The Obama Sock Monkey, a toy, is being sold over the internet by a Utah couple and causing quite an uproar from supporters of democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The sock monkey is wearing a suit with a lapel pin for Obama.

Angry Obama supporters have been posting in online forums and blogs all over the internet over what they see as degrading depictions of black people calling the Obama Sock Monkey a throw back to the days of “Jim Crow�? laws in southern states. Those depictions were designed to make one man appear inferior, less than human, for no other reason than the color of his skin. Some bloggers say The Sock Obama is disgusting while others are saying its makers are racists.

With such a reaction, it is ironic that the toy was being marketed to Obama supporters. The sales pitch on the website reads:

“We don’t get enough of him at his public speaking events. Now you can have your very own TheSockObama™ 24/7! Fall in love with your chosen candidate all over again.�?

The creators of The Sock Obama say they are shocked by the anger. In responding to a handful of the emails that are filling their inbox, they wrote:

“We at TheSockObama Co. are saddened that some individuals have chosen to misinterpret our plush toy. It is not, nor has it ever been, our objective to hurt, dismay or anger anyone. We guess there is an element of naiveté on our part, in that we don’t think in terms of myths, fables, fairy tales and folklore. In earnest folks, we’re so sorry we offended anybody.�?

So far, few web pundits are buying their plea of “naiveté,�? especially since the company has said nothing about stopping the sale of their Sock Obama.

So what do you think? Naiveté or racism?