The national spotlight was on Syracuse Monday with a visit by Reverend Al Sharpton. He stopped by Nottingham High School to talk to students about violence, telling them they need to take responsibility for their actions.
"I want to say to them as one, who has always challenged society and continues to march, that we're doing that in vein if they take this kind of violent fratricide out on one another," Sharpton said. But it's the cartoon controversy that Sharpton's been making headlines for in recent days.
The New York Post recently published a cartoon depicting a dead chimpanzee and two police officers with a caption saying 'They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.' Sharpton calls it a racist jibe at President Barack Obama. "The New York Post cartoon is of national concern. For anyone to think it's funny to infer that the President is a chimpanzee. Preying into old stereotypes is wrong," Sharpton said.
Now, he's prodding the Federal Communications Commission and New York City government to put pressure on the Post. He's asking the city to stop advertising in and even subscribing to the newspaper. The cartoon has sparked pickets outside the paper's offices and spurred the NAACP to call for a boycott of the paper and the removal of its cartoonist and Editor-in-Chief. "I think that we have made a lot of progress with race in this country, but we still have a distance to go," Sharpton said.
For it's part, The Post is apologizing to anyone who was offended by the cartoon, saying it was meant to ridicule Washington's efforts to revive the economy. But critics say it echoes stereotypes of blacks as monkeys and even hints at assassinating the President.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.