The Reverend Al Sharpton has condemned a cartoon in todays New York Post (February 18), which features two policemen shooting a monkey and making a comment on the recently passed stimulus package.
The imagery, created by cartoonist Sean Delonas, features two police officers, one holding a smoking gun over a blood-spattered monkey that has been shot two times.
The caption above the cartoon reads: Theyll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.
A sign in the background reads beware of dog.
The cartoon is an apparent satire of yesterdays news that a 55-year-old woman in Connecticut was critically injured, when her 200-pound pet chimpanzee went on a rampage and tore half her face off.
The chimp was eventually shot dead by officers on the scene.
The cartoon in today's New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys, Rev. Sharpton said in a statement released to the media. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill."
Sharpton noted that the stimulus bill was the first legislative victory for President Barack Obama, the first African-American president in United States history.
Given that the New York Post cartoonist came under heavy fire in the past for racially tinged cartoons including the infamous cartoons depicting 2001 mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer and me in very unflattering ways that were used as a divisive campaign tactic, one cannot ignore their history when one finds out what they could possibly mean by this morning's cartoon. The Post should at best clarify what point they were trying to make or in fact reprimand their cartoonist for making inferences that are offensive and divisive at a time the nation struggles to come together to stabilize the economy.
Additionally, the cartoon comes almost a month after Johannes Mehserle, a white transit police officer, shot and killed Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man, in Oakland, California.
The cartoon, which was on page 12 of The Post, has made national headlines.
During an appearance on MSNBC this morning, Sharpton requested that The Post comment on the story, or face a possible advertising boycott.
If I or any civil rights organization printed in our literature anything that was offensive or inferred a stereotype against a group, they would be telling people dont donate to us, dont support us, said Rev. Sharpton.
Sharpton led boycotts in May of 2008, when three detectives were acquitted of shooting and killing Queens, New York native Sean Bell in a hail of 50 bullets in November 2006.
You cant do this and then turn around and act like youre an objective paper thats fed all of your readership, Sharpton said.
At press time, The New York Post has yet to comment.