This week there has been much brouhaha about a cartoon published in the New York Post after the stimulus package was passed and signed into law by President Obama. The cartoon in question linked the signing of the stimulus bill with that of an incident in Connecticut wherein a woman’s several hundred pound pet chimpanzee, Travis, brutally attacked a guest visiting her home after going “ape.” Eventually Travis had to be shot by police officers after he was unable to be contained.
The cartoon in question depicted the dead chimpanzee being “mourned” by the officers with the caption, “I guess next time they’ll have to get someone else to sign the stimulus,” beneath a rendering of the incident using this analogy of the dead chimp to that of President Obama and the reactions of according to public opinion polls on the stimulus legislating this past few weeks.
I actually had a different take on the article as not at all derogatory to President Obama. My initial reaction was that I believed it was a slam more against the American people since so many Americans, myself included, have fundamental difficulties with the passage of this bill on Constitutional grounds, and also economic ones. During Mr. Obama’s campaign after the economy began it’s downward spiral, President Obama spoke of the fact that he agreed with former President Bush’s strategy, “when in doubt, throw money” as seen in 2008, and repeated his “solutions” of “spend” rather than address the actual problems which lead to it on several different occasions.
It actually appeared to me to be an attack on the critics, not President Obama at all.
In response many Americans and journalists also are pointing out that during the Bush Administration, there was a truckload of cartoon depicting Mr. Bush in less than a favorable light, and actually also comparing his actions and facial features similarly to that of a chimpanzee. Especially with respect to the rather Svengali influence it appears Mr. Cheney had over President Bush at critical times during this last Administration with respect to the War in Iraq and the entire WMD debacle.
However, not surprisingly the “Don King” of race relations has arrived on the scene in order to use and play up the racial aspects of the cartoon. Whether or not it was intentional does not seem to be the issue. Just the fact that Mr. Obama, only half African American mind you, could have been so depicted due to stereotypical bigotry in past generations has stoked the fire of Mr. Sharpton’s vigilantism.
It would appear to me that the vehemence and manner in which he is making his now public appearances is doing nothing for the cause of race relations in this country but further harm rather than help, and gain him some publicity in the process.
The showman that he is goes on the attack mode now it appears automatically, with any perceived hint of pre-Civil War or pre-Civil Rights America whether warranted or not. There seems to be no reality checks in his somewhat hypocritical stand since Mr. Sharpton did make some unflattering comments and observations himself during the Bush Administration and a great many other administrations before.
There is even now talk in New York of citizen’s “boycotting” the New York Post. I can think of many reasons many Americans should boycott most of the mainstream media publications at this time with respect to the accuracy of their reporting as a watchdog on our government with factual and truthful reporting, but calling for canceling a subscription over from what appears to be an unwarranted witch hunt is not one of them, and appears a knee jerk reaction and publicity stunt more than anything else.
It does appear with the far left globalist element in this country that their definition of “freedom of speech,” as with their stands on “freedom of religion,” bears no similarity to the beliefs of the founding fathers or even those who fought those causes and won a great many of those battles. I doubt that Dr. King would approach such a situation in a like manner today in view of the nature now of the changes which have occurred. The fact is that the majority of Americans, across party lines and racial complement are none too happy with the provisions in this bill, nor the manner in which it was sped through Congress in the same manner that 700 Billion Bank Bailout fiasco was.
Dr. King, who believed men should not be judged on their race but on the “content of their character,” as someone who lived through the Civil Rights movement, I feel might be surprised we are even using the “politically correct” term “African American” at all, instead of simply “Black American.”
If my memory serves me correct, that was his personal preference as an American and identified solely with his country in his fight to eliminate the negative connotations of the slurs and inequality of the past. Unfortunately, it is within the black community primarily itself where racial stereotyping and past labels forgotten appear to be coming back with a vengeance in a generation who was not yet born to see the cost and sacrifices so many made even before Dr. King historically and which they seem so oblivious. Say the name Frederick Douglass and you get a blank look from any member of the post 60’s generation.
So, please, Mr. Sharpton. “Curious George” Bush is gone, and it is now Mr. Obama’s turn to be fair game if he, too, does not live up to his promises or the “content of his character” matches more some of his predecessors on vital Constitutional issues than the founder’s had in mind.