"Humor": The Ultimate Cop Out
By now, I've imagine that most folks have seen the controversial Sean Delonas cartoon from yesterday's New York Post. For those of you new to this story, the New York Post claims that comic is supposed to be a play on both the current economic situation and a reference to a woman who was attacked by a chimpanzee recently.
The comments section of numerous blogs are filled with debates over whether or not this cartoon is racist. I think at best, this is an example of internalized racism. At worst, it is evidence of incredibly overt and historically reoccuring racism. While the New York Post denies that the cartoon is racist, I don't think it coincidental that Obama has been portrayed as a monkey at least once before.
In light of this particular cartoon's debut, Gawker has compiled a top ten list chronicling Sean Delonas' less than stellar cartooning past. This "greatest hits" of sorts makes light of racism, sexism, homophobia, and sizeism, proving that Sean Delonas is more than deserving of the Douchebag Decree.
Personally, I am pretty tired of folks pulling out the "it's just a joke" card in instances like this. My personal belief is that joking about issues like the ones that Delonas has touched on only takes away from the seriousness at hand (in addition to demonstrating the privilege Delonas has in not being part of the groups he mocks). What do you all think? Are there times when jokes that feed into preexisting stereotypes are appropriate? Are there topics that should always be avoided? Do folks need to lighten up?
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