Racist or Just Bad?

February 19th, 2009 by RR Anderson

Cartoonist Sean Delonas has been accused of blatant racism for this cartoon which was printed this past Wednesday in the New York Post.


Liberals everywhere and even Republicans are wetting their pants calling this the most racist thing since Looney Toons, but is this really a racist piece. Surely, there is legitimate concern that this piece might accuse President Barack Obama of being Ape-like which would bring about a long history of racism towards black people, but does this cartoon really do that?

From a cartoonists point of view there is no indication that the ape is meant to represent Obama in any way. If it were, there would certainly be an attempt at resemblence on an indication through some symbol. But no, the cartoonist chose to draw and ape clearly. Even the dialogue doesn’t connect to Obama as he didn’t WRITE the stimulus bill, he signed it. What’s more is that this incident, in which a woman was recently attacked by a wild ape draws a clear parody attempt between the bill and the attack.

Funny, when people called Bush an ape it was hilarious and acute, but the slight suggestion that Obama’s policy is that of a crazied ape is racist. Sure, I understand the concern, and it’s great to see people stand out against racism, but this cartoonist doesn’t think such was the case.


  1. RR Anderson said,

    February 19, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

    I’m sure the cartoonist knew what he was doing and was well aware of the racial connotations. I’m sure he did it as a reprisal for the bush/chimp comparisons his liberal cartoonist brothers have been making for so long. I’ve seen the dudes other cartoons. He’s kind of an asshole.

    Anyhow this whole media frenzy reminds me of the danish cartoons.

  2. Mark Monlux said,

    February 20, 2009 @ 7:09 am

    Not knowing this cartoonist from Adam, I get what he was trying to do with this joke. He was commenting on the monkey attack, which was so bizarre that I was going to do a cartoon on it as well. He then added the whole “If you have enough monkeys on typewriters eventually one of them will write shakespeare.” His point was how skeptical folks were going to be of any stimulus package, even if some monkey got it right. I don’t see this as racist. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar and sometimes a chimp shot dead by police is a chimp shot dead by police.

  3. Stan Shaw said,

    February 20, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    I think we (“we” being the critical members of society) want to have a reason that explains our world and what happens in it. However we also forget that the cartoon was done buy a guy doing a job with a deadline for a company that needed it done on a deadline. It was/is a bad job, even without ascribing motives. I’ll wait until I see more evidence to decide as to motive (I sound like Jack Webb here!) but for right now, to me, it’s just a bad job. Even if it’s meant to be racist, he could have done better.

  4. RR Anderson said,

    February 20, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

    I don’t think the cartoonist is a hardcore racist, I think he was aware that it would likely be interpenetrated as racist and that he could benefit from a media firestorm. Equal to a ‘flamer’ or ‘troll’ on a internet forum who says things to get a rise out of folks.

    This particular cartoonist did the same thing when some state legalized GAY MARRIAGE way back. He drew a hill-billy with a goat waiting in line for a marriage license.

  5. James Stowe said,

    February 23, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    I am agreeing with RXR here. No matter how many alternative meanings the monkey could have (and I agree there are a few) the artist was certainly aware of the racist connotation. I think the only reason he didn’t ‘do better’ at being racist is so that he could have an out if someone called him racist. Either way… there are several gags he could have done with the ape attack that didn’t inadvertently point to America’s first black president.