Brazilian Website Posts Racist Obama Cartoon

A Brazilian website posts a cartoon depicting President Obama as a monkey.


The furor started as soon as the cartoon was posted on a Brazilian website, Paraná Online. A hairy monkey ponders: "Obama will have for lunch for baião-for-two [a traditional rice-and-beans dish associated with Brazil's predominantly black northeast], steak, ice cream ... and bananas, many bananas."

The use of the cartoon should not be surprising: Brazil is not immune to the casual racism in Latin America that depicts blacks in stereotypical fashion. The most common black characters on Latin American television usually appear as servants or for comic relief. (Sound familiar?)

Wasn't it just yesterday that the New York Times was chiding President Obama for failing to bring up the issue of race in his visit to Brazil? The paper practically scolded the president for a missed opportunity, pointing out that Brazi had the second-largest number of citizens of African descent after Nigeria and ahead of the U.S. Maybe the prez figured out that Brazilians aren't really ready for this discussion. In the meantime, Paraná Online decided to take down the cartoon, but we managed to grab a copy of the image first.

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