Boycott Call For Post Cartoon Called Racist

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[New York News]

Activists have called for a boycott of The New York Post and plan a rally in front of the offices of The New York tabloid’s offices at noon tomorrow following a cartoon they denounced as racist.

The cartoon depicts two policemen shooting a chimpanzee dead while one cop says, "They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

A statement by the activists, including the Women For Obama, said a protest will be held at 12 noon at the New York Post's Manhattan offices at 1211 Avenue of the Americas between 47th and 48th Streets. The statement in part said the cartoon is "depicting President Barack Obama as a monkey being shot and killed by police officers."

"This racist rag sheet has hit an all time low," Charles Barron, New York City Councilman representing Brooklyn’s East New York District, told The Black Star News. "The cartoon is racist, threatens the life of our president, Barack Obama and offends an entire people. We are calling on the Justice Department to investigate The New York Post."

Separately, Rev. Al Sharpton issued a statement which in part reads, "The cartoon in today's New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that ‘Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.’"

Sharpton continued, "Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama, the first African American president, and has become synonymous with him it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?"

He also referred to a 2001 New York Post cartoon by the same cartoonist, Sean Delonas, which also created a lot of controversy. That earlier cartoon was also "racially tinged" and depicted "mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer and me in very unflattering ways that were used as a divisive campaign tactic…."

"Comparing President Obama and his effort to revive the economy in a manner that depicts violence and racist inferences is unacceptable," added Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. "Ignorance, like this, is still prevalent and makes the work of the National Urban League even more relevant in the 21st century."

Leroy Comrie, a Council member representing Queens said, "I was extremely disturbed by the message conveyed today by the New York Post in their poor attempt at political humor. I know that I don't stand alone in that opinion, as my office has received numerous calls from Queens’ residents who are equally outraged. To run such a violent, racist cartoon is an insult to all New Yorkers."

He also pointed out that The New York Post was the only major newspaper not to respond to a survey showing the proportion of reporters of color in the news room: The 2008 survey shows that The Daily News has 14.7%; The New York Times, 17.3%; Newsday, 25.1%; AM New York, 18.8%; and, the Wall Street Journal 20.4%.

A statement provided by Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan to Politico reads, "The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist."

Attempts to reach Allan at (212) 930-8000 weren't successful.

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