Cross posted here since it's related to the previous discussion:
There has been quite a bit of discussion in parts of the blogosphere related to the New York Post cartoon and the racism issue that some have raised. Part of that discussion has hinged on the debate aspect that the cartoonist claims the cartoon was not designed to represent President Barack Obama. Yet here in Ohio, there is a controversy brewing over two scenarios where there is no doubt that the President and the First Lady are being compared to monkeys. This is taking place on a website known as the Whistleblower that is online through the Cincinnatus Standard which states it is, "SW Ohio's Online Home for the Conservative Movement" where in fairness, it should be noted that the Cincinnatus does have a specific disclaimer related to the Whistleblower content.
That said, The Cincinnati Beacon has been out there on this story, trying to raise awareness on what is being written on the Whistleblower beyond the monkey comparisons, there have also been jokes made regarding the assassination of President Obama.
While I do not believe the New York Post cartoon was intended to be racially offensive, I believe the cartoonist was referring to Congress as the "crazed monkey"; I fully realize that former President Bush was often portrayed as a monkey, we could debate that part of the topic endlessly as to the double standard aspect. The reality is there has been and will be a racial connotation attached to comparing any black person to a monkey that does not exist with whites. There's also the reality that many found the lack of respect given President Bush to be an issue, which would be my "if it's wrong it's wrong" theory even without the additional racism aspect. We could also debate the theory of free speech and how we have no real protection from being offended, that if you disagree with this type of cartoon or joke the solution is to just ignore it, that by blogging about it or covering it you give it more attention than it deserves.
We could provide cartoon after cartoon to demonstrate there is not an equal response/reaction even when the political cartoonist target has been a black person. We could point out previous scenarios where Bush assassination jokes have been made with apparently no real accountability beyond apologies. (Hevesi resigned but not related to the joke.) We could point out that some of us so want to believe "the other side is evil" that they'll put out there that John Gibson compared Eric Holder to a monkey with a bright blue scrotum.
That still returns us to the point we are right now. What can or should be done about it and how many more times will we spend hours upon hours debating this topic, selectively demanding resignations or action in relation to racism or sexism? The suggestion when some were offended by sexist cartoons directed at Hillary Clinton was that we just needed to get a better sense of humor...So in that spirit, is that something that we should all do or is it perhaps time to realize that part of the problem is the general lack of respect and perhaps that's what should be worked on...
It is entirely possible to do political cartoons/satire without invoking racism or sexism...I remember a time when it was said the goal was to re-create a "a kinder, and gentler nation" perhaps that never happened because neither side was willing to be the first to practice this towards each other...