Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This is literally, like B.Scott would say, some "Monkey-Doodle Foolishness"!!

Does this Mmonkey look like Barack Obama??

The owner of Mulligan's bar in Marietta sure thinks so.

Mulligan's selling shirts with 'Curious George' picture

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/13/08

Marietta bar owner Mike Norman says the T-shirts he's peddling, featuring a look-a-like of cartoon chimp Curious George peeling a banana, with "Obama in '08" underneath, are not meant to offend.

Norman acknowledged the imagery's Jim Crow roots but said he sees nothing wrong with depicting a prominent African-American as a monkey,

We're not living in the (19)40's," he said. "Look at him . . . the hairline, the ears — he looks just like Curious George."

About a dozen prostestors rallied against the shirts Tuesday afternoon, condemning them as racist and asking Norman, longtime proprietor of Mulligan's Bar and Grill on Roswell Street, to stop selling them.

Marietta native Pam Lindley, 47, joined the protest after reading about the controversy online.

"I don't want people to think this is what Marietta is all about," she added, motioning towards the tavern. "This is what some people think the South is still like. Marietta's come a long way but I guess it's still got a little ways to go."

She said she'd like to see the city ban Norman's provocative musings regularly posted on a sign out front of the bar, which is near Marietta's downtown square. The loosely formed coalition of civil rights activists who gathered Tuesday say they will continue their campaign against Norman's "hate speech."

But his defenders are just as resolute. Mulligan's is a refuge, they say, in an otherwise hypersensitive world. Here, smoking isn't only allowed, it's expected.

"This place is a diamond in the rough," said Gene McKinley, a Woodstock engineer. "People here are genuine and honest. It's the one place I can go without having to worry if I'm offending someone."

Norman said he's been he's been fielding calls throughout the day about his T-shirts, which he began selling in late April. "One guy in New Jersey wanted me to send him 100 shirts," said Norman, 63.

He said he noted physical similarities between the Democratic frontrunner and the cartoon monkey while watching a Curious George movie with his grandchildren.

Someone — "probably a customer, I don't know" — from Arkansas sent him the shirts, Norman says. He has no plans to mass market them.

Not that's he's bowing to pressure. The Tennessee native figures he's providing a public service of sorts, reminding people they have a right to offend.

"This is my marketing tool," he said.

see the shirt here

1 comment:

Mike Spike said...

Racism is still alive and "well" in the "Un-United States". Just look at the number of people who were asked the question "will race play a major role in who you will elect for President" who answered "yes". I think it's an abuse of "freedom of expression" when people use that right to hide behind their hatred, ignorance, and intolerance. I wonder how many people would be up in arms if a t-shirt with a pic of McCain as "The Krypt Keeper" was being marketed? That man has one foot on a banana peel and the other foot in the grave.