As the resident “black guy” around these here parts…

…I’ve got a few things to say about this so-called Barack Obama/Curious George t-shirt controversy.

Yesterday evening, a white friend of mine sent me a text message asking what I thought about the Obama/Curious George t-shirt. I responded by saying I thought it was a bunch of people getting upset over nothing. I then went on to say that I felt that sometimes people just need something to protest and that’s how “leaders” like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton make their money.

Now I don’t like being in a position of having to defend George W. Bush or the Republicans, but they make a very good point. If you go to Google.com, key in “George W. Bush” & “monkey” and click the button marked “Google Search”, the first website that pops up is www.bushorchimp.com.

So here’s the deal…

…You’ve got two national political figures. One’s the President of the United States and one’s a United States Senator. For eight years, not a word was said in opposition to the President of the United States being compared to a monkey, chimpanzee, or any other member of that biological order known as primates. But now, a U.S. Senator who just happens to be black gets compared to a monkey and the charges of racism start flying, protests and boycotts are being organized…give me a break.

As a black guy, am I offended by the Curious George t-shirts? No more than I am about bushorchimp.com.

But hey, if it makes you feel any better, then to quote Giant Brian and Shafee of the radio station Project 9-6-1, I denounce those t-shirts.

28 comments

  1. Rick Day says:

    As the resident ‘white gadfly’ of this community I must point out that, what the two monkey comparisons have in common is that they were both fomented by angry white people.

    One should look back on history. Bush is compared to Chimp because he looks an awful lot like one, given some photographic poses he has been caught in.

    Obama is compared to Chimp because historically, in the South, one of the many characterizations of Black people in general is simian.

    One denigrates the look of one goofy-ass wealthy white male. The other implies denigration upon a whole group of Americans.

    If you consider the source of the shirts, this theory is even more reinforced.

    Other than that, I got nuttin’.

  2. Demonbeck says:

    First of all, Andre kudos for coming out, however, I am afraid your reference to the Project 961 radio station may lead others to question your “blackness.” Not me, of course, but others may.

    Secondly, Rick Day, “Bush is compared to Chimp because he looks an awful lot like one” yet “Obama is compared to Chimp because historically, in the South, one of the many characterizations of Black people in general is simian.” Judging from my post, can you infer what I am thinking about your opinion?

  3. Jessica says:

    I dunno, Rick. Obama and Bush look a lot alike from certain angles. I won’t say there isn’t a valid visual comparison, but given the historical connotation, I think it is a comparison made in extremely bad taste.

  4. Decaturguy says:

    You know what, Andre, you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how pandering it might be. However, to simply ignore the context of the hundreds of years that black people in this country have been compared to monkeys, and compare that to some white people calling George W. Bush a monkey, is just plain ignorant.

  5. Andre Walker says:

    Compared to all the other bad things that are happening in the world, the fact that some are getting their panties in a wad over a t-shirt should tell you how overly-sensitive our society has become.

    As I’ve said before, we’re encouraging a society of pansies; a society of girly-men who are so afraid of saying what they feel or think because someone somewhere might get offended.

    This t-shirt is not a civil rights issue, so we need to stop treating it as such.

  6. Romegaguy says:

    Icarus
    Spacey not Boyreporter. She wishes she was a real reporter like her idols on Georgia Gang and hates men.

  7. jsm says:

    Ya know, this whole issue is being blown way out of proportion by some of you Obamacrats, because you just like to whine. I would venture that the comparisons of Bush to actual primate pictures is much more denigrating than the comparison of Obama to a cartoon figure whose curiosity and desire to explore everything he sees causes mishaps, spills, etc. If you must make something out of the fact that Curious George is a primate, have at it. This only makes you look petty and desperate for controversy.

  8. Decaturguy says:

    I agree that we should not be giving this racist bar owner any more attention than he deserves for pulling this publicity stunt. However, to just dismiss it as the same thing as calling George W. Bush a chimp is absurd.

    Oh, and your use of the term “pansy,” Andre, is the equivalent of me calling you the n word.

  9. Decaturguy says:

    But of course you have a history of disrespecting others and maybe that is why you can’t win an election for dog catcher of South Fulton. Remember calling one of your female political opponents “just another pretty face?”

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Andre (a REAL black man) says:“As I’ve said before, we’re encouraging a society of pansies; a society of girly-men who are so afraid of saying what they feel or think because someone somewhere might get offended.”

    Chris Farris and John Konop….PAY attention to what Andre is saying.

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Spacey,

    I’ll bet you’re not really a Dem. I believe YOU would just as soon be happy if this country went further to the left to a true Communist state where YOU would be in charge of the press. Or, maybe you and Cynthia Tucker would be co-editors.

  12. Donkey Kong says:

    Andre,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I have refrained from commenting on this because its such a hot issue for a white man to comment about. But you said pretty much what I was thinking.

    Here’s what bothers me the most. The bar owner may actually be racist, but we don’t know. Every time he is asked about the shirt, he says that its because of the ears and the hairline. Yet that CNN reporter blatantly called him racist. Based on what???? If Bush — a white man — can be called a monkey based on his ears and hairline, then surely Obama — a black man — can be called a monkey for the same reasons. The fact is, we don’t know the tavern owner’s heart, and we don’t know if it was latent racism that caused him to proliferate the shirts, or if it was truly just the facial features. But it really bothers me that so many just assume and write off this white southern man as racist when we really don’t know. Racism is less an action than a heart’s intent.

    I’ll be the first to call out this guy if his intention was racist — there is little that bothers me more than racism. But I’ll also be the first to call out a lot of BS among all those who are charging this man as a racist without sufficient evidence.

  13. Demonbeck says:

    Apparently, I think Decaturguy just came out of the closet.

    Since it is on a blog, is it more appropriate to say he came out of the My Documents?

  14. EAVDad says:

    Donkey Kong and others. You are dead on about the reporter — totally inappropriate interview. But don’t defend this guy. Let’s say it was just about the hairline and the ears (which I strongly doubt). Didn’t dawn on him “hey, ya know — depicting a black man as a monkey might be wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t do it.”

    Andre, I appreciate your thoughtfulness, although I disagree with your point. Depicting Bush as a monkey is disrespectful to him and the office. But it’s not racist.

  15. Decaturguy says:

    Apparently, I think Decaturguy just came out of the closet.

    That happened about a decade ago Demonbeck, where the hell have you been?

  16. Demonbeck says:

    “That happened about a decade ago Demonbeck, where the hell have you been?”

    I guess I missed the memo.

    I meant out of the closet here on Peach Pundit.

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