Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:37 p.m.
A political cartoon published by the New York Post on Wednesday has many alleging the newspaper promotes blatant racism. The cartoon that ran in the newspaper's "Page Six" section features two white police officers who have gunned down a chimpanzee in a pool of blood. One of the officers says, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." Sean Delonas drew the cartoon. The work is a parody of a recent news story that broke earlier in the week where a woman was attacked in Connecticut by a chimpanzee. Police shot and killed the animal that was being kept as pet. President Barack Obama also signed $787 billion stimulus bill on Tuesday.
The cartoon appeared in the tabloid on Wednesday and prompted immediate opposition from civil rights organizations. At the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, the Rev. Al Sharpton voiced his outrage. "We cannot have different standards in this countrywhen it comes to offending people," said Sharpton. "This, to us, is something that's offensive to all Americans, Black, white, Hispanic and Asian."
In an act of protest, Sharpton plans on picketing the offices of the New York Poston Thursday at noon. He's demanding that the paper clarify the meaning of the cartoon and/or discipline the artist and editor responsible. Community leaders and political figures are scheduled to join him, including Councilmember Charles Barron and Assemblywoman Inez Barron.
"The racist rag sheet [the New York Post] has hit an all-time low," said Councilmember Barron. "The cartoon is racist and threatens the life of our president, Barack Obama. We are calling on the Justice Department to investigate the New York Post. Overall, our community, city and country will not accept this." Sharpton told the AmNews that he is also going to focus on Rupert Murdoch, "head of the world's largest media empire" and CEO of News Corp., which owns the New York Postand Fox News. "The National Action Network and I are challenging the fact that Rupert Murdoch had to obtain a federal waiver from the FCC to own a TV and radio station in the same city. He did it in Boston, and he did it in New York. We're going to challenge him maintaining that waiver." The reverend added that the NAN protests will take place outside the New York Post daily at noon. Friday's protest will take place at 5 p.m., and Sharpton announced that filmmaker Spike Lee will be leading the march.
Along with picketing, Sharpton plans on going after companies who advertise in the New York Post. He said, "There's no other conclusion I can come to other than the inference, that in some way, they're trying to say that this monkey and the president are one and the same, which speaks to the historic, frightening stereotype that we've seen in the past of African-Americans."
Upon seeing the cartoon in the newspaper early in the morning, Sharpton discussed it on the nationally syndicated radio program "The Tom Joyner Morning Show." The picture was also