NY Post: Power to the Protest

February 20, 2009

I am in awe every time I see the power of the people manifested in demonstrations as it has been for the past few days with the protestors of the New York Post.

Longtime political cartoonist Sean Delonas drew a picture that was published in the Post this Wednesday. Many feel this cartoon played on the racist history of Blacks being compared to primates.*

The strength, tenacity, courage, and determination of protesters is often times inspiring. How awesome that this group of people got together to make a change, and they saw results from it.

The New York Post issued an apology today to those they offended with the cartoon. The apology was a bit back-handed because they refused to apologize to those they believe initiated the opposition. They felt those with long time grievances used this cartoon as an opportunity to enact revenge on the controversial and conservative newspaper. (Though they didn’t name names, the main opponent has been Rev. Al Sharpton, and I think we can infer they are talking about him.)

It is very possible that the Post and Delonas didn’t intended any racial slur with the cartoon. I am willing to take them at their word that the chimp is a parody of Travis the chimp that was shot on Monday by police officers paired with a mock of the economic stimulus bill. However, there is NO WAY they didn’t anticipate the implications that would be felt by comparing the author of the current stimulus bill (not only President Obama, but he IS the face of the bill) to a violent chimpanzee. In addition, they shot the chimp= they shot the author of the stimulus bill= they shot the President!!?? That’s funny?

Many people want to site that President Bush was at times compared to monkeys as well. However, there is no history of whites being compared to primates in a racial defamation. If Bush had been compared to a Ritz of something with a comparative history, then (I would be outraged) a comparison could be made.

The Post shouldn’t be surprised by the public backlash. I didn’t even know about Travis until after I saw the bru-ha-ha over the cartoon. I’m sure many around the world will see this cartoon, know nothing of Travis, and instantly see it as a racial slur.

I am delighted the protestors got a semblance of an apology. We must stay on offensive people/media. We must never give up. Protest reminds us that there is much more that we can/must do for our communities than simply casting a ballot every 4 years.

I want to dedicate this to all the demonstrators (many of whom were college students) in 2003 that were jailed just for protesting the Iraqi War on the streets of Chicago, and to those who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Frankfort, KY in 1965.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!! UHURU!! HOTEP!!

* You can see the original cartoon here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/18/national/main4809291.shtml

** You can see an altered version of the cartoon (not by Delonas) here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/how-the-new-york-post-mon_b_168199.html

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One Response to “NY Post: Power to the Protest”

  1. Mike Says:

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