Monday, July 14, 2008

First Ammendment Wrongs

In response to the Satirical Cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama on this week’s New Yorker Magazine cover:

The magazine gives its reasons for why they put such a derogative image of a potential American President on their cover:

“Satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.”

Isn’t “Satire” supposed to be funny? Their reasons are neither funny nor reasonable to many Americans, especially those who see this Presidential Candidate as a hope for change in future American politics and racial attitudes. Insensitive and poorly thought out journalism like this is what continues to undermine the American people’s fight for justice and equality for all its citizens.

For a respected magazine like the New Yorker to cross the line toward inappropriateness at such a crucial time in American economics and politics gives fuel to the rumor that there is a contrived and coordinated effort from within to bring America to its knees, by any means necessary.

If, after the September 11th attack, the New Yorker printed the same cover with the likes of Pres. Bush and Vice-Pres. Cheney replacing Michelle and Barack, adding maybe a hanging painting of the smoldering WTC with oil drums rising from the ashes to go along with the Osama Bin Laden portrait, would the editor and all involved still defend such a picture? Would they ignore the sensitivities of families who suffered the loss of a loved one, all in the name of Satire? Would some Americans find it truthful or even funny? This “attack” on Barack and Michelle Obama is an “Attack on America” and what it is supposed to stand for.

My final question or maybe I should put it more in a statement than a question. Had the New Yorker consulted an African-American or any minority for that matter, about the offensiveness of this image, I’m sure they would’ve been told of its unpleasant inflammatory inference. Are we as a nation also still treating all Muslims and people of middle-eastern descent as terrorists?

Is it possible that someone will take responsibility and apologize for this juvenile decision so that we as a country can move on with a more refined Presidential race that’ll deal with the pressing issues we face as a nation? Perhaps!

I fear to think that someone paid a lot of money in hopes of damaging the “Barack For President” campaign. Yes, magazines sell to the highest bidders also. Or is it possible the owners of the New Yorker are just spreading their political wings and saying “to hell with the American public’s feelings.” In times of change, it’s always those with the most to lose, whether real or imagined, who perform such immoral and malicious acts.

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