Belgian newspaper blasted for portraying the Obamas as apes
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have been subjected to yet another racially insensitive portrayal.
Belgian newspaper De Morgen posted a picture of the first couple with ape mouths to coincide with the president’s recent visit to the Netherlands to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
Another photo of the president appears with the caption: “First black president of the USA starts selling weed.”
The images accompany a piece that is supposed to be a “satirical” take on Obama’s strained relations with Russia’s 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 article reportedly says.
While some readers have come to De Morgen‘s defense, others, such as Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe called the article blatantly “racist.”
De Morgen has since apologized for the image, saying they showed “bad taste” by publishing it.
“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 do you think Grio fam? Is this just a joke or is it never appropriate to portray the president and first lady this way?