Is there a subtle message in this New York Post cartoon?

Written by Jesse Muhammad

This morning a community activist sent me an email with the subject title "What you say about my president?". I opened it and she was going off about a reportedly offensive cartoon that is published in today's New York Post. I clicked the link she sent me and below is the image I saw on the website of the National Action Network.

The cartoon is said to be referring to Travis the chimp, who was killed by police in Connecticut this past Monday after it attacked one of the friends of its owner. But some people see it as a racial attack on President Obama. What do you think?

Rev. Al Sharpton weighed in on the cartoon and stated:

"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."

"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 whether the Post cartoonist was inferring that a monkey wrote it? Given that the New York Post cartoonist has come under heavy fire in the past for racially tinged cartoons including the infamous cartoons depicting 2001 mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer and me in very unflattering ways (that ultimately was used as a campaign tactic to inflame racial prejudices), one cannot ignore that history when looking at this morning’s cartoon. "

"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."

NY Gov. David Paterson told a CBS reporter, "It would be very important for the New York Post to explain what the cartoon was intended to portray."

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you see it as offensive?

Is it a racial attack on the President?

Or is it just a harmless cartoon meant to be funny?

Leave a comment.


  1. This is definitely offensive. No question about it.

    The cartoonist should definitely reprimanded in some sort of way for this ridiculous, entirely unnecessary cartoon.
    Would I be less offended if it were a donkey being shot in the picture? Yes, because that would be an obvious reference to an affiliation with the Democratic party but OMG an ape, gorilla, or monkey is absurd! And the fact that they are saying it is Travis the chimp in the picture doesn't make it any better from the simple fact that he attacked a friend of its OWNER? WOW! Just WOW!

  2. I saw this on CNN this morning and knew my brother would blog about it...LOL

    I think that it is very offensive. Even if the cartoonist did not mean to offend anyone, there was very poor judgement in creating this cartoon and even worse judgement by the NY Post for allowing this to be printed in their paper.

    Rev. Al Sharpton also pointed out that there was a picture of Obama on the page next to the one the cartoon was on.

    That's my 2 cent,


  3. @Ed
    LOL..you already know I had to post this one. Thanks for the feedback!

    @John Eric Appreciate you joining the discussion brother.

  4. This is some crazy stuff...but I am not surprised!

  5. I already know a protest is about to go down!

  6. You this is the kinda stuff that proves we are not in a POST-RACIAL AMERICA!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

  7. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  8. This is another controversial thing but I hope we keep focus on bigger things too....but I can't say what people should go at or not because I FIRST need to get involved myself.

    We got alot of work to do.

  9. Man, I am not surprised at all..this is right in line with there thinking...THIS IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE BROTHER JESSE

  10. LOL...I am laughing because I knew Brother Jesse was going to blog about this. I say keep the pressure on these people in everything...to me there is nothing too minor that we should address it because minor things can blow up into bigger ones if they are not addressed immediately.

  11. Post-Racial America, huh? Pray for the safety of Obama yall!

  12. Ok, I'm with protesting this but dang let's build some programs in the community to save our children at the same time. That's more important to me!

    But as always I appreciate the information Brother Jesse. You going hard on this blog daily.

  13. YourBrotherfrom AnotherMotherFebruary 18, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    Dang, they are bold for this one....come on now, even a brass monkey can see the message in this. It's no different than that New Yorker cover that was put out during the election.

    Keep posting good information Brother Jesse

  14. Well I'll be a Monkey's Uncle!!!! Yo, this is off the chain. These people do not care.

  15. If they were taling about the monkey issue why did they talk about the stimulus package? It is clearly about President Obama.

  16. I Believe That The Painting Was Very Offensive. I Think He Killed Two Birds With One Stone Well Actually Three Birds. For Starts Its Offensive Towards Travis The Chimp, Its Offensive To Blacks Because This Not The First A Black Person Was Referred To As Monkeys By An Police Officer, And Its Clearly Directed To President Barack Obama...

  17. Thats ridiculous and and downright racist. Whoever wrote it knew what they were doing.

  18. I feel this is a great opportunity to see how our President will respond to this. I certainly feel there is a message in the cartoon considering the Huge response that has been generated I dont believe it was that subtle. At any rate opportunities such as these is what allows great leaders to emerge. Very interesting!

  19. Are you kidding me? This is not subtle at all. I too am interested to see how or if Obama comments on this

  20. This wasn’t subtle at all! It’s a blatant racist view of President Obama. Now if Travis the slain chimp had anything at all to do with the stimulus bill being signed I would possibly think different but since there is no connection there other- it’s pretty obvious what’s being done said here (for the slow folk, let me help you- they are calling President Obama a monkey!).

    But folks, this is just the beginning. Don’t let it get you upset because they will continue to attack and do stupid things like this for the duration of his terms (yes more than one term- I’m thinking ahead ). It’s an unfortunate situation but this is the world we live in and there are some people that won’t ever accept, or positively acknowledge, the accomplishments, knowledge, and overall excellence of the African American people no matter what we do. And what makes this an even sadder issue is that whoever did this doesn’t see what’s wrong with it because in their world that’s how ‘we’ are referred to in private and when a slip is made and it’s put in a public forum (like the cover of the New York Post)- it’s like, ‘What? What’s wrong with that? It’s funny.’ Well, hate to break it to ‘them’ but racism has never been and will never be funny. So please, if any members of the KKK or other hater groups see this, leave your racial slurs and sick humor in your private meetings. Better yet, give us all a break and get over yourselves- this world wasn’t just created any one race of people. So suck up your hate and let’s keep it moving, shall we?

  21. I agree with Kim Walker, this is only the beginning. We need to strategically use our energy.

  22. There is NOTHING subtle about this one Bro. J. It is CLEAR in the message....everybody needs to write the new york post

  23. Thanks to everyone who has given their feedback so far. Roland Martin just posted a column on CNN.com that you all should check out too surrounding the issue:


  24. You know damn well they intended that to be Obama. Thats the same racist that The Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan sued back in the 90's for defamation of character. I'm not surprised. I hope those of us who think whites are "cool" now can see that their nature hasnt changed.

    Pray for Bro. Barak yall...


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