NAACP takes protest to TV

The NAACP delivered letters last week to FOX stations to protest the political cartoon in the New York Post, which depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee. 

The letters that were sent by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded the firing of the cartoonist and editor-in-chief.            

Each NAACP chapter in every state was responsible for delivering the letter to their local Fox affiliate station.

Florida A&M University’s NAACP President Calvin Hayes, along with the Florida State University’s NAACP president and Tallahassee NAACP branch president delivered the letter together to Tallahassee’s FOX station. 

They represented one of the 55 other cites that delivered letters to the news stations, according to the Associated Press.    

Hayes said the organization’s next step is to wait for the outcome.

“Everything that you do is a step by step process. This is the first step in our process by asking for the removal of that cartoonist and also the editor,” Hayes said.

Hayes said the general manager of the Fox station accepted the letter and believes the move was necessary to make the point that the satire was offensive.

“Justice is never given, it is demanded,” Hayes said. “Anything that is racially geared in reference to a monkey and President Obama, I consider to be very offensive.”

Hayes added that racial matters had to be addressed to alleviate any future issues.

“Silence is consent,” he said. “Groups like the NAACP and I refuse to remain silent when people feel they can use verbal language to attack someone that is black,” Hayes said.

Trenton Kirksey, Florida’s NAACP chair of the Youth and College Division, said the NAACP’s response to the cartoon could have been stronger.

“We as the NAACP have taken a very serious look at this. It was meant as a joke but obviously was not taken as one. It was very disrespectful to the African-American culture,” Kirksey said. “The NAACP’s response, however, has not been as strong as I have expected…this is just the beginning of the response.”

Kirksey said the civil rights organization needed a stronger approach, but the protest is in the early stages.    

“I don’t think we want to take the direct boycott approach of this newspaper, but I do believe that the calling and the communication of our dissatisfaction is something that will continue to do and we won’t stop until they realize and recognize that we as a people are not a joke,” Kirksey said. “We as a people will not stand for being made to look like fools. We as a people will not allow ourselves to be disrespected any longer.”  

Hayes said the letters were vital to send a message.                        

“If we never rose to the occasion to this issue, who knows what would have happened,” Hayes said. “This signifies a day where we will not allow them to use cartoon, illustrations, words or anything what so ever to make an attack on black people.”