My name is Lynn and I am writing to respectfully make you aware that I think you are a worthless rag of a publication and I will never EVER read your articles again. Oh wait, you don't deserve respect, so let's make it a disrespectful notification, instead. In fact, I am pretty sure your paper is no longer fit for the following: wrapping high quality (or low quality) meats, washing my windows, crumpling to start a fire, pressing Silly Putty on, eating fish and chips from, lining birdcages, and/or being seen by the light of day. The subject of today's decision is this appalling, disgusting, not even remotely funny cartoon that some ridiculously brain dead human being (or more accurately someone masquerading as a human being) decided to feature in your paper last week. Idiots, party of... well, however many decision makers let this sucker run!
I truly went back and forth over whether or not I was going to reproduce that picture here... but I decided that people who haven't seen it should. Not because I approve (we'll get to that nonsense in a minute) but because it is our responsibility to view what a supposed "news" organization is willing to publish and it is our JOB to then make it known that this kind of publication is completely unacceptable. So, please consider this my notification to you that it is unacceptable. And let's just add a little sidebar that its pathetic that someone should have to let you know that racism in the form of an editorial cartoon is not acceptable. I mean, really, Washington Post people? It didn't occur to you that maybe racial slurs are a poor choice?
I don't blame the cartoonist for drawing the picture. There are stupid people in this world, and unfortunately some of those stupid people can draw, sing, paint and thus spread their hatred and ignorance through their art. But, I blame the Washington Post for giving a hater a voice, and a loud one at that. There is no question that racism is involved in this picture. A monkey has long been a racial slur for African Americans and to draw one and imply that it is the President of the United States (or any other person for that matter) warrants that the artist be terminated and his pencils confiscated. May they be sharpened to dust so that you can never draw again!
I get the whole free speech thing, and I am a liberal at heart, so I even agree with it. But, I also think that we have a social and moral responsibility to not hide behind that. The reality is that the Post ran the cartoon for the publicity. Score one for the Post, because they got it. Everything from The Huffington Post to The View to this blog is talking about it. But, that doesn't make it right. Our world, or at least this country, is not going to get over this kind of social stigma when our newspapers promote it and then hide behind free speech. I applaud the other papers and publications, news programs and comedians who came right out back when President Obama's campaign began and they said "this will not be about race." If they are going to report, mock or satirize the stimulus plan, they will do so without resorting to racial bigotry.
At my job for the State of Indiana, a gentleman (who was more jerk than gentle) was immediately suspended without pay for implying that two coworkers of African American descent were "monkeys." We ended up getting sued, because he said the comment was not racially motivated. In the end, he was reinstated and given back pay. While we lost that battle, I applauded (and still do) our Director for making a stand that such behavior was unacceptable, knowing full well that a lawsuit and penalties could result. I hope that the powers that be in the Washington Post will be strong enough to send that same message. Mr. Drawer of That Picture... you deserve to never have your sketches tarnish the page of another publication again. And, I hope that happens, and when you are unemployed and losing your home... I wonder what you'll think of President Obama (black or white) when he bails your undeserving butt out. And to you, the disgusting people who run the Washington Post... newspapers are a dying breed thanks to the Internet and instant news and let's just say this. After that cartoon, I don't give a rat's ass if you rest in peace!
A Former Reader