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Sunday, February 22, 2009
4:38 PM


Chimp Chat

 

I have to say, while I do think this cartoon is sophomoric, I’m not really in an uproar about it. Yes, I understand why people find it offensive, but it came from the New York Post. This type of commentary shouldn’t be all that surprising given the tone of the Post and other News Corp. owned entities.

Some question whether or not anyone of a certain age can really be that oblivious as to why some people would infer that the Post was employing an age old racial stereotype to insult Barack Obama. I can believe it, namely because there are many people young and old, white and Black, completely oblivious to a lot of things. Granted, in this scenario, this points more so to whites being oblivious and using their privilege to excuse their own ignorance, yet and still I can see why some wouldn’t get it. They don’t have to; it’s not their problem, it’s ours. It’s selfish and irritating as hell, but it’s all of our reality.

Let’s take this paper at its word as questionable as many find it to be. Barack Obama did not write the bill so the Post claims if the monkey represented anyone, it would be Nancy Pelosi. Even if that’s true, they are still dead wrong for advocating violence against a public figure. We live in a time where a number of sanity-deprived people can buy a boat load of guns at chain stores, which means those in control of the images we see need to be more responsible when trying to be “funny.”

If they were being racist, they’re ignorant as hell. If they weren’t, they’re still ignorant as hell. That’s my stance and I’m sticking to it.

I will say no matter what, I’m mad they created a situation in which the self-appointed Pope of Black Folk, Al Sharpton, got another opportunity to go on all of the major networks and show off his fresh perm. It’s nothing against Al personally – I’m just annoyed people seem to think Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are the only two people allowed to represent the community.

What I am happy about is that this entire situation has sent a reality check to all of those under the impression that racism died on November 4, 2007. Whenever I hear someone hint if not flat out declare that we came as slaves, Martin Luther The Kang had a dream, and Barack Obama woke up America and now we’re all one big country full of Mariah Carey’s I frown incessantly.

Likewise, I’m equally as annoyed when I hear people claim that because Barack Obama has become President, Black people have no reason to “complain” anymore.

Here’s a reality check: Yes, his mother raised him without the aid of his father, but he also went to the best private school in Hawaii, which instilled in him the type of education needed to attain real social mobility. Yes Barack did, but let’s stop pretending every little poor Black child goes to top private schools in their respective states.

Moreover let’s stop acting like up until a couple of years ago he was paying more in student loans than he was on his mortgage. As brilliant and talented as he is, and as admirable as I find him to be, he essentially personifies why great timing and dumb luck can get a man far.

George W. Bush being a stubborn moron did more for race relations in this country than anything else done in recent memory.

Maybe that’s steering a bit off topic, but it’s been bugging for the longest now.

Regardless of whether I'm on point or not, here we are, only a month into office debating whether or not a conservative newspaper branded the first Black President a chimp.

On this entire drama, Rosie Perez captures my sentiments beautifully:

Racism still exists and it's still ugly. Barack Obama did not change it over night. I heard someone on “Oprah” say, "When Barack Obama got elected to be President you could never complain for being a Black person." I was like, “Shut the f*ck up! Sit the f*ck down!” I was so angry when I was watching that. If they still act in a racist way you're saying we don't have a right to complain because Barack Obama is President? When there are racist obstacles in front of us? I see it in my arts education charity, which is in 50 schools, you see it. You see how teachers treat kids of color different. You see how teachers treat kids of color who are of lower class differently. It's still here, despite the fact that he's become President. But, saying that it has changed, it definitely has changed... somewhat. But it hasn’t changed completely. I still think we have a long way to go.

And there it is. Let me just add, even if they did compare him to a chimp, I could care less. He’s still the President, so if Al and folks want to protest somewhere in New York, head down to Wall Street and cause a ruckus. Invite people Black, white, and purple who are all pissed off at real injustice.

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