Is This Obama Sock Monkey Racist?

New York Magazine asks the question: “is this sock monkey racist?”

The sock monkey in question is produced by, who claims that the toy is just the result of a “casual and affectionate observation one night, and a charming association between a candidate and a toy we had when we were little.”

But some New York readers are not amused, with some commentors suggesting that the attorney general of Utah, the state where the sock monkeys are produced, should be notified. Another reader comments:

“As an African-American boomer, I have to give them an “A” for cleverness and cunning. During (legalized) Segregation in the South, when I visited Mobile, AL during the Summers — I went through the looking glass and experienced a world filled with nuance, double entrendre and African-Americans having to pretend demeaning imagery was funny. In other words, we had to be “in” on the joke or there was something wrong with us.”

But, other readers disagree, saying that this is “much ado about nothing”:

“The SockObama happens to look very cute. It is just your usual sock monkey with an Obama haircut and a suit. It does in fact look a bit like Obama, and Obama does in fact look rather like a sock monkey. What is your problem? Get over it!”

What’s your opinion? Do you think the Obama Sock Monkey is racist?


11 responses to “Is This Obama Sock Monkey Racist?

  1. And I quote, “Why so serious?”

    I guess I can kind of understand why some would think this is racist, but damn, can’t a cute little monkey wear a suit?

    I am almost certain that more extreme examples of America’s deep seeded racism will emerge as the campaign continues. If this somehow emerges as the worst offense (I seriously doubt it), we’re heading in the right direction.

  2. Two updates to this story:

    the store is apparently temporarily “closed for maintenance” (with the pictures of the sock monkey not prominent on the site)

    and, they are coming out with a new “Johnny McSock” doll

    was the pressure over this New York article too much???

  3. $10 says that “Sock-Monkey” will be a new ethnic slur within the next two years.

  4. Context people, context!

  5. That was me! “Context people, context” was ME!

  6. Hypersensitivity. There’s no reason to make this an issue other than to HAVE an issue.

    Remember when people found out that he smoked and lost their minds? Utterly ridiculous.

    I hope that this manufactured racism along with the oldies who can’t shake their racism and the appologists all disappear.

  7. Patrick Rennie

    Monkey used as a racist term for blacks? Check. Stuffed animal looks a lot like the racist caricatures of blacks used until mid-20th century? Check. So, incredibly racist object? Yes.

  8. Are they trying to deny that Obama has large ears?

  9. Yep. Racist as hell.

  10. But the left’s mocking comparisons of President Bush and a chimp are okay? Meh.

    Public figures are always legitimate targets for lampooning, and B.O. is no exception.

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