Eric Holder has taken a lot of heat for this, but he is 100% correct. We don't talk about race, except in the most guarded terms. Then we change the subject as quickly as possible.
Here's the reason why. This is from The Huffington Post:
A cartoon likening the author of the stimulus bill, perhaps President Barack Obama, with a rabid chimpanzee graced the pages of the New York Post on Wednesday.
The drawing, from famed cartoonist Sean Delonas, is rife with violent imagery and racial undertones. In it, two befuddled-looking police officers holding guns look over the dead and bleeding chimpanzee that attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut.
At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial. Perhaps that's what Delonas wanted.
Of course it's bound to be controversial. Hell, I can't believe I've gathered up the nerve to write anything about it. But let's start with a few obvious facts:
1) The cartoon isn't very funny.
2) Delonas has an editor who approved the cartoon's publication.
3) Look at the Huffington quote in italics above. They said "on a darker level", as if to imply that light is good and dark is bad. Silly, isn't it? But I find myself avoiding phrases like that all the time. If someone really wanted to make a racial issue of that sentence, they could easily do so.
4) The symbolism used in the cartoon is waaaay out there, especially in terms of the racist symbolism that was often used in the Deep South.
5) But the cartoon provides a muted commentary on the quality of the stimulus bill. A million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years couldn't have produced anything as bad as that abomination.
6) Al Sharpton and Julian Bond and plenty of others are issuing critical statements attacking the New York Post, calling for the cartoonist's head, and doing whatever they can to get back in the limelight somewhere far away from the Obama glare.
7) Anyone who dares to talk about race in a public forum is insane. That includes Eric Holder. That includes me. There are a lot of sociologists who predict that within the next 20 generations or so there won't be any "races" left. This would eliminate racism, tribalism, and a host of other harmful isms, wouldn't it?
8) But getting back to the subject at hand....if I were a monkey, and someone drew a cartoon about me writing the stimulus bill? I'd be angry.