The New York Post today ran a cartoon that splashed classic dog-whistle racism (in black and white no less) depicting two cops, one with a drawn firearm, and a dead chimp. The kicker: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
Whose stimulus package is it? Come now. There's no room for the innocent shrug. Over at Air America, we have a special dog-whistle racism decoder: Racists have a long history of referring to African Americans as monkeys. This cartoon panders to that notion. Once upon a time, the New York Post editors called me (and to be fair Time Magazine) moral cretins for a book project I was working on. It wasn't true. Today I'm calling the Post a bunch of moral cretins, and it is true.
Payback's a ten-year affair in this instance, but oh so sweet.
In a different cultural setting this cartoon would have brought death threats already. Remember the Danish paper's depiction of verboten Muslim folk? Is it more acceptable in this instance? Not at all. We live in a tolerant society. That does not mean you have to buy the New York Post. Don't go to the site. Send people to good sites to see the bad journalism. It's that simple. Don't reward bad media with what they need--your eyes and ears.
You can act in the even older (than American racism) tradition of wu-wei--the spiritual boycott. Do nothing. At least when it comes to reading this rag and for that matter any Rupert-owned lie-machine. Spread the word about this American media atrocity. Mete out the penalty with loyalty to sites like Huffington Post, Air America and other progressive voices of truth and justice.
Have a nice day.