News, commentary and analysis by leaders of the Communist Party USA in New York State. We discuss State politics and issues in New York City, covering developments in labor, civil rights education, housing and more.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NY State Communist Party Statement on Racist Post Cartoon

Despite Rupert Murdoch’s half-hearted apology for the racist cartoon one of his many newspapers, the New York Post, published, many people, including religious and civil rights leaders as well as big sections of the labor movement, are demanding more. They vow to continue protesting and boycotting the Post until demands are met.

The New York State Communist Party fully agrees, and supports the demands.

The New York Post, as well as the other publications and broadcasters owned by Murdoch’s Orwellian-named “News Corporation,” are notorious for their far-right, anti-labor, and often openly-racist views. Here in New York for example, the Post, during the time of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 strike, doctored a photo of the union’s president, Roger Touissant, making it look as if he were behind bars.

The cartoon in question portrayed a monkey (which the post claims represents the mad chimp shot in Connecticut) shot, with two police officers holding smoking guns. One of the officers is depicted as saying, “I guess they’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus package.”

The previous page contained an article on the stimulus package and a picture of Barack Obama, whose name is most closely associated with the economic stimulus. Given the history of racism at the Post, the history of police murders of African Americans in this city, and the history of racist portrayals of African Americans as monkeys, does anyone seriously believe that no one in the Post “news” room thought the image might be construed as offensive? Of course not. The cartoon was no mistake.

We, along with many thousands of others, demand:

• That the FCC revoke the special waiver that gives Murdock the right to own two newspapers and two television stations (the Post and the Wall Street Journal; Fox 5 and CW 9) in the city. We don’t think this rule, which was designed to stop big corporations from dominating the public discourse, should ever be waived. It is even more odious that such a company as the News Corporation should receive such preferential treatment.

• The Post should be made to make public its employment diversity numbers: Do those who hold high positions at the Post reflect the composition of the city? If the Post won’t do it, the city council should legislate it. We applaud the city councilors who are planning to introduce such legislation.

• The Post should fire the editor and the cartoonist, who has a long history of vile cartoons.

• Many have interpreted the cartoon as an incitement to violence, to assassinate our President. We agree that the Department of Justice should investigate this matter further.

Reverend Sharpton, the NAACP and many others are planning to continue the protesting. We support these actions, and encourage our members and all other people of goodwill to join these peaceful actions against the Post and the News Corporation.

By Dan Margolis
For the NY State Communist Party

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