Let's start with this exchange between Reverend Al Sharpton and Post editor-in-chief Col Allan:
Sharpton: "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 ... Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African-American president) and has become synonymous with him, it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?"
Allan: "The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist."
As an American Jew who's been on the receiving end of bigoted comments, I've noticed that non-Jews sometimes fail to see why certain remarks hurt Jews. I'm sure the same is true of words and images aimed at Italians, Asians, Muslims, Hispanics, Gays, Blacks, and other groups.
Col Allan's comments were as misguided as the cartoon he vehemently defended. Of course we see the connection originated with a Chimp Gone Wild. But as Bob Dylan said in Times They Are a Changin', "Don't criticize what you can't understand." After Mr. Allan removes his foot from his oversized mouth and apologizes, I'd like him to explain why a cartoon with a twisted right-wing bias ran on Page Six.
What do you think?
2/19/09 UPDATE: Tonight the Post issued this apology.
2/21/09 UPDATE: The NAACP called for the firing of the Post cartoonist. Read about it here.