Get real on race

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Attorney General Eric Holder said recently that America is "essentially a nation of cowards" for not talking more frankly about race.

Only days later, protesters from the NAACP are demanding the head of an editorial cartoonist because they think he compared Barack Obama to a chimpanzee.

If this is a nation of cowards - and we don't think it is - this kind of thing is precisely why.

First things first.

If we thought for a second that cartoonist Sean Delonas really intended to compare our president to a chimpanzee, we'd be the first to call for his being tossed out on his stump. President Bush was compared to a chimp too, but that in no way carries the racist baggage of doing such a thing to our first black president. And, in fact, no one came out swinging faster or harder than we did when a Marietta, Ga., bar owner last year sold T-shirts depicting Obama as the chimpanzee children's book star Curious George ("Spurious George," May 16 Augusta Chronicle).

We just don't see the same hurtful intent in the cartoon incident. Not at all.

In the New York Post cartoon, police officers have shot a chimp, and one says, "They'll have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill."

Delonas was using the metaphor of the recent police shooting of a chimp in Connecticut that had attacked a woman, in order to make a statement about how brainless he thinks the stimulus bill is.

In a real "nation of cowards," such matters of opinion will be left unexpressed, for fear of offending someone who might take it wrong.

Meanwhile, the New York Post has apologized to those who did take it wrong. But in today's America, you can be taken wrong and apologize and still lose your job.

The truth is, Barack Obama did not write that bill anyway. It was written by an out-of-control Democratic majority led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who couldn't help but put every pent-up left-wing cause into the massive spending bill. Much of it had nothing to do with stimulating the economy.

It was, as the cartoon implied, a stupid bill.

Still, rather than have a frank discussion, some want the cartoonist's head on a platter.

This isn't the kind of America Barack Obama talked about in his landmark speech on race in 2008. In it, he denounced his former pastor's racist sermons by saying the Rev. Jeremiah Wright "expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America."

Likewise with this hyper-emotional reaction to the cartoon - and with the words of Obama's own attorney general.

The president could calm the waters in both instances. We wish he would let it be known that he doesn't take offense to the cartoon. And, as Forbes.com columnist Tunku Varadarajan writes, the president should rebut Mr. Holder's view of America, which is so completely at odds with the nation that just elected a black man president.

"President Obama, could you set the record straight?" writes Varadarajan. "Tell us that your attorney general is mistaken and misguided. Tell us, please, that he ought to know better."

In short, the president needs to lead the discussion his friend is so anxious for.

Comments (71) Add comment
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GGpap
528
Points
GGpap 02/24/09 - 01:59 am
0
0
I believe that there are some

I believe that there are some blacks (just a few) in America that believe chimpanzees in a zoo are only there because the white community still has an innate desire to preserve the practice of human bondage (slavery); or that pictures of chimpanzees in the print and television media are actually subliminal references, initiated by whites, that would remind us all that blacks are running free in America; and, "ain't they cute!" Abe Lincoln was called an ape; do you really think those who called him that were suggesting that he was a black? No, he hadn't freed the slaves before he was referred to as such; and actually, he hadn't even been elected before this insult took place. Get a life you few that see racism in every comment, picture, or legitimate political concern that is reported in the local, state and national news media. It is easy to become a racist when the charge is leveled, over and over, and over again by the black racists among us. GGpap

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/24/09 - 04:09 am
0
0
While race relations have

While race relations have greatly improved in some ways since the mid-60s, the Dem party has usurped the subject so as to enslave as many members of the black community as possible to ensure being able to count on their vote. The move has been very successful. As far as honest discussion goes, the Dem party will NEVER allow it to happen. Stupid complaints like the current one will continue as a warning to any who want to enter into an honest discussion about race. Of course, if anyone wants to buy into the horribly ignorant point of view of the slave masters, then your capitulation to that point of view will be gladly accepted. Until the black community throws off the chains of ownership the left keeps on them, they'll continue to make comments like Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey made after O was elected president. "Now the Black Man will be free to pursue his goals without the stigma of race holding him back". Even these two billionaires have bought into the slavery of the Dem master. Honest discussion? Not likely.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/24/09 - 04:15 am
0
0
By the bye, O as Spurious

By the bye, O as Spurious George was funny. The stigma of monkey=black man is promoted by the Darwinists every day, but political comment was what the t-shirt was all about. Honest discussion? Not likely. Another t-shirt showing O as a meat puppet for the wacky left would also bring down the ire of his masters, but it would still just be political comment. Honest discussion? Not likely.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 02/24/09 - 04:50 am
0
0
Are blacks still treated

Are blacks still treated differently in some situations? Absolutely. Do whites often talk differently about blacks behind closed doors? Absolutely. Are blacks often times subjected to unfair hiring practices? Absolutely. Are there times when whites are in charge that blacks may not receive the same opportunities? Absolutely. Does this happen less now than 50 years ago? Absolutely. Does this happen less now than 5 years ago? Absolutely. However, the same is true about whites sometimes being treated unfairly when blacks are in charge. Blacks certainly talk differently about whites when behind closed doors. People discriminate for lots of reasons. Many employers discriminate against smokers. Smoking is not illegal but it has become socially unacceptable. Some say smokers are less productive because of smoke breaks. I discriminate based on one's inability to speak this language. I will not hire someone I cannot communicate with. Discrimination and prejudices are here to stay in one form or another. Our discrimination is generally most apparent when we pick our mates. Should I choose a strong, over weight, opinionated, black woman, I will have discriminated.

Riverman1
93853
Points
Riverman1 02/24/09 - 05:18 am
0
0
From now on, political

From now on, political cartoons will have to be cleared through a "Fariness Doctrine-like" commissar.

CH
0
Points
CH 02/24/09 - 05:51 am
0
0
I'm just curious, because O

I'm just curious, because O is African-American, does that mean we can't make fun of him? Come on...this is an American institution, lampooning a sitting president. Does anybody remember the crap that Bush had to put up with by the satirists? What the Hell has happened to humor in this country?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/24/09 - 06:10 am
0
0
CH, O has used the race card

CH, O has used the race card since the day he decided to run for president. He used it almost daily during his campaign. Do you think he or his handlers will stop using it just because he's in office? Not likely.

Rhetor
1082
Points
Rhetor 02/24/09 - 06:23 am
0
0
The chimpanzee cartoon was so

The chimpanzee cartoon was so completely tasteless that it is embarrassing to see the AC try to defend it. If it isn't tasteless for racism, it is tasteless and idiotic in so many other ways that it still casts shame on anyone who stands up for it.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/24/09 - 06:42 am
0
0
WHarpine, all Darwinists

WHarpine, all Darwinists promote the chimpanzee theory every day. Did you ever hear of George W Bush? Have someone google "Bush as a monkey" for you some day. In the meantime, save the whining.

jboy
0
Points
jboy 02/24/09 - 06:51 am
0
0
He is a mulatto, look it up.

He is a mulatto, look it up.

CH
0
Points
CH 02/24/09 - 06:54 am
0
0
WHarpine, how many tasteless

WHarpine, how many tasteless cartoons were drawn of W? I sure as Hell didn't see any groups demanding an apology or that the cartoonists be fired because of it. The fact that this is taking place at all for this president proves he expects to be treated differently because of his race. This doesn't exactly sound like a president for everyone to me.

Motorman5039
0
Points
Motorman5039 02/24/09 - 07:12 am
0
0
I agree with this Editorial;

I agree with this Editorial; however, I'm tired of talking about race..Some people give it no thought, others are focused and fascinated with it (black and white folks)..Example, when I have dialogue with someone and the first response I get is a guy/gal who chalks up our differences of opinion to race, well that's the idiot I'm talking to ..CHARACTER, MORALS, and INTEGRITY separate people more than race, but you can't tell some folks that, to them it's all sum total when it comes to referring to people with a different hue.."Those blacks always", "white people always", "he's black so he must be a criminal", "all white people are racist"..I can go on, but I won't..I won't because to me the issue of race can be solved simply by understanding that unless a racist person is in a position to deny you something you seek, that racist person has the problem, not you..Let him/her have their jaundiced opinion, who cares, we all will die and his/her jaundiced perspectives will die when they die..As long as you don't mess with my cheese or my seed then you and your ideas can "kick rocks" somewhere apart from me..At least that is how I have always looked at it, just my opinion..

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 02/24/09 - 07:14 am
0
0
Yea - Look it up on the

Yea - Look it up on the google.

Motorman5039
0
Points
Motorman5039 02/24/09 - 07:20 am
0
0
The issue of race is like a

The issue of race is like a old racehorse still running around the racetrack, swayback and obese jockey to boot; yet given the condition of the Equus caballus, millions of prospectors line up and place their bet on the horse that will surely lose...Americans, and particularly southern Americans bloat that line of prosectors, money in hand and foot patting impatiently for the bugler to play "First Call"...

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 02/24/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
What in the hell does a

What in the hell does a cartoon that depicts a person as a baboon, has to do with race relations? You could have picked a better example than that one.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 02/24/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
Some whites think all blacks
Unpublished

Some whites think all blacks are stupid. Most get that opinion from their parents. Example: A (non-minority) child born in 1959 had parents that taught him/her their values, which probably was racist against people of color. Few whites are honest that their folks were true racist and like to say, "there was not a racist bone in their body" which couldn't possibly be true. We know the history of hate & violence, so some white persons had to be carrying out these crimes. Which means that many whites had knowledge of crimes (they stuck together on juries and law enforcement acts) which make them "cowards" because they had knowledge and failed to act because of FEAR. That is a classic case of one who shrinks from pain or danger. Yep, the ol' Top Cop nailed that one and now he gotta strengthen the Civil Right Division of the Justice Department and dispatch some teams to the Southern regions for an inspection. Some folks are not gonna enjoying CHANGE.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 02/24/09 - 07:36 am
0
0
CGAP, that a damn big leap

CGAP, that a damn big leap that Blacks compare a chimp in a zoo as a desire for slavery memories. Where in the hell do some of you get this stuff from. Not one single time have I an heard anything close to that. I believe it says more about your mindset, than anyone else.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 02/24/09 - 07:43 am
0
0
Just view the recent HBO

Just view the recent HBO documentary ' Right: Wronged Americans. You will see where racial relations stands. You have people that stood proudly in front of cameras and stated that they would never vote for a Black person as President. They actually cried while talking about the possibility of Obama becoming President. The one thing I will give them is that they were honest enough to put their faces behind the words and as distasteful as some of their comments were, I respect that fact.

Motorman5039
0
Points
Motorman5039 02/24/09 - 07:46 am
0
0
Let's talk about sexism, to

Let's talk about sexism, to me that topic is one I can relate to, both as an offender and victim ;-)

justthefacts
25072
Points
justthefacts 02/24/09 - 08:06 am
0
0
CH, to answer your question,

CH, to answer your question, no we can't make fun of Obama. That has been established. The late night talk show hosts after spending 8 yrs of truly tasteless jokes showing total disrespect for the Office of Presidency have been silenced. The New York Post cartoon, in my opinion, was tasteless. So what? Well, Sharpton wants the owner of the paper jailed. Mike Luckovich, the resident moronic cartoonist for the AJC won awards every year for his tasteless cartoons of Bush.

sucram
0
Points
sucram 02/24/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
I agree that the "nation of

I agree that the "nation of cowards" was the wrong thing to say, but Holder was correct in the rest of the speech. The newspaper industry is struggling in this country and I think News Corp will learn just like Imus did about racism in this country.

PizzaLoverOU812
0
Points
PizzaLoverOU812 02/24/09 - 08:17 am
0
0
Bush was also compared to a

Bush was also compared to a chimp. Just Google: George Bush chimp under images. The reference to being a chimp is not a racial slur in political cartoons. I guess some people do not understand that.

Hoss4
0
Points
Hoss4 02/24/09 - 08:25 am
0
0
Very well written article.

Very well written article. I'm sure I'll be viewed as a racist by some for agreeing with the opinion. What Mr. Holder doesnt realize is how sensitive and quick to take something said and make it a racist remark. If you say that someone is lazy, that is taken as a racial slur (If the person is African Amercian, of course).

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 02/24/09 - 08:45 am
0
0
Justus you seriously need to

Justus you seriously need to readjust your thinking. Not every person is a racist. If your parents are racist that does not make you a racist. My parents and grandparents were but I am most definitely not. It's obvious you got a chip on your shoulder. Quit complaining about how you've been treated and do something to better yourself. Don't use it as an excuse. When I was in middle school, I rode an all black bus. I had things thrown at me and I was cussed at. Why? Because they didn't like my hair. They didn't like that it moved in the wind and was straight. That's what they said. Now because of that incident, did I hate all blacks for the rest of my life. No. I got over it. I moved on. It's time for you to do the same.

steve-o
0
Points
steve-o 02/24/09 - 08:46 am
0
0
Playing the race card?!!!!

Playing the race card?!!!! Huessein IS the race card! The ONLY reason that he was chosen by his handlers to run for president is because they needed a "gimmick" in order to get their socialist views put into the White House. They offered up a poor old woman, and a poor old, discriminated against whiney black man, and the idiots in the country bit. Not me though, I prefer substance over image. BTW, he is a dead ringer for curious george.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 02/24/09 - 08:46 am
0
0
perhaps we should start by

perhaps we should start by standardizing the way we shake hands....

Hoss4
0
Points
Hoss4 02/24/09 - 08:56 am
0
0
tjohns22, Good luck with that

tjohns22, Good luck with that stubborn uninformed mule. And by the way, anyone who spews that kind of thinking on here everyday is a jacka--. I dont care what color they are.

WClark40
0
Points
WClark40 02/24/09 - 09:01 am
0
0
Look citizens you

Look citizens you continually overlook the fact that a lot of the people that were lynching raping and kidnapping african americans are still alive.No one with an honest bone in his or her body would deny that racism isn't still right below if not right on the surface.The fact that some can't see the barbarism and racist nature of that cartoon speaks volumes!! Sadly you can't brush that off we all wish we could but you have to stand fast and batlle that ignorance.If only america could see how far ahead it would have been if not for this scourge. Misplaced anger is usually at the center of it all.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 02/24/09 - 09:03 am
0
0
I saw the cartoon before the

I saw the cartoon before the "outrage" started and thought it was so funny that I laughed out loud! That's the important thing, that cartoonist Sean Delonas could transform two very current topics into something LAUGHABLE. Both news items were weird and wide open to ridicule, but only Delonas had the genius to combine these concepts which had nothing else in common apart from being topical (unless some humorless heckler supplied it). Yes indeed we DO need to get real on race, and a healthy sense of humor is a good place to start. LIGHTEN UP!!!

christian134
1
Points
christian134 02/24/09 - 09:07 am
0
0
The thing I see from your

The thing I see from your comments wclark40 is that you are yourself consumed with racism against the white race as are many many blacks...

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