    Do we really need to have an argument on the merits of pink versus very masculine light red? If you want to draw an arbitrary line and say "this is cultural insensitivity" and "this is racism," that's fine, I just don't see it as particularly necessary. I'm under the assumption that we're adults, and adults can understand that it is possible for something to have a quality (let's say, elements of racism) without being entirely defined by or epitomizing that quality, and for racism to exist in different forms outside of very simple, very straightforward and explicit hatred for a specific racial group.

    There's obviously a crossover and a similar thought process between "I cannot empathize with these people" and "all these people act in this manner" and "I am better than all these people." Limiting racism as a definition to only very explicit "I HATE BLACK PEOPLE THEY ARE SMELLY AND STOOPID!" strikes me as trite. Regardless, its pretty obvious we're talking about what amounts to the same thing, so I don't really see much merit in a purely semantic argument.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »

    EDIT: And you CANNOT be "accidentally racist." You either considered race in making a statement or taking an action, or you did not. If you did not, then you were not racist.

    So instead of accidentally making a racist comment, one makes a racist comment accidentally? This isn't a point worth arguing.

    The "did they mean for it to be racist?" question is irrelevant, it is "moot" in the legal sense of the word. An artist, writer, or author will ALWAYS have some level of plausible deniability as to the "true intent" of their works, and an artist, writer, or author will never have irrefutable proof as to the "true intent" of their works. What the creator wants a story, cartoon, or other piece of media to mean is determined by the creator, and unless El Jeffe created a mind reading device and didn't tell me about it (dick move yo), there's no way to prove one way or another whether the creator's claimed intent and their actual intent match.

    Let's take this cartoon as an example and use two hypotheticals:

    Situation 1: The creator of the cartoon did not intend to imply or convey any racist message with the cartoon.

    Situation 2: The creator of the cartoon did intend to imply or convey a racist message with the cartoon but will deny this accusation if it is made against him.

    How do you distinguish between these two? How do you distinguish between the countless other situations where you have a mix of intentional or unintentional racist thought, mixed messages and unclear symbols? What is the author believes "stupid stinky black son of a bitch!" isn't racist? What if the author hates every non-white man, woman, and child on the planet but hides that hatred behind buzzwords and "its just a joke" arguments?

    How far does "I didn't mean for it to be racist / offensive / stupid / demeaning / whatever!" go? Can the cartoonist create a comic of President Obama, fried chicken in one hand a young blonde woman in the other and claim he hasn't used any racist imagery? What if the cartoonist is really stupid enough to believe it?

    Point of all this being, as I said before, the artists motive is irrelevant. The artist (and it unfortunately appears I must use that term very loosely) can claim any number of meanings with anything they create. What they "actually mean" isn't something that we can prove one way or another.

    We can, however, hold an artist to a reasonable expectation of understanding what their art could mean to a reasonable person. Whether the cartoonist here intended for "Obama is a monkey!" to be racist is irrelevant: He should have been familiar with the racist image and stereotype of blacks being portrayed as subhuman monkeys and reconsidered the content of his cartoon. The cartoonists actions are indicative of either great ignorance or intentional racism or very likely both. I don't know which. I can't prove that it was one or the other and I don't see that there is any particular need to.

    It appears there are many people who define racism as only a very explicit and open thing. Racism has never existed through subtle stereotypes? It has never existed in pictures or stories or cinema? Racism has never been hidden or subconscious or semi-conscious, it has never been renamed or improperly justified or hidden beneath codewords and bogus issues?

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Olbermann talked about this on Countdown.

    I think everyone is over-reacting.

    Monkey getting shot was a news story. Stimulus deal was a news story. Put them together.

    I don't get it.

  • Curly_BraceCurly_Brace Unsilent Protagonist Egg Corridor?Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I've read a few blog posts and opinion pieces on this political cartoon, and after careful consideration I've concluded that taken at face value, in a vacuum, this comic is not terribly racist. But it IS obviously racist when viewed in its real-life context.

    Take a look at the other cartoons by this artist. They are homophobic, racist, and generally filled with messages bigoted against people who aren't white, straight and male. By itself this editorial cartoon is "in poor taste" and generally a not-good idea. If that was the end if it... "meh" no big deal. But really, just go take a look at this guy's other work. Sean Delonas is a bigot, of this I have little doubt.

    So yeah, I say Sean Delonas should get heat for this. He can certainly say anything he wants in this country, but he, like all of us, better be prepared to face the social consequences. Namely, being called out for the bigot he is.

    tQCnY.giftom_sig2.jpg
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    taken at face value, in a vacuum, this comic is not terribly racist. But it IS obviously racist when viewed in its real-life context.

    I'll maybe give you that. Except I think one has to assess the thing-in-itself rather than the thing with regard to a particular context.

    I'll meet you at "it can be seen as being racist".

  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    Olbermann talked about this on Countdown.

    I think everyone is over-reacting.

    Monkey getting shot was a news story. Stimulus deal was a news story. Put them together.

    I don't get it.

    The KKK doped the APE (get it right or pay the price) with cocaine which caused it to go insane and needing to be shot by cops so douchebag editor could make this connection.

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • mrflippymrflippy 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?

    That was the first thing that I thought of since I heard about the story on the radio on the way to work.

    Edit: I also thought it was a bit of a stretch and silly

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Kagera wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Olbermann talked about this on Countdown.

    I think everyone is over-reacting.

    Monkey getting shot was a news story. Stimulus deal was a news story. Put them together.

    I don't get it.

    The KKK doped the APE (get it right or pay the price) with cocaine which caused it to go insane and needing to be shot by cops so douchebag editor could make this connection.

    I've seen two people in this thread mention the KKK and so far they've both been strawmen.

    Not very impressed.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Kagera wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Olbermann talked about this on Countdown.

    I think everyone is over-reacting.

    Monkey getting shot was a news story. Stimulus deal was a news story. Put them together.

    I don't get it.

    The KKK doped the APE (get it right or pay the price) with cocaine which caused it to go insane and needing to be shot by cops so douchebag editor could make this connection.

    I've seen two people in this thread mention the KKK and so far they've both been strawmen.

    Not very impressed.

    I'll work harder for your inestimable praise.

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Kagera wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Olbermann talked about this on Countdown.

    I think everyone is over-reacting.

    Monkey getting shot was a news story. Stimulus deal was a news story. Put them together.

    I don't get it.

    The KKK doped the APE (get it right or pay the price) with cocaine which caused it to go insane and needing to be shot by cops so douchebag editor could make this connection.

    I've seen two people in this thread mention the KKK and so far they've both been strawmen.

    Not very impressed.

    I'll work harder for your inestimable praise.

    You'd better.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Kagera wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Olbermann talked about this on Countdown.

    I think everyone is over-reacting.

    Monkey getting shot was a news story. Stimulus deal was a news story. Put them together.

    I don't get it.

    The KKK doped the APE (get it right or pay the price) with cocaine which caused it to go insane and needing to be shot by cops so douchebag editor could make this connection.

    I've seen two people in this thread mention the KKK and so far they've both been strawmen.

    Not very impressed.

    I'll work harder for your inestimable praise.

    Do you have any facts or citations you would like to offer to support your claim?

  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    Do you have any facts or citations you would like to offer to support your claim?

    Yes, I heard it on Coast to Coast.

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I have to say, I doubt this was intentionally done. It would be beyond an idiotic, bold move if it were.

    I truthfully see this as a very, very poor joke. It was meant to insult congress. I doubt the author even contemplated the "million monkeys on typewriters" bit. Just, "politicians are monkeys."

    The factual side is that the bill wasn't written by Obama at all. But I do realize the cartoon didn't need to have been correct to have been racist. If it honestly did mean Obama, it would be both racist and incorrect. Double retarded.




    No, I think this was, at worst, just very very ignorant, only perhaps to the level of insensitivity.

  • NibbleNibble FormosaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    "Accidental racism" is one of the most retarded things I have ever heard. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, but I have never in my life (until today) heard of anyone using the word "monkey" as a racial epithet. I have only heard it used to mean "stupid," or "silly" or "out of control" in the case of children. Are you honestly saying that if, sometime yesterday, I were to playfully refer to a black child playing with my cousins as a "silly monkey," then that means that I am racist? Because I used a term that someone else might consider to be racist -- even though I had no idea of such a connotation -- that means that I hate black people?

    I can see that if my statement were to have offended some people, then under law I am probably considered at fault, regardless of my intentions; however, I am really interested in hearing why using that word means that I hate black people.

    sig.php?id=178
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Nibble wrote: »
    "Accidental racism" is one of the most retarded things I have ever heard. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, but I have never in my life (until today) heard of anyone using the word "monkey" as a racial epithet. I have only heard it used to mean "stupid," or "silly" or "out of control" in the case of children. Are you honestly saying that if, sometime yesterday, I were to playfully refer to a black child playing with my cousins as a "silly monkey," then that means that I am racist? Because I used a term that someone else might consider to be racist -- even though I had no idea of such a connotation -- that means that I hate black people?

    I can see that if my statement were to have offended some people, then under law I am probably considered at fault, regardless of my intentions; however, I am really interested in hearing why using that word means that I hate black people.

    Yes, you see, there's no such thing as nuance, and you accidentally using a term that has a history of racism is the same thing as you HATE BLACK PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • Curly_BraceCurly_Brace Unsilent Protagonist Egg Corridor?Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    taken at face value, in a vacuum, this comic is not terribly racist. But it IS obviously racist when viewed in its real-life context.

    I'll maybe give you that. Except I think one has to assess the thing-in-itself rather than the thing with regard to a particular context.

    I'll meet you at "it can be seen as being racist".

    Is there a particular reason why this cartoon has to be seen "in a vacuum" (to use a common metaphor)?

    I mean really, this is nothing new, coming from Sean Delonas. The guy is a bigot, clearly, in my opinion. This time he got "caught" as it were because the outcry to this particular editorial cartoon gained enough momentum to break into the mainstream media cycle.

    And again, let me make this clear (and not to you specifically _J_, i mean the thread in general): Sean Delonas knew what he was doing. This is not accidental racism! Look at his previous art, this guy has a history of using bigoted jokes for cheap laughs.

    tQCnY.giftom_sig2.jpg
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    taken at face value, in a vacuum, this comic is not terribly racist. But it IS obviously racist when viewed in its real-life context.

    I'll maybe give you that. Except I think one has to assess the thing-in-itself rather than the thing with regard to a particular context.

    I'll meet you at "it can be seen as being racist".

    Is there a particular reason why this cartoon has to be seen "in a vacuum" (to use a common metaphor)?

    I mean really, this is nothing new, coming from Sean Delonas. The guy is a bigot, clearly, in my opinion. This time he got "caught" as it were because the outcry to this particular editorial cartoon gained enough momentum to break into the mainstream media cycle.

    And again, let me make this clear (and not to you specifically _J_, i mean the thread in general): Sean Delonas knew what he was doing. This is not accidental racism! Look at his previous art, this guy has a history of using bigoted jokes for cheap laughs.

    Even if it was accidental racism, he should have known better. I expect a nationally published cartoonist to have a basic grasp of symbolic imagery and historical context. "I didn't know" isn't a valid defense when you should have known.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • NibbleNibble FormosaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Nibble wrote: »
    "Accidental racism" is one of the most retarded things I have ever heard. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, but I have never in my life (until today) heard of anyone using the word "monkey" as a racial epithet. I have only heard it used to mean "stupid," or "silly" or "out of control" in the case of children. Are you honestly saying that if, sometime yesterday, I were to playfully refer to a black child playing with my cousins as a "silly monkey," then that means that I am racist? Because I used a term that someone else might consider to be racist -- even though I had no idea of such a connotation -- that means that I hate black people?

    I can see that if my statement were to have offended some people, then under law I am probably considered at fault, regardless of my intentions; however, I am really interested in hearing why using that word means that I hate black people.

    Yes, you see, there's no such thing as nuance, and you accidentally using a term that has a history of racism is the same thing as you HATE BLACK PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

    You're the one who's talking about "accidental racism."

    sig.php?id=178
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Nibble wrote: »
    Nibble wrote: »
    "Accidental racism" is one of the most retarded things I have ever heard. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, but I have never in my life (until today) heard of anyone using the word "monkey" as a racial epithet. I have only heard it used to mean "stupid," or "silly" or "out of control" in the case of children. Are you honestly saying that if, sometime yesterday, I were to playfully refer to a black child playing with my cousins as a "silly monkey," then that means that I am racist? Because I used a term that someone else might consider to be racist -- even though I had no idea of such a connotation -- that means that I hate black people?

    I can see that if my statement were to have offended some people, then under law I am probably considered at fault, regardless of my intentions; however, I am really interested in hearing why using that word means that I hate black people.

    Yes, you see, there's no such thing as nuance, and you accidentally using a term that has a history of racism is the same thing as you HATE BLACK PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

    You're the one who's talking about "accidental racism."

    You do understand that my response was sarcastic and mocking you, right?

    Do I need sarcasm tags?

    The definition of racism is not "I HATE BLACK PEOPLE!" I'm sorry that the world has nuance and that all issues are not easily defined and separated into two simple black-and-white categories but that's just how it is, sorry someone else lead you to believe otherwise I'll buy you a cookie someday to make up for it.

    As for your incredibly bad hypothetical "what if I called a black child a silly monkey?" question, you would be very vaguely and accidentally referencing a racist image that you aren't aware of and the child likely isn't aware of and there's a very good chance nobody would care, least of all me. If that child's parent were to ask you to not call their child a monkey again, would you agree or would you lecture them about how you're not actually racist?

    Listen, I need to make something clear to you and, unfortunately it appears, to many other posters here: It is possible to harbor thoughts, images, or stereotypes that are either racist or are rooted in racist messages, and to harbor these without being a cross-burning white supremacist. It is possible to harbor some of these thoughts, images, and stereotypes while still being a functional and emotionally stable individual who would not fit into any contemporary definition of a "racist." Racism isn't some mythical badguy that we get to pin up next to zombies, vampires, nazis, and aliens as "evil things we get to hate and shoot in videogames." Explicit belligerent racism is rare in America, but racism still exists.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    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.

    Legally we do. We absolutely can drag them through the mud for being assholes on a social/employment level, though. Private solutions for the win.

  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    By talking about it you're giving him the buzz he desires. Honestly, the most healthy thing to do would be to simply ignore this kind of silly shit and stop rewarding it with attention.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Doc wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    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.

    Legally we do. We absolutely can drag them through the mud for being assholes on a social/employment level, though. Private solutions for the win.

    Free Speech allows for bigots to spread their hate, and it also allows for the rest of us to tell the bigots to fuck right off, to tell their newspaper to fuck right off, tell their advertisers to fuck right off, and tell the whole lot of them to sit on it and spin.

    Freedom of Speech is not the same thing as Freedom from Consequences.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • cherv1cherv1 Registered User
    edited February 2009
    The discussion here seems to be concentrating on the offensiveness of the word monkey, but what about gorilla, or ape, or chimp? These in my view are even more racially offensive terms, and closer to what the actual cartoon is about.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I must say, I find it quite difficult to believe what some here claim, namely that they've never heard the monkey image used as a racist description of black people. You don't have to dig deep in the muck of certain McCain/Palin supporters' videos to find kids making "Ook, ook!" noises and banana jokes when talking about Obama. I know of black politicians and athletes who have had to deal with people making monkey noises and throwing bananas.

    If you've never heard about that kind of stuff, then I would have to assume that you're fairly sheltered or somewhat blind, to be quite honest.

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  • MumblyfishMumblyfish Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Couscous wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    It's not a funny cartoon.
    You just described 99.9 percent of all political cartoons. Political cartoons need to die.
    I really like Terrence Nowicki's political cartoons. Incidentally, his work isn't published, despite the art and humour being way beyond the likes of... well, Sean Delonas.

    A few of my favourites behind the spoiler:
    Spoiler:

  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Let's take this cartoon as an example and use two hypotheticals:

    Situation 1: The creator of the cartoon did not intend to imply or convey any racist message with the cartoon.

    Situation 2: The creator of the cartoon did intend to imply or convey a racist message with the cartoon but will deny this accusation if it is made against him.

    How do you distinguish between these two? How do you distinguish between the countless other situations where you have a mix of intentional or unintentional racist thought, mixed messages and unclear symbols? What is the author believes "stupid stinky black son of a bitch!" isn't racist? What if the author hates every non-white man, woman, and child on the planet but hides that hatred behind buzzwords and "its just a joke" arguments?

    How far does "I didn't mean for it to be racist / offensive / stupid / demeaning / whatever!" go? Can the cartoonist create a comic of President Obama, fried chicken in one hand a young blonde woman in the other and claim he hasn't used any racist imagery? What if the cartoonist is really stupid enough to believe it?

    Point of all this being, as I said before, the artists motive is irrelevant. The artist (and it unfortunately appears I must use that term very loosely) can claim any number of meanings with anything they create. What they "actually mean" isn't something that we can prove one way or another.

    I don't really get what you're saying here. Why do we need to distinguish between the two? He's allowed to draw whatever he wants, and his editor can choose to print it or not. He can draw a comic of Obama eating fried chicken and looking like a monkey if he wants, and your question of 'can we claim that this is racist?' is irrelevant. You keep asking where we draw the line, what we can and can't allow, but I don't understand why we need to draw a line at all.

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