February 18th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Sharpton blasts Post cartoon linking stimulus bill to apes

Al Sharpton took issue Wednesday with a cartoon published in the New York Post.
Al Sharpton took issue Wednesday with a cartoon published in the New York Post.

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.


Filed under: Al Sharpton • economic stimulus • President Obama
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Edwin

    Ah, it's great to see this racist still has something to whine about.

    February 18, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    The writer writes:
    "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 her pet chimp, which was killed by police after the attack. "

    The woman who was mauled was a friend of the woman who owned the chimp, not the chimp owner. Not to nitpick, but just a factual error.

    Thanks and have a great day

    February 18, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I'm afraid our language doesn't have a word to descibe what a complete moron Sharpton is. He doesn't know anthing else but playing the race card. I would never think of comparing him to a monkey. A monkey has 10 times the brains.

    February 18, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Al Sharpton is an embarassment to the Democratic Party and all black Americans, better suited to making guest appearances on the Jerry Springer show instead of legitimate news broadcasts,

    February 18, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. me again

    Seriously, Al Sharpton? I guess you can manipulate anything to be racially offensive. It's obviously referencing Travis the chimp & the eco stimulus plan. Stop crying 'wolf" and go find some actual issues of discrimination to fixate on, because they are really out there and you are wasting your time with this one. At this rate, perhaps you can manipulate this cartoon to represent your public image, because there is no longer any credibility to anything that involves you. It's unfortunate, b/c people could use a true voice to speak out against discrimination.

    February 18, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Ray Ray

    Gee – Why didn't Al Sharpton ever object to the 8 years of Bush being cartooned as a monkey in national newspapers??

    Oh that's right... only black people have a right to cry racism. If it's mocking a white guy – it's justified.

    CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!!!

    February 18, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Independent Paul

    I guess it has been too long since Sharpton saw his name in the news. He is a race baiter, a racist, and an incredible hyopcrit who needs to ride off into the sunset with Pat Robertson and Jessie Jackson and never be heard from again.

    February 18, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. EBC

    I'm sorry, Delonas KNEW exactly what his whole monkey being shot cartoon implies.

    What a bunch of BS coming from the NY Post. If he was NOT targeting President Obama, he would have never used the word STIMULUS in the cartoon caption.

    The minute the word STIMULUS was used in the caption, WHO ELSE would the picture be referring to?

    1. The woman who was attack did NOT WRITE the Stimulus package

    2. The Owner of the monkey herself had NOTHING to do with the Stimulus package.

    WHAT THE HELL DOES A MONKEY HAVE TO DO WITH THE STIMULUS? Where is the connection here?

    So what in God's name was Delonas thinking? This is neither appropriate or excusable. It's racial undertones is FRONT and CENTER. I'm sick of the blatant EXCUSES by the New York Post. I will be canceling my subscription immediately. I've had enough of this CRAP!!!

    February 18, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Monroe

    That cartoon was in bad taste, I thought about President Obama when I read the captsion even if it wasn't the reference to the dead chimp went over the line. We have forgotton how to disagree and still be civil.

    February 18, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Peggy - TX

    It is just a stupid cartoon and the news paper is just exercising freedom of speech in the manner that the founders envisioned. This cartoon may be in bad taste, but it is not worth getting all upset about it. Sharpton, you need a real job. Once again you comes across as a professional victim – out to make something sinister out absolutely nothing.

    February 18, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Thumbs Up For Obama

    This has to be all Republican racist Sean Delonas has going for himself.

    February 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Joe Cernick

    Yep, here's the dems wanting to shut down all opposition to anything they want to do. Be careful, USA, these dems are going to want to change the Constitution to limit your right to free speech. Why are these foolish people in power anyway?

    February 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. James, AL

    The direct inference is that a chimp wrote the bill and to intertwine this with a recent travesty is poor taste and at best very bad judgement. You can explain it how you wish, but very few people will disassociate such an image from the president. African-Americans will see it as an attack on the president.

    February 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Change is coming!

    Wow racist are getting more ingenious these days.... This is a sad day. I will not question the intelligence of the author or the paper... They knew exactly what they where doing with that picture... As an African American I am insulted and will never procure information from the post again.

    February 18, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. gdog

    Sharpton is really looking for something to keep him relevent.

    February 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Tish,NC

    I'm sorry Rev. Al is right in this one! This is clearly offensive! I don't see the joke!

    February 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Once you vote Black

    I can understand where Al is coming from, I just think he is wrong in this case. The Post has always taken advantage of racially charged siturations, and they should not be showing this because of the poor ladies lost and the wonded women, but I don't think they were talking about Obama, after all the dem congress wrote the bill.

    February 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Baze

    Jesus... As a black man I say Sharpton, would you please just shut the hell up.

    February 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Doug, New Jersey

    Al Sharpton is a liberals liberal. He really has all the qualities that make one a liberal Democrat. Average Democrat in America thinks this cartoon is racist since Al told them so, yet they think is was great to throw oreos at Micheal Steele for daring to not be a Democrat.

    February 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Just Me In WV

    Oh My God – I totally agree with Sharpton – a first!

    The reason that this Delonas guy doesnt see it the way Sharpton does is because, gee how can I say this....he's "friggin" white and and therefore right.

    February 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. California Gold

    The Post's cartoon was not even remotely funny, humorous or much else. Simply stated it's offensive.

    February 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Moderate Republican

    I wondered when the first racially-tinged commentary related to the federal government would appear. It is not surprising that it came from the NY Post, and I expect there will be dozens of similar incidents as long as President Obama holds office.

    I will not hold my breath waiting for Michael Steele (Republican Party Chair) to condemn the depiction.

    February 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Dean in Florida

    Chill out, Sharpton. We know the stimulus bill wasn't written by apes...it was written for apes.

    February 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. T Silver

    I have no overwhelming love for the NY Post – personally, I think it's best used in the bottom of bird cages or as toilet paper on camping trips. I also have different thoughts on the stimulus bill as the cartoonist does – in my mind, even with it's enormous price tag, it is necessary and inevitable if we are looking to avoid another Great Depression (which, we can all agree on, we are). However, I have to agree with the paper and the cartoonist on this issue.

    There was a chance to link a ridiculous news story with something political, and the artist took the chance to which he is entitled and made it into something sarcastic and witty.

    Al Sharpton has, I'm sure (?), good intentions for the people he chooses to defend and represent, but he needs to pick his battles. There are things far worse out there than someone feeling that maybe-sorta-kinda there's something racist about a political cartoon. Filter, Al. Filter. Not every depiction of a monkey, ape, chimp, or the like is a shot at people of color.

    February 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Judy

    "It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy..."

    If the chimp in the cartoon doesn't represent somebody, then I don't get it.... The caption says "We'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill", so the chimp clearly represents someone presumably the person who wrote, or was responsible for the bill.

    In this case, Sharpton doesn't sound "absolutely friggin' ridiculous." to me.

    February 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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