Belgian newspaper De Morgen has published pictures of US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama depicted as apes, days ahead of Obama's expected visit to the country this coming week.
The mainstream paper, which was founded in 1978, published a section in its Saturday edition entitled 'The Obama Herald'.
The section was a satirical look at what translates roughly as 'the news even before it happened, unless it's already happened, of course'. It features potential future tweets from the US President, as well as an 'interview' with Sasha Obama claiming that she "hates Beyonce" and "that ugly man of hers too".
But one section in particular may cause controversy for the paper: a picture of Barack and Michelle Obama with monkey faces.
The picture was published under the 'Opinion' section of the paper under the guise of being sent in by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It qualifies the pictures, satirically stating: Vladimir Putin is the president of Russia. He sent us this attachment at our request, and chose to sent pictures instead of text 'because he doesn't have a lot of time'".
Users of the social networking site Reddit gave mixed responses when presented with the image, with some lauding the press freedom in Belgium, and others rightly noting the cartoon's vulgar and racist overtones.
One commenter noted: "White people are also portrayed as apes, look at recent pictures of George W. Bush. If you find it racist to portray people with black skin as suchs [sic] but have no problem with portraying people of other skin color like that, then I'd have to point out your hypocrisy", while another shot back, "Yeah, but Bush is compared to apes because he's stupid, not because he's white. The caption here is specifically mentions race- the photo is directly implying that black people are comparable to apes, and is therefore racist. Geddit?"
The incident isn't the first time a publication has presented Obama as an ape, with similar controversies arising from a cartoon from last year, and a New York Post cartoon from 2009.
De Morgen's switchboard was closed for calls today, therefore Breitbart London was unable to obtain a comment.
Folks, when a mainstream print media in a supposedly civilized society can stoop so below-the-bunker-low as to audaciously orchestrate this inhumane and denigrating depiction of the MOST POWERFUL COUPLE on planet earth, then it is safe to conclude that the people running such Newspaper are as civilized in 2014 as their Neanderthal ancestors were more than 500,000 yrs ago.
Satire or no satire, the writer, editor and publisher of this article on Belgium's De Morgen Newspaper are brainless, mindless, cavemen or women who obviously do not possess what it takes to operate in a 21st Century world.
And it makes my stomach crawl to remember that in my hit-music making days with Technotronic and Da Rick in Belgium, there were a number of full-paged and sometimes double-paged articles about me published by the same Newspaper. I wonder if my interviewer for De Morgen back then wasn't thinking "ape" while chatting with me.
However, having resided in this neck of the wood off and on for several decades, I can unequivocally say that many Belgians I know are decent folks and are absolutely nothing like the writer, editor and publisher of this insensitive, inflammatory and racist article. That's not to discount the existence of subtle and sometimes outright racism in the country, but compared to other Caucasian dominated nations I'm also homely knotted with, Belgium ranks high in the area of inter-personal racial equity. Systemic racial intolerance appears to be pervasive though.