Whoa: Newspaper Portrays the Obamas as Weed-selling monkeys

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If you ever find yourself confused and even hurt by the racism that has been levied against the Obama family, join the club.  A Belgian newspaper is getting questions from around the world after it portrayed President and Mrs. Obama as apes in its publication.  De Morgan is a progressive newspaper that somehow felt that the image was appropriate for the Obama’s visit to The Netherlands on Monday.

Nigeria’s Chika Unigwe tweeted a picture of the image and it went global in a matter of minutes.   In the spread, the newspaper not only portrayed the Obamas as apes, but it also made jokes about the president and first lady selling marijuana.   The newspaper pretended that the images came from Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

 “Vladimir Putin is the president of Russia. He sent us this attachment at our request, and chose to send pictures instead of text ‘because he doesn’t have a lot of time’,” the Independent said, in a failed effort at humor.  

Some people see the images as a joke, but it’s not funny to those who know the history of African Americans being compared with Apes.

“In their defense, there are tons upon tons of pictures and t-shirts with Bush drawn as an ape,” someone wrote on the popular website, Reddit.com. 

De Morgan did apologize for the offensive photos, admitting that they are “guilty of bad taste.”

“When you consider the fragment apart from its context, which is a properly worked out satirical section, then you don’t see the joke but just a picture evoking sheer racism,” the newspaper said. “We wrongly assumed that racism is no longer accepted, and that in this way it could be the subject of a joke.”

What are your thoughts?  Was the newspaper out of line with this image.