Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post last week published what some are calling the most profoundly disrespectful and racist cartoon ever about President Obama. The cartoon depicts an angry White man on horseback (Mitt Romney) chasing down a terrified skinny Black man fleeing on foot (President Obama), and the Romney figure is aiming an assault rifle and attached bayonet at the Obama figure’s backside.

“The cartoon clearly evokes an image from the Old South of an overseer or slave catcher chasing down a runaway slave,” says a report by two interpreters of code language and political cartoons at

“Don’t believe the Post if they claim this is just payback satire on the president’s quip about horses and bayonets that exposed Romney’s ignorance of defense issues,” said Dennis King, one of the authors of the report, referring to the final presidential campaign debate on Oct. 22. “This goes way, way beyond satire. For one thing, Obama’s quip didn’t refer to assault rifles or to using horses to chase down Black people. The dog whistle in this cartoon is so loud that anyone can hear it, if they aren’t in deep denial.”

The report said that the Post cartoon was an example of “the knee-jerk hatred of Obama by so many Republicans [that] goes back to group fantasies of the Rebellious Slave, or in this case of the uppity educated n___, who must be put back in his place.”

The cartoonist, Sean Delonas, was accused of racism in 2009 when one of his cartoons depicted a rabid chimpanzee dying on a sidewalk after being shot by New York cops. The caption strongly implied that the chimp was meant to represent President Obama.

The Post said it was sorry people were offended, but never fully apologized. (Both cartoons are included with the report.)

Dennis King is a journalist who has written extensively on coded forms of bigotry. His co-author of the report, Geraldine Pauling, is an independent scholar and long-time member of the International Psychohistorical Association, which is noted for its analyses of political cartoons.