Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who Can You Count on When the Chimps Are Down?

The New York Post has apologised to those offended by an editorial cartoon that critics said was racist because it likened President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee.

The New York Post cartoon drew immediate criticism from Al Sharpton, the black activist and community leader. . . .

The country's first African-American president had the previous day signed the $787 billion economic recovery bill after a heated debate in Washington. Mr Sharpton immediately accused the newspaper, which takes a strong conservative editorial tone, of deploying a crude racist stereotype of blacks as monkeys.

Col Allan, the Post's editor-in-chief, had vigorously defended the cartoon as a parody of Washington politics, saying it "broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy". ("New York Post apologises over 'racist' Barack Obama cartoon")

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Needless to say, I’m sad to see the New York Post fall on its sword this way. Free speech has died a little more.

The NYP cartoonist clearly meant to skewer Congressional Democrats. Indeed, Republicans have criticized Obama for letting Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have control of this bill instead of having more input himself.

You remember Nancy Pelosi, she’s America's Speaker of the House, and was last seen crouching on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, happily peeling a banana.

Then America’s new Attorney General, Eric Holder, just finished a speech insulting the whole country as a “nation of cowards” because we don’t talk about race more candidly.

Next to cleaning a handgun without unloading it first, I can’t think of a higher-risk activity in this country than talking about race without the express prior approval of the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and the Congressional Black Caucus.

The problem is that the folks who most want to talk about race, (the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and the Congressional Black Caucus), are the most reactionary when it comes to boycotting, calling for resignations and firings of people who make the stupid mistake of saying something about race. For example, this is how the NAACP is handling the chimp cartoon controversy, which isn't even about race:

Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called on the tabloid to remove editor-in-chief Col Allan, as well as longtime cartoonist Sean Delonas.

Then we’re called cowards because we refuse to step on things clearly marked “LAND MINE.”

The reason these candid conversations fail is because they always follow this pattern:

African-American spokesperson: This country needs to have a serious conversation about race.

Non-African-American respondent: Okay. I feel I treat everybody fairly, and I don’t see why I should get passed over for a promotion to make way for a less-qualified guy just because he’s a minority.

African-American spokesperson: Shut up. You have no right to discuss what our people have gone through.

Race hucksters not only control the subject matter of race, but also claim control of any subject matter that can possibly be connected to race, even if only as an arbitrary emblem or symbol of race.

Hurrican Katrina, for example, was a hurricane, not a Klan attack. As many white people were killed, injured, and suffered property damage as blacks, (more whites died, proportionally). But once the story of New Orleans was adopted by Jesse Jackson and the rest as an example of racial injustice, then white Americans were no longer allowed to discuss Katrina without facing 100-1 odds of offending blacks. (Unless, that is, they used it as shorthand for the racism of the Bush administration. But candid talk about Katrina is forbidden).

Just Friday some state governors said they intended to refuse the “stimulus” money because they don’t want their states saddled with escalating entitlement bills after the federal money runs out. They were rational, economic/political decisions. But U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said he was insulted by opposition to the bill because it was a "a slap in the face of African-Americans."

There simply isn't any having a candid conversation under these conditions.

It’s perfectly obvious this New York Post cartoon isn’t about Obama. I don’t even believe that Sharpton and Julian Bond believe it’s about Obama. They just see an opportunity and they’re going to take it. Good race-hustling jobs are hard to come by in post-racial America.

But where were these guys when Leftist racists were drawing cartoons explicitly mocking Condoleeza Rice as a race stereotype, or Palestinian racists drawing her pregnant with a chimpanzee?

And didn’t Lincoln’s enemies call him a baboon and caricature him as a monkey? Doesn't Obama imagine himself to be the New Lincoln?

If Obama doesn’t unsay his AG’s foolish talk, then he’s the coward.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whew! Glad to have you back and in fine form.

Pelosi can be a lipsticked pig if it makes them feel better. As for me, I choose to see her as "Crouching Chimp Hidden Dragon"

Great link to NRO - thanks for calling attention to it.