The Reverend Al Sharpton is not a happy man. This is because New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas recently decided that combining two big news stories, the passing of the stimulus bill and the attack of a chimpanzee on its owner, in a very violent cartoon would grab America’s attention in a big way and really get his point across. Well, he was right.
The cartoon in question depicts a dead chimpanzee riddled with bullet holes and two policemen holding guns and looking at the body. One of them is saying, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
Unfortunately, one of three things happened here that got Al Sharpton really riled up: Cartoonist Sean Delonas is a racist and portrayed Obama as an assassinated chimpanzee; Sean Delonas is so not racist that he didn’t realize the public would think that he was comparing a black man to a chimpanzee; or Sean Delonas realized that his cartoon, by combining two popular news stories and by having racist and violent undertones, would get a lot of attention. So what was his intent, to imply that the writer of the stimulus bill is no smarter than a chimp or that they deserve to be shot? Al Sharpton released a statement about the cartoon pointing out that African Americans have often been compared to monkeys by racist individuals, and that Barack Obama is who is mostly responsible for the bill, so the cartoonist must be implying that the chimpanzee is supposed to be him. It doesn’t help that police are seen by many as having a history of violently attacking black citizens.
Regardless of how you look at it, it’s an insensitive cartoon that’s obviously meant to be provoking. It doesn’t matter to me who the chimp is supposed to be; I don’t think it should be implied that it is okay for anyone should be shot with regard to the stimulus bill, and the real chimp that attacked its owner didn’t deserve to be shot, either. It’s really a horrible cartoon, but it accomplished exactly what Sean Delonas probably wanted it to.
In its response to Al Sharpton’s attack, the New York Post stated that he is just a publicity opportunist. And I do have to side with them here. If Al Sharpton actually wants to help some members of his race, he could start here in Texas by helping the congregation of a little church in Reagan rebuild after what is more than likely a racially-charged case of arson. The Friendly Church of God in Christ has been vandalized multiple times in the past, once being on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But helping this small congregation rebuild wouldn’t get the man enough attention, so he’d probably never do it.
So who is at fault here? Everyone. The cartoonist did something ugly on purpose; the New York Post defended him; and Al Sharpton is wasting his time complaining about things that won’t help anyone. Nobody does what’s right, but they all get plenty of attention. So they all win.