NEW YORK (CNN) - A New York Post cartoon Wednesday drew fire from civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who says the image invokes a history of racism to suggest an ape wrote President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.
The cartoonist, Sean Delonas, called Sharpton's umbrage "ridiculous," and the newspaper defended its decision to run it.
The comic showed two police officers standing over the body of a chimpanzee they just shot - a reference to the recent mauling of a Connecticut woman by a pet chimp, which was killed by police after the attack. In the cartoon, one of the officers tells the other, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
"The cartoon in today's New York Post is troubling at best, given the racist attacks throughout history that have made African-Americans synonymous with monkeys," Sharpton said in a statement condemning the cartoon.
The stimulus bill was the top priority for Obama, the first African-American U.S. leader, who signed it Tuesday. Sharpton questioned whether Delonas - who has brutally lampooned him in the past - "is making a less-than-casual inference to this form of racism."
"The Post should at least clarify what point they were trying to make in this cartoon, and reprimand their cartoonist for making inferences that are offensive and divisive at a time the nation struggles to come together to stabilize the economy if, in fact, this was yet another racially charged cartoon," he said.
But in a brief phone interview with CNN, Delonas called the controversy "absolutely friggin' ridiculous."
"Do you really think I'm saying Obama should be shot? I didn't see that in the cartoon," Delonas told CNN.
"It's about the economic stimulus bill," he added. "If you're going to make that about anybody, it would be [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, which it's not."
And Col Allan, the Post's editor-in-chief, said the cartoon "is a clear parody of a current news event."
"It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist," Allan said in a written statement.
Updated 2:30 p.m.
Sharpton has always been an idiot. I see nothing has changed.
As crude as the cartoon sounds – remember Mr Sharpton that everyone is entitled to their opinion as are you to express your dislike of it - The constitution protects it.
I AM white and the post is wrong in publishing this cartoon, we all know its intent.
I love Sharpton but I think he is jumping the gun. The cartoon means that a monkey must have developed the stimulus because it is so bad. I like the stimulus but I know the point the Post is trying to make. They are trying to say the monkey that wrote the stim was shot so now we will have to get another monkey to write the next one. As a kid from Queens I know how the Post can be, but not this time Al.
Delonas forgot to say, "If my lack of perception of any point of view other than my own resulted in anybody being offended, then I apologize."
I can't say that I'm mad at Sharpton for this one. I'm not a Sharpton fan, but most African Americans who have been discriminated against know the "monkey" comments all too well.
Apes are a lot smarter than the stimulus bill. Sharpton ought to put a sock in it. The Great Protector of everything black is a hypocrite.
Sharpton is one of the biggest racist in the country, and he hides this under he cloak of being a civil rights leader -- patooey!
Sharpton needs to disappear, much like his counterpart Jesse Jackson – these two dead beats have over stayed their welcome in the public eye
They still don't get it.
I usually think that Al Sharpton's elevator didn't go to the top but I must agree with him on this one. Why would this clown use a monkey as someone that wrote the stimulus bill. Someone should throw a rabid chimp at Delonas. I can't wait to see what Keith Olberman thinks of this peanut butter and jelly bull____
Perhaps using the elephant as a symbol would have been a more current reflection of the truth?
And Col Allan is an idiot! The Post is ignorant and hopefully loses tons of readers!
Who is Sharpton? He is so afraid of being forgot.
wow can we get a little bit more stupid in this country?
Hey, Al, we're still waiting for your apology to the Duke University lacrosse team. How about it?
How sad that the writer of that cartoon doesn't think he was inappropriate. What is wrong with our society? It was inappropriate and it was racist and the writer should know better.
Sharpton is an idiot, obviously. The cartoon mocks the idea that idiots are writing this bailout (people with the intelligence of a monkey...probably collective intelligence in Congress equivalent to ONE monkey). Sharpton is a moron...shame on CNN for giving him the air time.
I agree with Sharpton; an ape couldn't have possibly done that...
An ape would've probably come up with something much more effective and sensible....
Al, how's Tawana Brawley these days? Wasn't that the little tart you were sporting around acusing good, honest white policemen of raping? You friggin thug!
The Post just chewed off their own leg like a muskrat in a trap.I will never buy that rag again.
The cartoonist says "Do you really think I'm saying Obama should be shot?" Is Obama supposed to be the monkey since they are pointing their guns at it?
Yea, right. It's all Sharpton's fault. That's a good way to try and throw us off of the main message. If they wanted to portray Pelosi why not use the image of a woman. I think we all know why and should demand that an apology be posted as soon as possible with a retraction of the cartoon. It is time to call the media onto the carpet for petty and irresponsible tactics that serve no meaningful purpose to ending all of the hardships that America is facing.
Of course Al Sharpton, the nototios Race Pimp himself, would jump on this cause. If you have a level head and you read this cartoon you can onky conclude that it was not racist in any way. It is getting downright scary for anyone who opposed Obama in any way, and anyone who does not support his policies is labelled a racist. It is not OK for Phil Gramm to call the U.S. a nation of whiners but it is perfectly fine for Attorney General Holder to call us a nation of cowards????? I hate liberalism and the debilitating effects it is having on our country and the erosion it creates in society. liberalism is a disease
Uhh, Obama didn't write the bill. If anything, it's suggesting Congressional leaders are apes, which is rather insulting to apes.
Delonas is wrong. Look at the comments the article received on HuffPost's website. People, including myself, outraged. It will come back to bite you...watch.