Friday, February 20, 2009

Why not Protest real racial problems?

The New York Post is in the business of selling newspapers. One way to do that is to create "buzz" about a controversial topic. In our polarized society almost any proposition has at least two factions willing to engage in overheated rhetoric that is totally meaningless in the larger context. We should dispose of this and utilize this energy to improve the already best country ever.

For the record, I think the cartoon that connected a chimpanzee being shot to the economic Stimulus package was insensitive at best, and racial pandering at worst. For those who really know politics, it's target must have been the Democrats in Congress, specifically Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, because it is they who wrote the last Stimulus bill. But I'm sure a casual observor would associate the package with President Obama, and then there are certainly unfortunate images conjured.

Nonetheless, let's move on from the cheap political tricks. Let's ignore desperate attempts to revive phony debates.

For those who organized and staged protests, and engaged the debate on the airwaves, why are you not so exercised about real problems that actually matter?

How is it, no one is protesting that students are forced into government schools that fail their needs, while President Obama, and others (including myself) send our children to private schools that we can afford? (we need vouchers!)

How is it, no one is protesting the violence and sex in hip hop (which I love) that too many people take so seriously that they fail to make good decisions in their daily lives?

How is it, no one is protesting the breakdown of the traditional nuclear American family? It's being assaulted in various ways throughout our culture, and is the root cause of many other problems.

....The list could go on.

This is the best country on earth for every ethnic group we have. You can be assured of this by noticing no one leaving and choosing another place. China? Egypt? England? Australia? Cuba? People might visit, but they come back. We have millions trying to come here both legal and illegal every year.

That means we should make/take these complaints in the proper context.
It also means we have a duty as an American to leave this land better than we found it.
That is an essential aspect of being American.

By the way for those fellow Democrats really outraged by this cartoon,

Remember, President Obama? He is the most powerful man in the world.
Also, remember all the things, most of those protesting now, said about former President Bush?
What about the things said (some true!) about former President Clinton?
(by the way, Juanita Broaddrick credibly accused Clinton of rape, that's right she called him a "rapist" with proof, and he still hasn't addressed it).

If this cartoon was funny, I'd probably defend it like I did Don Imus. It wasn't. It's not worth the energy expended unless it is transformed for more important things.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

The New York Times:

The New York Post, which was the subject of a protest outside its Midtown headquarters and continued criticism from elected officials on Thursday over the publication of an editorial cartoon that linked a chimpanzee to the economic stimulus package, has issued an apology “to those who were offended,” while maintaining that the cartoon was not intended to be racist.
The cartoon has been
widely criticized as making an implicit comparison between the chimpanzee — a reference to a chimpanzee that was shot to death by a police officer in Connecticut on Monday after it brutally attacked a friend of its owner — and President Obama, who signed the stimulus package into law on Tuesday.
On Thursday evening, The Post
published on its Web site the following editorial, which a spokeswoman said would also be published in its Friday print edition:
Wednesday’s Page Six cartoon — caricaturing Monday’s police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut — has created considerable controversy.
It shows two police officers standing over the chimp’s body: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says.
It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.
But it has been taken as something else — as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.
This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.
However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past — and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.
To them, no apology is due.
Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon — even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.
Hours after the cartoon appeared on Wednesday morning, The Post received hundreds of complaints from readers and criticism from Gov. David A. Paterson, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the Rev. Al Sharpton on others.
Those complaints continued into Thursday.
Councilman Bill de Blasio, a Brooklyn Democrat, said in a statement:
We now live in a time when our nation can make real and substantive progress on race relations. However, commentary like the offensive cartoon published yesterday by The New York Post only sets us back. There is a growing pattern of certain media outlets choosing sensationalism over sensitivity and fear over facts. All of us have a responsibility to demand better from the media and ourselves.
Mr. Sharpton also held a protest outside The Post. Also issuing statements condemning the cartoon were United States Representative Gregory W. Meeks of Queens, State Senator Hiram Monserrate of Queens, State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx, Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn, the Rev. Herbert D. Daughtry and other community leaders. Mr. Díaz said in a statement:
During Black History Month, The New York Post has depicted the first black president of the United States as a chimpanzee – to draw a twisted parallel to the chimpanzee that was recently killed. Their cartoon does nothing but promote racism against our president and encourage further racism in our society. When Fernando Ferrer ran for mayor, The New York Post ran a bigoted cartoon of Fernando Ferrer and the Rev. Al Sharpton — without much consequence. The Post’s apparent racism is still in place – as demonstrated by their ugly cartoon in yesterday’s paper – and we will not tolerate it.
Both the 2001 cartoon to which Mr. Díaz referred, and the new cartoon about the chimpanzee, were drawn by
Sean Delonas. The Post had no comment on whether it would discontinue using his work, as some critics have urged.

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