Kudos to John Legend, more than an r&b performer but a true intellectual and brave spirit as well. Open letter to the post below RFFocus editorial.
Without question, the animation depicting a dead monkey being shot by two white police officers and the tag “Guess they will have to find someone else to write the Stimulus Bill is repulsive. The New York Post is not that oblivious to the connection that most people would make or how racially offensive the cartoon could be perceived. Then to attack Al Sharpton as an opportunist and the official “bad guy” in the whole ordeal for protesting the cartoon being published, takes it a step further. What many people fail to realize in this whole controversy is…. blogs have pretty much taken over the media. ESPECIALLY newspapers. The medium of newspapers is a dying breed and they are desperate… desperate to do anything that they can to stay afloat.. it has nothing to do with the economy but it has everything to do with the shifting of American consumers to want their news and information INSTANTLY and with VARIOUS slants in the new alternative called the blog. A place where the editor can be any color, religion, background or sexual preference that he or she wants to be. The blog creates an open season for people to write news from every possible angle THEY choose instead of advertisers delegating editorial material. Readers now have alternatives and options instead of being force fed one-sided, conservative and often racially slanted TV and Newspaper news.
Once again… THE NEW YORK POST IS DESPERATE… and the best way to smoke them is to choke them. Go after every full page advertiser they have, bombard the corporation’s (not the media company that buys the ad FOR the corporation) email system with how you feel about the New York post until their systems shut down.
The age of Obama is one that is going to require Urban radio to step up to the plate and serve more than JUST music. The return of community affairs shows (with a twist, not all complaining, moaning and groaning) is IMPERATIVE. For it is not only the black community but the country as a whole must make an example of the New York Post, Rush Limbaugh and anyone else who uses their medium as a platform to spread racial hate. Sure they have the right to free speach but so does everyone else who opposes them too. The sad irony of the situation is that Atlanta has just canned Al Sharpton and Warren Balentine’s show for Steve Harvey and /or Micheal Baisden? How sad. It is time for the rap community and the R&B community to take a stand as well instead of talking about money, pu..y, cars and stealing somebody’s woman or man and use their influence to express their dismay over this kind of racism. The message should be clear.. we are NOT having it at all and we need to make that message clear early on otherwise, this situation could grow and other papers may feel they have the right to do the same as they run around in a frenzy trying to figure out how they too will survive in the new blog medium. John’s letter to the Post is below…
Open Letter to the New York Post
I’m trying to understand what possible motivation you may have had for publishing that vile cartoon depicting the shooting of the chimpanzee that went crazy. I guess you thought it would be funny to suggest that whomever was responsible for writing the Economic Recovery legislation must have the intelligence and judgment of a deranged, violent chimpanzee, and should be shot to protect the larger community. Really? Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee? Did it occur to you that our President has been receiving death threats since early in his cand idacy? Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a way of racist insult and mockery? Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?
If that’s not what you intended, then it was stupid and willfully ignorant of you not to connect these easily connectable dots. If it is what you intended, then you obviously wanted to be grossly provocative, racist and offensive to the sensibilities of most reasonable Americans. Either way, you should not have printed this cartoon, and the fact that you did is truly reprehensible. I can’t imagine what possible justification you have for this. I’ve read your lame statement in response to the outrage you provoked. Shame on you for dodging the real issue and then using the letter as an opportunity to attack Rev. Sharpton. This is not about Rev. Sharpton. It’s about the cartoon being blatantly racist and offensive.
I believe in freedom of speech, and you have every right to print what you want. But freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities and consequences. You are responsible for printing this cartoon, and I hope you experience some real consequences for it. I’m personally boycotting your paper and won’t do any interviews with any of your reporters, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the entertainment business to do so as well. I implore your advertisers to seriously reconsider their business relationships with you as well.
You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed.
I’m well aware of our country’s history of racism and violence, but I truly believe we are better than this filth. As we attempt to rise above our difficult past and look toward a better future, we don’t need the New York Post to resurrect the images of Jim Crow to deride the new administration and put black folks in our place. Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new President, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric.