Keeping Hate Alive

When the New York Post went ape in a cartoon, the enemies of freedom and equality showed their colors. Apparently the time has come to silence all critics of President Obama! He is the leader of our country and must not be questioned! Therefore, anyone who dares to make a critical reference to him or any of his policies is an enemy of the United States and should be destroyed.

Furthermore, every word or phrase used to challenge his authority will be meticulously parsed to discover hidden meanings. As for Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp Chairman, who recently apologized for a cartoon at his New York Post that critics said likened a chimpanzee to our president:  force him to accept bailout funds and then control his every move. The cartoonist, who had the temerity to think that he had the freedom under the Constitution to use political humor as his creative offering: sentence him to six months of sensitivity training seminars.

In case you just got back from a trip to another planet, the Post printed a cartoon depicting the body of a bullet-riddled chimp named, Travis and two police officers. The violent chimp was shot to death by police in Connecticut after horribly mauling a woman. The caption read: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

Well, you would have thought the Ku Klux Klan had been given the keys to the White House. Julian Bond, of the NAACP, said the cartoon was inviting the assassination of the president, so he wants the editor and cartoonist fired.  Then there's that highly principled arbiter of moral values, the Reverend Al Sharpton, who wants to shut down the newspaper for, among other red herring reasons, choosing February, which is Black History Month, to insult the first African-American president. (It couldn't be because The Post has often written about the Harlem rabble-rouser and his many legal and ethical challenges.)

Sharpton wants the Federal Communications Commission to investigate The Post. Investigate what? Are they going to decide if the paper was comparing Obama to an ape? What in Heaven's name is going on in this country? When George W. Bush was in office, he didn't get a minute's peace for 8 years. Day after day he was bombarded with the meanest, slimiest, most vicious comments and caricatures ever heard or seen in the political world. Not only was he drawn as a monkey, he was regularly viewed as a clown, a child wearing a dunce cap, a war monger and the devil incarnate, just to cite a few of the scurrilous attacks. He just shrugged it off and continued doing his job.

My feeling is that Obama is doing the same thing. He's not squawking about something as innocuous as a cartoon because he's too busy, too confident and has too much class to waste time with such nonsense.

But charlatans like Sharpton would like people to believe that they're still living in the 1960's with Sheriff Bull Connors in Mississippi, using dogs to attack black demonstrators, and Alabama Governor George Wallace standing in front of a school to stop integration. Now that Barack Obama and Eric Holder, the days when charges of racism could be thrown around like baseballs during spring training, are gone. Those who made a small fortune by using the race card as a credit card are as outdated as the dinosaur.

Bond, appearing on the Keith Olbermann Show on MSNBC, said the connection between simians and black men is an old canard. (Evidently, it's not old enough, since Bond wants to introduce it to a new generation who undoubtedly never heard it before.) Of course, Olbermann, who, during the Bush presidency spent every second of air time on his show foaming at the mouth with a rage that often made him look like a candidate for a padded cell, was in his glory as he eagerly asked leading questions of his guest, always getting the anticipated response.

As I watched the President address Congress on Tuesday evening I couldn't help thinking that this elegant, well educated man is embarrassed when race hustlers like Sharpton go to the airwaves to "defend" him with a contrived, pretentious display of indignation. Demagogues like "Rev. Al" lose contributions to their causes when the racial climate is friendly and the dark clouds of bigotry are being dispersed. He needs friction between the races in order to add to his personal treasury and be relevant in a country that has abandoned such anachronous behavior.

We have many serious challenges to face in the future; we don't need race baiters trying to drag us back to the past.   

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas.  Email Bob.
When the New York Post went ape in a cartoon, the enemies of freedom and equality showed their colors. Apparently the time has come to silence all critics of President Obama! He is the leader of our country and must not be questioned! Therefore, anyone who dares to make a critical reference to him or any of his policies is an enemy of the United States and should be destroyed.

Furthermore, every word or phrase used to challenge his authority will be meticulously parsed to discover hidden meanings. As for Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp Chairman, who recently apologized for a cartoon at his New York Post that critics said likened a chimpanzee to our president:  force him to accept bailout funds and then control his every move. The cartoonist, who had the temerity to think that he had the freedom under the Constitution to use political humor as his creative offering: sentence him to six months of sensitivity training seminars.

In case you just got back from a trip to another planet, the Post printed a cartoon depicting the body of a bullet-riddled chimp named, Travis and two police officers. The violent chimp was shot to death by police in Connecticut after horribly mauling a woman. The caption read: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

Well, you would have thought the Ku Klux Klan had been given the keys to the White House. Julian Bond, of the NAACP, said the cartoon was inviting the assassination of the president, so he wants the editor and cartoonist fired.  Then there's that highly principled arbiter of moral values, the Reverend Al Sharpton, who wants to shut down the newspaper for, among other red herring reasons, choosing February, which is Black History Month, to insult the first African-American president. (It couldn't be because The Post has often written about the Harlem rabble-rouser and his many legal and ethical challenges.)

Sharpton wants the Federal Communications Commission to investigate The Post. Investigate what? Are they going to decide if the paper was comparing Obama to an ape? What in Heaven's name is going on in this country? When George W. Bush was in office, he didn't get a minute's peace for 8 years. Day after day he was bombarded with the meanest, slimiest, most vicious comments and caricatures ever heard or seen in the political world. Not only was he drawn as a monkey, he was regularly viewed as a clown, a child wearing a dunce cap, a war monger and the devil incarnate, just to cite a few of the scurrilous attacks. He just shrugged it off and continued doing his job.

My feeling is that Obama is doing the same thing. He's not squawking about something as innocuous as a cartoon because he's too busy, too confident and has too much class to waste time with such nonsense.

But charlatans like Sharpton would like people to believe that they're still living in the 1960's with Sheriff Bull Connors in Mississippi, using dogs to attack black demonstrators, and Alabama Governor George Wallace standing in front of a school to stop integration. Now that Barack Obama and Eric Holder, the days when charges of racism could be thrown around like baseballs during spring training, are gone. Those who made a small fortune by using the race card as a credit card are as outdated as the dinosaur.

Bond, appearing on the Keith Olbermann Show on MSNBC, said the connection between simians and black men is an old canard. (Evidently, it's not old enough, since Bond wants to introduce it to a new generation who undoubtedly never heard it before.) Of course, Olbermann, who, during the Bush presidency spent every second of air time on his show foaming at the mouth with a rage that often made him look like a candidate for a padded cell, was in his glory as he eagerly asked leading questions of his guest, always getting the anticipated response.

As I watched the President address Congress on Tuesday evening I couldn't help thinking that this elegant, well educated man is embarrassed when race hustlers like Sharpton go to the airwaves to "defend" him with a contrived, pretentious display of indignation. Demagogues like "Rev. Al" lose contributions to their causes when the racial climate is friendly and the dark clouds of bigotry are being dispersed. He needs friction between the races in order to add to his personal treasury and be relevant in a country that has abandoned such anachronous behavior.

We have many serious challenges to face in the future; we don't need race baiters trying to drag us back to the past.   

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas.  Email Bob.