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Interpretation, Plausible Denial and racially loaded imagery (NYPost cartoon)
That's honestly one of the most racist political cartoons I've ever seen and that includes Civil War era cartoons
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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.
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.