Friday, February 20, 2009

Another cartoon jihad

The above political cartoon appeared in the New York Post last Wednesday. The cartoon plays off of the large amount of publicity being given to the incident in which a pet chimpanzee attacked and nearly killed a friend of his owner before being shot to death by police in order to make a point about the recently enacted economic stimulus legislation.

This commentary appeared on the left-wing Huffington Post about the cartoon:

A cartoon likening the author of the stimulus bill, perhaps President Barack Obama, with a rabid chimpanzee graced the pages of the New York Post on Wednesday.

The drawing, from famed cartoonist Sean Delonas, is rife with violent imagery and racial undertones. In it, two befuddled-looking police officers holding guns look over the dead and bleeding chimpanzee that attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut.

"They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," reads the caption.

An email to Delonas and a call to the New York Post went unreturned. The cartoon appears both on the New York Post website and page 12 of the Wednesday paper.

At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial. Perhaps that's what Delonas wanted.

First I can understand someone ignorant enough to write for or read the Huffington Post not knowing that the misnamed "stimulus bill" was not written by B. Hussein Obama. The bill was actually drafted by members of Nancy Pelosi's staff with heavy input from other other Democrat House members and especially from various left-wing special interest groups.

Barack Obama had almost nothing to do with the content of this legislation. He simply attached his name to it because it advances goals which he earnestly desires such as the expansion of the power and scope of the federal government at the expense of individual liberty and the confiscation of a much larger piece of the American people's hard earned money. Other goals which the bill accomplishes which are supported by Mr. Obama are the rolling back of the wildly successful and popular welfare reform measures signed into law by Bill Clinton and the funneling of vast sums of taxpayer money into the coffers of ACORN and other ultra-left "community organizers".

Another correction is also in order for the Huffington Post for another error inspired by pure ignorance. Travis the chimpanzee was not "rabid". Rabies is a viral infection of the brain which can cause an infected animal or person to behave in a violent fashion. However Travis was not suffering from Rabies, he was simply behaving like a normal chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are extremely dangerous wild animals and should no more be kept as pets than tigers, king cobras or alligators.

The Huffington Post also reproduces this quote by the "Reverend" Al 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. 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."

"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?"

I point out again that Obama didn't write the bill he simply fronted for it. Next, and far more important, why in the name of Sam Hill is any person of normal intelligence and good will (I know, that excludes the writers and readers of the HuffPo, but let's pretend for a bit that we share a common humanity with them) spending so much as one nanosecond concerning themselves with what Al Sharpton has to say about anything?

Remember that Al Shaprton catapulted himself onto the national stage when he seized upon a ludicrous lie told by a teenage black girl named Twana Brawley in Wappingers Falls, NY to explain why she had been absent from her home for a few days. The reality was that she had been shacked up with her boyfriend but fearing the wrath of her mother's live-in boyfriend she spun a fairytale in which she had been kidnapped, raped and brutalized by a group of white police officers.

Sharpton became a champion of Miss Brawley trumpeting and embellishing her story and in the process slandering a number of innocent people. In due time Brawley's story unraveled and the truth came out. Sharpton was sued by one of his victims and was ordered by the court to pay damages of $65000.00 which he refused to pay. It would seem that in his mind no black person should ever be held to account for any crime committed against a white person. Interest and penalties accumulated until the amount Sharpton owed was $87000.00 and a group of wealthy black men stepped in and paid Sharpton's debt.

Shaprton's other forays into the public eye involved acting as an apologist for a black mob which ran wild in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood after a seven-year-old black immigrant named Gavin Cato was killed in a traffic accident by a car being driven by a Jewish man. During the riot, in which blacks ran through the streets breaking windows, setting fires and shouting "get the Jews" and "heil Hitler" two men, one a Jewish rabbinical student named Yankel Rosenbaum an the other an Italian-American named Anthony Graziosi (who was targeted by the mob because he "looked Jewish") were murdered.

Sharpton cheered the acquittal of Lemrick Nelson, the black sixteen-year-old who was positively identified by Yankle Rosenbaum as one of the people who stabbed him, who was found in possession of a knife covered in Mr. Rosenbaum's blood and who confessed to the crime.
When Sharpton got wind of the fact that Mr. Rosenbaum's brother was going to meet with then Attorney General Janet Reno to ask her to open a federal civil rights investigation into his brother's murder he quickly flew to Washington to attempt to prevent the Justice Dept. from hearing Mr. Rosenbaum's petition.

Unfortunately for Mr. Sharpton a federal investigation was opened and Lemrick Nelson was convicted of attacking Yankel Rosenbaum because he was Jewish and sentenced to 19 years in federal prison (from which there is no parole).

In another violent incident in which Sharpton was even more directly involved was a mass murder at Freddie's Fashion Mart in Harlem. Freddie's Fashion Mart was a clothing store owned by a Jewish businessman and located in space he rented from a black church. When the store owner attempted to expand his floor space into space which was occupied by black sub-tenant Sharpton led a series of protests at the store.

Sharpton called the owner of Freddie's a "white interloper" and the protesters led by Sharpton shouted about the "blood-sucking Jews" and "Jew Bastards". Sharpton and his partner went on the radio and referred to the owner of Freedie's as a "cracker" and promised that he would be "made to suffer".

One of Sharpton's protesters forced his way into Freddie's Fashion Mart and fatally shot three white people, then he shot a Pakistani immigrant to death because he "looked Jewish" and set fire to the store. A fire in which five Hispanics, a Guyanese immigrant and a black security guard (who had been referred to by the protesters as a "cracker lover") all lost their lives.

Of course when confronted with the logically predictable consequences of his incendiary rhetoric Sharpton promptly denied any connection to the protest except to say that he had visited the once to "express his support" and to engage in discussions with "all the involved parties". When Curtis Sliwa played tape recording of Sharpton's venomous speeches, delivered to the picketers on more than one occasion, on his WABC radio program Sharpton responded by calling WABC "hate radio".

This essay does not come close to cataloging the outrages of Al Sharpton (he will never again be referred to as "Reverend" on this blog as he is in no way deserving of reverence) but they should suffice to illustrate my point that nothing that Al Sharpton has to say about anything should ever again be paid the slightest bit of attention.

Now back to the New York Post's cartoon and the phony controversy surrounding it. It is true that if that cartoon had appeared in the New Orleans Bee or the Atlanta Post-Dispatch in the year 1833 there would have been no question that the intent was racist. The monkey would have been universally understood to represent a negro and the message of the cartoon would have clearly been "this legislation was so bad that it looks like it was written by a "nigger"".

However the United States of 2009 is not the Deep South of 1830. The progress which the United States has made in putting its past racism behind it has been so astounding that in 2008 the American people elected a black man with no record of accomplishment whatsoever to be president.

The default position of the average American in 2009 is to be anti-racist. Only a vanishingly small percentage of white American citizens would look at that cartoon and in their own mind think something like "yeah, that Obama ain't nothing but a monkey like all other niggers".

So let us from this moment forward stop tolerating the imputation of racist motives to our fellow citizens unless there is good evidence to support it. Of course professional racial grievance mongers like Al Sharpton (a man whose hands are covered with innocent blood) have a massive interest in preserving the illusion of an America which has made no progress in ending racism. Of course leftists who are stung by the absolute accuracy of the cartoon's message (that the stimulus bill is bad law which will fail to help the economy and may make things worse) have an interest in deflecting attention from the cartoon's valid criticism onto a patently bogus charge of racism.

However we, the American people, can simply choose not to play the game any more. From this point forward I will not entertain any charge of racism against any fellow American unless the writer, speaker or artist says in so many words that his/her intent is racist or unless the content and context allow no other plausible explanation. And I will not alter my opinions or the expression of those opinions in any way whatsoever because of a charge of racism or the fear of such a charge.

When Al Sharpton rants about "white interlopers" and "Jewish diamond merchants" the content and context leave no doubt that he is a racist and antisemite. When an editorial cartoonist brings together two events from the front page of the newspaper (the stimulus bill and the "Travis incident") to make an absolutely appropriate political point the content and context do not support a charge of racism so the only reasonable response to such a charge is to question the motives and character of anyone leveling such a charge.

The culture of a nation is nothing more than the aggregate of the thoughts and actions of the population of that nation. The sooner that the American people wake up to the reality that the very fact that we feel enough collective guilt to allow creatures like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to bully and browbeat us means that we have already expunged the guilt of our nation's racial sins.

The sooner we can come to grips with the fact that we don't have to do racial penance any more the sooner men like Al Sharpton can find that they have to obtain honest jobs to support themselves and the sooner men like B. Hussein Obama will have to build up an actual record before seeking, let alone obtaining, high office.