This is a difficult situation. Honestly, I don’t know what to think.
A part of me feels obligated to go on the expressed intentions of the cartoonist. If their intention wasn’t racist then it wasn’t. I know that position comes with great complexity, but I don’t think it is healthy to spend too much time deciphering what is racist and what is not, especially those things that are up to great debate.
But another part of me is enraged by the image. The dead monkey congers pictures of oppressed Blacks, Negros, Niggers who are, by nature, primitive and this, disposable.
Bottom Line: It was not wise for the NY Post to publish this cartoon. It was a misfire. It was confusing.
Regardless of whether I or you believe that this was offensive or not does not matter. What matters is that some do find it offensive. Thus, we all must defend the emotions and sensitivities of others. White, Black, Latino, Bi-Racial, Asian or other, if someone you know is offended you must not belittle that emotion you must acknowledge their condition – be it ultimately perception or reality. When feelings – perceptual or not – are invalidated we never make gains in dealing with our complex issues.
We are not in a post-racial society, it is obvious that a division remains. We cannot spend time denying the racial lines that are often so apparent nor can we exhaust ourselves by preaching to others in a way that is only understood by our own choir
The foundational question is not, racist or not? It is, why does this hurt and divide humanity?
What is our response, not to a picture, but to one another?