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

Sharpton blasts Post cartoon linking stimulus bill to apes

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/18/art.sharptonpt0218.gi.jpg caption="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. Bill

    Is everyone that stupid? The stimulus bill is so lame, it seems that it was written by an ape. Where does racism come into play here? Sharpton is looking for publicity (as usual) and the rest of you are a bit too thin skinned. Not everything is about you! Get over it.

    February 18, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. JR

    Just one question for everyone... What church is Sharpton a reverend of? I do not see any other priest, pastor, father, reverend, clergy, rabbi, or anyone else in theology making any fuss over racism. Yet that seems to be all that the "Reverend Al Sharpton" talks about. I would like for once to hear him talk about religion.

    February 18, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Matthew, Detroit


    2 words.

    Tawana Bradley

    Yep you have great Credibility. That is no credibility.

    Liar Liar Liar.

    You were sure ready to hang the Duke Lacrosse team as well...

    February 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Marina

    I'm a white woman of an age to clearly remember when this kind of cartoon depiction of black people was acceptable in many parts of the country. Although Sharpton is generally a publicity seeking idiot, in this case, he's right. I saw this cartoon before Sharpton ever said a word, and it was perfectly clear what the Post's intent was.


    February 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Poor Al Sharpton. He is a prime example why bigotry will never go away in this country. He sees it around every corner and under every rock. What would Mr.Sharpton do for a living if we all lived in harmony?The more you bring it in to light, the stronger it burns in peoples minds.
    He does not help the cause to eliminate bigotry. It only seems self-serving to Mr. Sharpton.

    February 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Tom

    Ther goes Al flying off the handle, when are we going to hear from the other crackpot he sides with on meaningless accusations?

    February 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. d1120

    Sharpton...how come the black community does not even support you anymore?

    February 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Caren

    Al these people will forever be Ignorant, stop giving them so much attention.

    February 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. political girl

    Not a fan of Al Sharton, but he was right to call this guy out. I see alot of you blaming Sharton for doing so., this only make you apart of the problem. I found this sickening at best, and horriably ignorant. I think the cartoonist should be compared to a chimp, he seems to mimic them by throwing his **** all over the place.

    February 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Independent_me

    The NY Post is calling President Obama a violent monkey/chimpanzee that whould be gunned down. That is what I got from the cartoon.

    People of good will should boycott them, and the advertisers who support them. They cannot survive without advertising dollars.

    February 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. simp

    This is racist. I don't care what all these stupid blogger's on here say. I'm african american and there is no way this paper can try to justify this insensative white racist piece of crap.

    You people think you can do and say anything and nobody is going to notice? hell no. You print all the nasty racist junk you want. Barack Obama is President and all the racist junk you print won't change that. LOL

    February 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    This is wrong, it is ignorant, and any person with half a brain or conscious sees it that way.

    They claim it's about the stimulus and current situation; fine, maybe that was the intent; however, AS MUCH AS I HATE TO SAY THIS BUT, that is not the perception for a broad American audience.

    Let's go back not that long ago, you mean like the police officer who is currently on trial for shooting an unarmed African-American young adult in the back in front of several witnesses (including cameras) at a train station in California (I believe)?

    Or how about the sad reality that African-American's were referred to being apes as a derogatory insult?

    And the caption states, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill"?

    And the man who led the current one is our President who, hmmm, just happens to be a half African-American man?

    But they don't see fault in this....This is ignorance to the tenth degree. This is completely shameful!

    February 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Matthew, Houston, TX

    I love the way the right wingnuts commenting here are focusing on Sharpton. I'm no fan of Sharpton, either but the problem lies not with him but the portrayal of Obama as a monkey. The imbecile who drew the cartoon (it would be an insult to cartoonists to call him a cartoonist) even admitted the monkey was representing Obama by his own statement of feigned innocence saying he wasn't saying Obama should be shot.

    You right wingnuts just do not get it. This was a blatantly racist cartoon. Period. It was inappropriate and should never have been published. The cartoonist has a right to draw it, the paper has a right to publish it but neither one has a right to be free of the criticism they deserve for their actions.

    BTW, I'm 'white' (well, actually I think my skin is more khaki . . .)

    February 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Debby

    Oh brother, here come the wacko's and its not even a full moon. Maybe next we will here from Sharpton's sidekick Holder again.

    February 18, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. chuck

    This just reminds me of CNN this morning listening to Rob Marciano call the White House " The Big House" and Heidi Collins laughing on the other side of the set. The big house is the call name for the prisons and I call on these two idiots to quit if they cannot conduct themselves in a civil way on television. These people should take a page out of the books of Larry King ,Kara Phillips and Candy Crowley whom I enjoy listening to.

    February 18, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Obama America's President

    i agree with you al, THIS IS A RACIST CARTOON.

    February 18, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Susie B.Smiley

    From some of the comments that I read, I can see that these are some insensitive boobs. Al Sharpton has done nothing to you racists but called you out. That man is a racist and all of you who are calling Rev. Al Sharpton names are calling wrong right and right wrong. That moronic cartoonist is entitled to his opinion, but leave the stimulus out of it. He will benefit from the plan as well.

    February 18, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. philme1

    I will never understand how some whites can call people who have spent a great part of their lives fighting for Civil Rights/Human Rights a racist. Now I'm not saying Al or even Mr. J Jackson for that mater is MLK..., however lets us remember racist whites called the late Dr. King a racist to...

    February 18, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. rachel

    Shut up ALL please

    February 18, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Jon in CA

    NEW FREE SPEECH laws... brought to you by Rev Wright and Al Sharpton!

    No longer can the President be characatured, mocked, or satired. If you hint or suggest President Obama is a bafoon (heaven forbid "acting like a baboon"!) – you will immediately be called a racist and sent to a re-education camp.

    – wow – this is eerily similar to the revolution in China. I guess Chairman Obama should be his new title?

    February 18, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. layo24

    Gosh when will people learn that even though we have the right to free speech, just because you can express or say something does not mean it should be said.
    Ask any politician!

    February 18, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. marty-Licoln, NE

    Dear Sean Delnos, please keep your racially charged cartoon pardody of my and your president of the United States to yourself. Therefore, your should be ashame of yourself for posting this sort of racist cartoon in the New York Post. We are do not need to see this kind of racism at a time when some many people are hurting. For just a minute try to imagine what it would feel like to walk in an African American person shoes when this sort of rascism is printed in the media. I am a Black American and truly bother by this sort of media type of racism being put out there by others like you who think what you are doing is funny and okay. Well, it is not funny it is hurtful so you should stop doing this crap. There is a lot of positive information that you can write or print about instead of this negative and devicise information. Oh, I guess the positive information does not sale well? Nothing is funny about racism!

    February 18, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Happy Bday 2 ME

    I can't believe people are willing to sugar-coat the awful insinuations in this cartoon. Al Sharpton has never been an idiot, and he is not jumping the gun. Everyone knows that President Obama is the spearhead behind the economic stimulus bill and the cartoon is targeted toward an individual, not a generalization like "Washington". Whatever the artist "meant", the Post knew good and well that this portrayal would be perceived in a negative and insulting way. Freedom of the press protects political dissention, not racial hatred.

    February 18, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. beevee

    Both the coarttonist and the editor-in-chief appear to be insensitive idiots. Without proper explanation of what they actually meant by it, it may look like a racist comment.

    February 18, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. america first

    sharpton is right.

    February 18, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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