Murdoch, is Obama really a chimpanzee?

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Mr. Rupert Murdoch, it’s certainly no surprise to you that New York Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan would hotly defend the racist Post cartoon comparing President Obama to a chimp. That’s what your shock and smut dealing Post is in the business

Mr. Rupert Murdoch, it’s certainly no surprise to you that New York Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan would hotly defend the racist Post cartoon comparing President Obama to a chimp. That’s what your shock and smut dealing Post is in the business of doing, and it does it well.

The idea of course is to get the tongues furiously wagging, get enraged emails, letters and phone calls pouring in, and then put forth the predictable defense calling this, and other inflammatory cartoons, a parody, a free speech right and harmless spoofery. Allan didn’t stop there. He couldn’t resist the urge to take a swipe at Al Sharpton, branding him with the standard tag of race baiter and media hound for daring to call out the Post on the vile cartoon.

The furor might have drawn little more than a public yawn and shrug except for two two small points. One is the long, sordid and savage history of racist stereotyping of African Americans. A few grotesque book titles from a century ago, such as The Negro a Beast, The Negro, Menace to American Civilization and the Clansman depicted Blacks as apes, monkeys, bestial and animal like. The image stuck in books, magazines, journals and deeply colored the thinking of many Americans of that day.

Yes, Mr. Murdoch, it’s true that was a long time ago, and as Allan intimated in his lame defense of the Post cartoon, no sober person could seriously believe that anyone would liken the president, or for that matter, any Black to a chimp. Unfortunately, a lot still do.

That’s the second small point about the Post cartoon. Post cartoonist Sean Delonas could so casually and easily depict Obama as a monkey because that image didn’t die a century, half century, decade or even a year ago. In fact, exactly a year ago, Penn State researchers conducted six separate studies and found that many Americans still link Blacks with apes and monkeys. Many of them were young and had absolutely no knowledge of the vicious stereotyping of Blacks of years past. Their findings with the provocative title "Not Yet Human: Implicit Knowledge, Historical Dehumanization and Contemporary Consequences," in the February 2008 issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was published by the American Psychological Association.

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