February 21, 2009

New York Post Apologizes ... Kinda

New York Post gave a half-hearted apology for the racist cartoon published earlier this week:

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.
I hate when people discount their apology with subsequent verbiage. If you are truly repentant about something ... then simply apologize and be done with it. Don't give some half-azzed apology like we see above. Apologizing on the one hand, while sniping at Rev. Al Sharpton on the other hand.

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what the New York Post does or doesn't do. It does matter how we respond. I am proud of the response that I've seen from villagers on this racist cartoon. I imagine that folks will think twice before making comparisons of Black people to gorillas, apes, chimpanzees or other monkey-like creatures.

That's my view. What say u?


Words For Hire said...

It is a lame apology and I agree with you, repent honestly and move on. It is also interesting that they indicate "payback." People have taken issue in the past because it was warranted so this latest incident was not payback but one more incident from a publication that has made many missteps. I am glad for the open dialogue it inspired and hope that we can continue to educate people on what has long been offensive to black America.


Iya said...

There is an email going around with a link
to a site which has a letter which one sign to send to Post owner Murdock. Or one can write his/her own letter. iu chose to do the latter. When you see the email, you realize that the placement of the cartoon in the paper was not random. It comes on the page right after one which shows president Obama signng the stiumlus bill.

But not only are their obvious racial overtones, but in this day when so many people are hurting economically from job losses,fear of foreclosure, etc., joking about the stimulus bill is, IMHO, unconscionable.

The kindest thing i can say about the posted apology is SORRY!

The Urban Scientist said...

That was a snipe and very unnecessary.

MacDaddy said...

Apologies with clarifications and long-winded explanations come off as insincere.

If you believe in what you said, don't apologize. If you're going to apologize with qualifications, just know it's going to sincere and a waste of everybody's time.

PurpleZoe said...

They had no intentions to give an apology, and they didn't. This was definitely a non-apology, and I'm glad civil rights groups rejected.

Shine on Villager

Black Man F.l.u.f.f. said...

Dear friends at Electronic Village,

Hello, this is my first post here in your wonderful community.

First, I want to say thanks for leaving the compliment on our group blog over at Peace Communities Solidarity Blog. That was very nice of you.

Second, I want to say thank you for keeping attention on the New York Post's increasingly overt, racially biased and oppressive media tactics. What is most amazing about this issue, is that I think they were just 'testing the waters.' To see how far they could with clearly racist text and graphic slurs of a Black person. Had such a clearly racist text and graphic racial slur been done against an Irish President of the USA we would already have seen several people fired from that newspaper including the Editor.

Spike Lee is calling for a Boycott of the New York Post by celebrities and I hope we can get the word out. Info here: http://tinyurl.com/spikeleecallingforboycott

And the Color of Change has posted a letter for people to circulate calling for the editor to be fired.

Many more groups are calling for the editor to be fired as well.

I'm going to post that letter on our group blog and read it to people on my podcast and online radio show.

I would like to ask that others get the word out as well and let others know about the boycott and the call to have the editor fired.

Our actions as Black people in this matter will send a clear message to Corporate Media about how far they can go with clearly racist messages.

Solidarity for a better world of equality,

Love for the people,
-T. Love

Villager said...

PurpleZoe - I imagine that there are not (m)any Black editors at the New York Post. I can't imagine that a Black editor would have sat back quietly to let this grotesque political satire run in the paper...

T. Love - We appreciate you sharing your village voice with us. I hope you find reason to come back often. I also appreciate you providing the link to the Spike Lee call for entertainers and atheletes to boycott New York Post. That would be a powerful statement as rarely do we see atheletes or entertainers getting engaged in social protest of this sort...

Hall Monitor said...

Find more stories about professionals acting in racist behavior at DetentionSlip.org

Villager said...

Hall Monitor - I'll check out your blog referral...

Iya - I've signed the ColorOfChange petition and posted update from them here on this blog for other villagers to check it out...

Black Man F.l.u.f.f. said...

Dear Villager,

Thanks for your kind words.

I have posted the audio version on my personal podcast here: http://www.blackmanfluff.net/2009/02/black-man-fluff_21.html

I have also posted my full thoughts on this matter in a text version on the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog, that contains photos and a very powerful video with Amy Goodman interviewing Al Sharpton, who is leading the protests against the Ny Post, during the protests found here: http://savethepoorbrownchildren.blogspot.com/2009/02/circulate-this-fire-new-york-post.html

After doing a considerable amount of research on this issue, I now feel that it would be a band-aid solution to a gushing wound crisis to simply Fire the Editor of the NY Post.

In you forward to the last 30 seconds of the 6 minute video you will see Amy Goodman asks Al Sharpton: Do you think Rupert Murdoch should be investigated overall? And Al Sharpton states that the FCC special waivers that allowed Rupert Murdoch to own Two television stations and a newspaper in New York City should be 'reviewed.' Let me be clear. I am calling for those FCC waivers to be canceled and they should have never been permitted by such an extremist, racially biased newspaper. And I hope others will also call for the FCC special waivers to be canceled.

For those who may think this is a minor issue, or an isolated incident, I strongly urge you to see the movie titled: "OutFoxed: OUTFOXED : Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism." The entire documentary, sponsored by MoveOn, is found here: http://tinyurl.com/OutfoxedVideo

It is not simply an issue of race, but also of progressive viewpoints. At the below link, Mark Anthony Neal, a Black professor at Duke University and a visiting scholar at the University of PA, wrote a blog post on his 'new Black man' blog titled:”OPINION: Hit Cartoon Publisher In The Wallet” and he further discusses how Fox News has used the most right-wing reporters of all races that they can find, like Juan Williams, who is Black, to attack Black People as he did when he attacked Michelle Obama in his 'Fox News Reports.' Link:.

Yes,we should take action, and we should Hit Their Wallet, but we shouldn't stop with getting one person fired, we shouldn't simply send letters to Rupert Murdoch and the NY Post, we shouldn't simply call this an issue of racism.... we should press on and support the movement to cancel the special waiver that the FCC granted Fox News, who owns the NY Post and Two TV stations in New York. Then, and only then, will we see real change in the racially biased attacks against progressive Black people.

Yesterday, Benjamin Todd Jealous, the head of the NAACP, urged readers to boycott the New York Post, he stated, as many have, that the cartoon was “an invitation to assassination.”
Link: http://tinyurl.com/AnInvitationToAssassination

The NAACP has also posted a letter on their website for people to circulate and calling for "all those involved in the decision to print the image step down from their positions at the New York Post." Having one or several people step down for this is still not enough because this has gone on for far too long and has only gotten worse. Just as right wing think tanks hand out talking points and echo each other, we as Black bloggers need to echo our opinions that this was not merely a racist cartoon, but it was “an invitation to assassination.” That is the way that we need to frame this issue so that it can receive the type of priority that it truly deserves. It was not simply racist, it was an an invitation to assassination on the highest elected official in the country by a newspaper that has shown increasing hostility towards Black elected officials and it needs to be dealt with in that manner of federal urgency, in addition to the racism of it all.

Keep up the great work everyone,

Love for the people,

Villager said...

T. Huff - It has been a remarkable week or so since the New York Post made their mistake of posting that cartoon. I appreciate the links and suggestions that you have provided to villagers reading these comments. I also agree that the issue can and should be framed around the Post advocating assassination of our POTUS and not just a focus on racism....

Karen - The dialogue you suggest has begun. I wonder where it will take us?

MacDaddy and Urban Scientist - Have you read the comment from Black Man Fluff? If so, what say u?