Tuesday, February 24, 2009
To say that the world has gone overboard with political correctness is an understatement, and this is nowhere more visible than in the world of editorial cartoons. You learned in recent years that you can't draw an editorial cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammed without risk of being shot dead, blown up or decapitated by some radical Islamic lunatic. Having a sense of humor is an integral part of the human experience. And in democratic societies, freedom of speech including a free press is a vital piece of our civilization puzzle. But it's not just the radical Islamic world that has lost its collective sense of humor, or at the very least its willingness to allow sarcastic expression. The more radical members of the black community here in America are at it again as well. Write or draw something that those people don't like, and they are all over you like white on rice. Oops, did I call them 'those people'? Better be careful, they might find something to take personal in a few typewritten words. I might get a letter from the NAACP and some choice comments from Al Sharpton. Last week a woman in Connecticut was severely mauled when her friend's pet chimpanzee got loose and attacked her. A frantic calle went out to 9-1-1, and the responding police officers were faced with the chimpanzee attacking them. They had no choice but to shoot the animal dead. It was a major story all over the network news. Another major story in the news recently has been the alleged 'stimulus' bill that the majority of Americans were against, but which President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party cohorts in Congress decided to ram down our throats anyway. Into the fray stepped cartoonist Sean Delonis, a famed satirist who took the big monkey story and decided to merge it with the stimulus bill story. Delonis drew an editorial cartoon which was published by the New York Post which depicted the police officer, gun still smoking, in the immediate aftermath with the dead chimp lying on the ground in front of him in a puddle of blood. In the caption the cop is saying: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." Uh, oh, look out. The first black President in American history leads the effort to foist a ridiculous spending bill on the people, and automatically the monkey shot last week is a representation of him when drawn as a cartoon in a spoof by poor Sean Delonis. The 'Reverend Al' led the charge of the race-baiters, as usual, with his statement that "..given the historic racist attacks on African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys...one has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this.." Really, Reverend Al? And why is that? Why does anyone have to ask that question at all? The fact is that this was a brilliant incorporation of one big story into another by Delonis, who has solid credentials and whose work is widely respected in the industry. The very same race-baiters who had no comment to make when Chris Brown punched out Rihanna, perpetuating yet another negative stereotype within the African-American community, look for a way to undermine any attack on 'Saint Barack' and his programs and policies. They are so tied up in forcing his success that they cannot allow the small criticisms, and editorial cartoons are indeed small, that President Bush had to experience for the entirety of his eight years in office. From his being from Texas in particular and the South in general, from his use of the word 'nuceuler' instead of 'nuclear', to a thousand other things, President Bush was skewered and pilloried for almost a decade, just as President Clinton was for almost a decade before that. Here is the fact: Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America, and as such he is subject to editorial attacks in cartoons, on television programs, and every other media outlet. It comes with the job, which requires the thickest of skins, no matter that skin color. Sometimes the commentary will be biting and difficult for he and his supporters to stomach, and sometimes it will be downright funny to even the most frequent 'liberal Kool Aid' drinkers. The New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, the parent company of Fox News, a frequent basher of Obama and certainly the one major news outlet that has not been his cheerleader. Sharpton and the race-baiters hate Fox, and this may be part of the problem. The fact is that Obama's plans, policies, programs, and politics are as up for attack as any of Bush's or Clinton's were in the past. Oh, and Reverend Al and friends, not every reference to the word 'black', not every banana peeled, not every watermelon eaten, not every child abandoned, not every woman beaten, not every monkey shot dead will be any kind of racial reference. Toughen up, Obama supporters, or it's gonna be a long, hard four years for you people.