Don't Protest the New York Post
Obama can fend for himself. We've got better things to worry about during this Black History Month.
President Obama can fend for himself.
Yes, I saw the cartoon published by the New York Post. Yes, it was insensitive, and yes, it was racist. Everyone knows that the imagery of a monkey serves as a powerful slur against African Americans, especially black men. The New York Post should be ashamed.
But, if we are going to organize a protest over the conditions black people face in America—especially during Black History Month—are we going to pick this as the cause we get behind?
Do we use our energy to take to the streets to defend the most powerful man in the United States, if not the world, from racism? Do you think Obama really needs us to defend him against the New York Post? Come on. He’s a grown man.
The president doesn’t need Roland Martin venting to the point of bursting his pipes. He doesn’t need the power of the black media to highlight this issue and protest its stench.
President Obama doesn’t need black civil rights leaders to hold press conferences to display our disgust with this thinly veiled and misguided gesture perpetrating as political satire.
If we are going to protest, let’s use the energy from our disgust from the New York Post’s cartoon to protest the conditions in our streets, in our communities and in our communities’ schools.
If we are going to get upset to the point of outrage, let us show the outrage toward the black children dying in the streets, both at the hands of other young black men and conditions restricting them from experiencing life.
If we are going to get on camera and demand change from our dysfunctional past, let’s build on the history of accomplishments and advancements we are celebrating this month.
Isn’t that what Black History Month is all about?
I beg that we use this opportunity to fight black America’s illness holistically instead of focusing just on one instance or one symptom. President Obama will not only hear inappropriate things again during his presidency, but more importantly, he is strong enough, graceful enough and classy enough to deal with it on his own. Heck, even if he weren’t, the power of the White House alone could see to it that it is addressed when needed.
Yes, I was mad about the cartoon.
But the energy, focus and action that we must organize must be directed toward more pressing issues among us. We must be outraged at our children’s shrinking talent base, educational opportunities and life expectancy. We must move on to the increase of AIDS occurrences, high school dropout rates and incarceration of young black people. We must speak out from every outlet and act within every community on the hopelessness that methodically devours a growing portion of our communities each day.
Our anger from an ignorant caricature must be trumped by our outrage over the conditions black America faces today. It must become a passion that embraces the call to action.
After all, no one should need to draw a picture to illustrate just where we stand collectively and where we must go from here.
Lenny McAllister is a visiting fellow for the Center of New Politics and Policy at the University of Denver. He can be seen every Monday morning at 6:15 and 7:20 a.m. on “Fox News Rising.”