Ooops! Unfortunately for the New York Post, the natives done gotten restless. I’m hearing from the folks at Color of Change that they have received one of the strongest one-day responses to a call to action ever in their short history around the New York Post Chimp cartoon controversy. This is about principles. Of course there are incredibly pressing issues in front of the nation right now, including the economy, housing, health care etc. This action doesn’t diminish those crises.

The reasons that black folks are upset is that this is about more than just a cartoon. It’s about our lives. Police brutality plagues every black community member no matter how poor or prosperous. Couple that with the insinuation that Obama is an out-of-control chimpanzee that needs to be assassinated? The cartoon is nothing less than an incitement of violence against an elected leader. Its implications are disturbingly clear.

Color us angry. The attacks of the right wing on black people, including Barack Obama, must be stopped. Images speak louder than words and how many desperate hooligans out there who didn’t want Obama to be president might take their fury and frustration out on the next black person they see. We don’t need more Oscar Grants and we don’t need more death threats against Obama. If you have time today, please join me and over 75,000 other people in sending a strong message that they can’t treat us nor can they hope to treat our president this way without accountability.

Here’s the pathetically back-handed “apology” from the New York Post.

Wednesday’s Page Six cartoon – caricaturing Monday’s police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut – has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp’s body: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says.

It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.


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.

And here’s a statement from James Rucker from Color of Change:

“The paper’s leaders need to be held accountable, and so far we’ve seen no sign that The Post cares about the thousands of people across the country who are rightly outraged by this cartoon,” said James Rucker, the organization’s executive director. “The next question we have to ask is whether advertisers feel comfortable being associated with a publication that responds so callously to readers’ concerns.”

Rucker also responded to a statement released by The Post late Thursday. “The Post’s recent statement about the uproar it has caused with this cartoon insults our intelligence. It acknowledges no mistake while continuing to attack those who are raising serious, legitimate concerns. If The Post thinks they can close the book on this without taking any responsibility, they’re wrong.”

An excerpt of the petition, addressed to Carlucci, reads as follows:

I am writing to ask that you publish an apology. I also ask that whichever editor approved Delonas’ cartoon for publication be fired, whether it was Editorial Page Editor Bob McManus, Editor Col Allan, or another senior manager in the newsroom. I ask that you determine who was responsible and hold that person accountable.

I was particularly concerned by the Post’s sole response to readers who found the image to have racist undertones. The callous statement Col Allan issued Wednesday denies a historical reality, and for him to claim ignorance of this history raises questions about his ability to effectively lead a daily newspaper geared toward a mainstream and multiracial audience.

Please publish an apology that acknowledges that it was a mistake for the Post to publish this cartoon and fire the person responsible.

With more than a half million members, is the largest African-American online political organization in the country.

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