On Tuesday, we posted a video detailing how a chimp called Travis had gone ape (literally) and attacked his owner and her neighbor. The neighbor is in hospital receiving treatment after having both her hand bitten off while police officers eventually shot and killed the chimp.
The day after, the New York Post newspaper printed a cartoon which shows the chimp shot and lying dead on the ground. One of the officers says to the other, “They’ll have to fin someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
This has caused uproar, with many people claiming the cartoon is racist as it’s portraying President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee. There is an obvious history in the States and elsewhere of black people being referred to as monkeys.
I’m torn on this issue. I actually don’t think the cartoon was meant to be a racial dig, otherwise it would never have got past the editorial process. I think it’s more saying that even a monkey could have written the stimulus bill, judging by how useless it is. After all, Obama didn’t write it, merely signing it to give his approval.
It was clearly an unwise cartoon to print, given the connotations involved but like everything these days, I think it’s been blown out of all proportion. That’s just my view, however, and I’m sure many people will disagree.