Saturday, February 21, 2009

New York Post Racist Cartoon - Republican & Conservative Fear Mongering About Obama Continues From Election to Stimulus Bill

"Media images can sway a country to war or persuade a nation to buy luxury automobiles. Billion-dollar industries are built on the notion that public image counts for a lot. And if a cartoon is just a cartoon, why wasn't Sean Delonas' work wedged in with that day's Marmaduke and Peanuts panels on the comics page?"

Quote from: "Why the New York Post's Crazed Chimp Cartoon Matters " by Eric Deggans at Huffington Post Feb. 20, 2009

Racism Obama
More on New York Post Racist Cartoon
Revisiting the 2008 US Election Campaign
Republican / McCain/Palin Fear Mongering whipping up the hate and anger of their base
Conservatives/ Radical Right/Far Right
Radical Right website/ Blog : The Conservative News Intelligence Network

There are those who want to dismiss the issue of racism regarding the cartoon which appeared in the New York Post. They seem to believe that those who regard the cartoon as being racist are just "over sensitive " and should lighten up. Those who defend the Post worry that Freedom of Speech is being attacked and that whenever someone makes a critical remark about President Obama or publishes a satirical cartoon about him it is going to be construed as "racist". This is a matter of not understanding the use of racial stereotypes which are by their nature offensive. It is not simply a matter of old stereotypes which are outdated and have not been used in the media for long period of time because these stereotypes were being used and applied throughout the election cycle while Obama was running. Some of these images also appeared over and over again during the final weeks leading up to the election. So we are not just talking about "ancient History " as it were. So context is everything . When Sean Hannity this week puts out a video suggesting Obama's Stimulus Bill is comparable to Nazism and Stalinism and means the end of America.

At these Republican Rallies the hatred of Obama is palpable - They fear that Obama is UnAmerican and that he hates whites ; that he is a Muslim; that he is a terrorist; that the Blacks will take over that Obama is a Communist or Socialists or may even be the Anti-Christ or at least someone who's agenda is that of The New World Order etc. This sort of thinking was encouraged by the Republican Party in order to spread fear to whip up fear, suspicion and anger in order to try defeat Obama.

Here's some examples from the 2008 campaign:

Racism in America: McCain's Racist Mob- Oct. 17, 2008

The Republican Racist Monkeys Around At Sarah Palin Rally!- Oct. 12, 2008

Locals Say Racist Obama Billboard is 'Straight Talk'

It was the Republicans who went way over the line in their attacks on Obama and much of this thinking still persist amongst a significant proportion of those who supported McCain and Palin. Since the election of Barack Obama that fear as such is now mixed in with a great deal of anger on the part of these people who can't understand how Obama could have become President of the United States. In a sense their greatest fear has now been realized. Yet the Republicans and the Conservatives have done little to reassure their supporters that much of this election style rhetoric was not true. Instead we get these over the top statements by Conservative spokespersons and Media Stars such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck , Sean Hannity etc. They are in effect still fueling these fires of hatred and anger as they claim that the election of Obama and his policies will lead to the ultimate ruin of America.

Here's Keith Olbermann's commentary on the Republicans encouraging these negative attacks on Obama. Note Republicans have still not stood up and apologized for this fear mongering .And in fact have continued their fear mongering about Obama and his administration.

Keith Olbermann rips John McCain Sarah Palin Racist Rallies! -Oct. 14, 2009

Is this video below just an attempt at humor or is it a bit more ominious - does it inform or educate or is it just trying to incite fear , anger, retaliation or what ? Again Beck compares Obama to Lenin, Stalin and Hitler are these reasonable comparisons?
As the article below indicates images combined and associates with an individual or a group are very powerful and can influence peoples attitudes towards that person or group.

All Heil Obama - Glenn Beck Feb. 13, 2009
From website: The Conservative News Intelligence Network

Note the far Right Radical Blog called " The Conservative News Intelligence Network " Blog is even now peddling anti-Obama Propaganda & Fear Mongering and warning that civil unrest is imminent in America.

There is a right wing backlash happening as we speak (Michael Savage predicted this). The people are getting a bad feeling that something is just not quite right in this country and there is something that the media is not telling them.

Youtube is very important and when the Obama thugs take control of that? It would be a serious blow. Silencing talk radio and conservatives on the Internet is no doubt being examined by these Stalinist creeps that we have in Congress, the Senate and in the White House at the moment.

Obama said he is not for the Fairness Doctrine, but his henchmen and women will gladly do the dirty work for him. He is ALL for this censorship, this is what socialist dictators do folks...silence the opposition with an iron fist.

My computer has been attacked with virus's everyday this week so far. I just cleaned out two more...

This is video of Glenn Beck sounding the alarm on FOX News this morning. He is predicting massive civil unrest in the USA and the World. Feb. 20, 2009

And here's more commentary on the New York Post Cartoon and why it should be taken seriously as a bit of race baiting :

Ed Schultz: Rupert Murdoch Must Pay For Racist New York Post Cartoon

The authors of the following article argue that the association of an image to groups or individuals has a measurable effect:

NY Post's Racist Ape Cartoon Is No Small Matter

By Phillip Atiba Goff, Posted February 19, 2009.

Persistent simian stereotypes tagged to blacks have deep associations with support for racist violence argues a psychology professor.

... it was the fact that the association between blacks and apes could lead to violence.

In one study, participants who were made to think about apes were more likely to support police violence against black (but not white) criminal suspects. The association actually caused them to endorse anti-black violence. Most disturbing of all, however, was a study of media coverage and the death penalty. Looking at a sample of death-eligible cases in Philadelphia from 1979 to 1999, the more that media coverage used ape-like metaphors to describe a murder trial (i.e. "urban jungle," "aping the suspects behavior," etc.) the more likely black suspects, but not white suspects were to be put to death.

Not surprisingly, black suspects were much more likely to be described in ape-like terms. And they were more frequently executed by the state.

Similar psychological mechanisms of discrimination are at work in the bloated incarceration rates of young black men, the trenchant educational achievement gap between blacks and whites, and the racial bias evidenced in law enforcement officer's use of force. Though some are demonstrating leadership towards equality, we find that many of our nation's oldest racial shames have persisted into a period when a black person can reasonably aspire to the highest office in the land.

I mention these depressing findings because it is tempting to ignore them in the wake of President Obama's inauguration — to downplay the significance of "isolated events" of bigotry and "harmless words or pictures." But precisely because the dream of post-raciality is seductive for so many, it is all the more important that we not forget that cartoons like the one in today's New York Post are never isolated-and consequently, never harmless.

Today's Post cartoon is not far removed from the "Curious George" Obama sock puppet, a "Curious George" Obama T-shirt, a Japanese advertisement depicting Obama as a monkey, and countless other Obama/monkey comparisons that cropped up throughout the year-long Democratic primary and presidential campaigns. Psychological science has long known that words and pictures, far from harmless, can be the very instruments of dehumanization necessary for collective violence-regardless of how innocently they are intended.

As we live through this historic presidency, there will doubtless be more of these moments of impolitic insensitivity. Some will be more egregious than others. But, as a scientist, my sincerest hope for us all is that we not be biased by the desire to see our struggle towards racial equality as over. The evidence is too clear that the little things are still a big deal.

NY Post Issues Insulting 'Apology' for Racist Cartoon

Posted by Amanda Terkel, Think Progress at 4:51 AM on February 20, 2009.

This isn't really much of an apology at all.

(Post' Feeble apology adding salt to the wound:)

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.

As Eric Deggans argues images in the media do matter:

"Why the New York Post's Crazed Chimp Cartoon Matters " by Eric Deggans at Huffington Post Feb. 20, 2009

Indeed, when the New York Post finally got around to apologizing for the explosion of vitriol it sparked, one line from the statement stood out for me: "Sometimes a cartoon, is just a cartoon."

That was news to me. Because I thought the reason all of us in media spend so much time sweating over the words and images we put into print and in the airwaves is because this stuff does matter. Tremendously.

Media images can sway a country to war or persuade a nation to buy luxury automobiles. Billion-dollar industries are built on the notion that public image counts for a lot. And if a cartoon is just a cartoon, why wasn't Sean Delonas' work wedged in with that day's Marmaduke and Peanuts panels on the comics page?

Call me old fashioned, but I've always seen major metropolitan newspapers and broadcast news outlets as a reflection of their communities. They are our barometer of the boundaries of our common culture -- who is in and out, who did well and who did wrong.

That's why journalists of color have fought so hard for so long to make media outlets more diverse and more racially aware. Because for too long, media has excluded or misunderstood or misrepresented large swaths of society out of ignorance or disregard, and one of the impacts from Obama's election is confirmation that we all deserve better.

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