Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Sam Stein response to the Sean Delonas cartoon in the New York was fair and balanced. However, the ideas that can be inferred from the perspective of an African American are unique.
The reference to the stimulus package was narrow. The history of the monkey and the comparison to African Americans by other races is wide, layered and politically charged. Not literal politics in elections, but the practical, figurative politics that is played in peoples private lives.
Calling African Americans monkeys and niggers is not a practice that takes place in public. It takes place in the homes and informal meetings of individuals who believe the idea of racism has credence. The New York Post cartoon spoke to these people. They will all laughed behind closed doors. But they are too coward to stand behind their ideas.
African Americans are not monolithic in thinking. However, the inference in the illustration suggest that the President Obama should be killed for signing the stimulus bill.
The above cartoon spoof illustrates the larger conversation about racism that the Sean Delonas and the New York Post will not participate in or stand behind. Instead, the New York Post blamed Rev. Al Sharpton for being a publicity opportunist. The latter may be true. However, the Rev. Al Sharpton has taken the correct stance on this issue.
There is room for an individual to hide behind their art, images, and cartoons. They should just have to explain words behind them.
If the point was to incite. Then the cartoonist did his job.