Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dear John Legend, Thank You. -BETCATS

We all heard about THIS huge story and i wanted to write about it, then i read THIS and decided to post what John Legend wrote instead. AFTER READING THIS PLEASE READ RV'S AARON BROOKS PIECE AND MY NBA PIECE DIRECTLY BELOW THIS ARTICLE. Back on topic, their is no better way of putting this:

Dear Editor:

I'm trying to understand what possible motivation you may have had for publishing that vile cartoon depicting the shooting of the chimpanzee that went crazy. I guess you thought it would be funny to suggest that whomever was responsible for writing the Economic Recovery legislation must have the intelligence and judgment of a deranged, violent chimpanzee, and should be shot to protect the larger community. Really?

Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee? Did it occur to you that our president has been receiving death threats since early in his candidacy? Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a way of racist insult and mockery? Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?

If that's not what you intended, then it was stupid and willfully ignorant of you not to connect these easily connectable dots. If it is what you intended, then you obviously wanted to be grossly provocative, racist and offensive to the sensibilities of most reasonable Americans. Either way, you should not have printed this cartoon, and the fact that you did is truly reprehensible. I can't imagine what possible justification you have for this. I've read your lame statement in response to the outrage you provoked. Shame on you for dodging the real issue and then using the letter as an opportunity to attack the Rev. Sharpton. This is not about Sharpton. It's about the cartoon being blatantly racist and offensive.

I believe in freedom of speech, and you have every right to print what you want. But freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities and consequences. You are responsible for printing this cartoon, and I hope you experience some real consequences for it. I'm personally boycotting your paper and won't do any interviews with any of your reporters, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the entertainment business to do so as well. I implore your advertisers to seriously reconsider their business relationships with you as well.

You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed.

I'm well aware of our country's history of racism and violence, but I truly believe we are better than this filth. As we attempt to rise above our difficult past and look toward a better future, we don't need the New York Post to resurrect the images of Jim Crow to deride the new administration and put black folks in our place. Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new president, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric.


John Legend


RV said...

Legend nailed it and that's probably the best way someone could have written that letter. The worst thing someone can do is send an angry rant, but he took the time to really present it well and covered every possible angle. And his music isn't half bad either.

Hursty said...

Yeh, good looking out BET.
Agree with RV.
As if the Times COULDN'T recognise that the ape symbol is racially derogetory(sp).
btw, the piece about the NBA/NHL etc- 23 comments is your personal high on hibachi. Well done! :)

Moose said...

RV beat me to it. Good pick, BET.

Justin Walsh said...

BET, I read this yesterday & it's such a great response to the garbage that that rag paper printed. It's the best possible way to answer it. Great pick BET.

AR said...

Even if you don't think the cartoon was racially motivated(which tbh,I don't),you have to marvel at the sheer stupidity of the whole thing.

Shame on us for paying attention to this rag that I wouldn't wipe my ass with.

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