Psychological Terrorism of People of Color
By Woody Henderson
and insulting editorial cartoons in The New York Post
during the mayoral primary run-off were an outright attempt
to degrade and discredit people of color in general and
Black and Latino leaders in particular.
cartoons and similar-minded editorials and columns in
the Post are the continuation of a negative, ongoing campaign
against people of color. They reach back much further
than the recent blatant editorial that attempted to denigrate
the memory of Aaliyah, that young, bright, and shining
star, by claiming she was not worthy of the type of funeral
her family and her community saw fit to give her.
of editorial comments are without question a form of psychological
terrorism. Implemented by and carried out with the knowledge
of the management, advertisers, and ownership of the Post,
they are insensitive and definitely not conducive to a
healthy and just society, especially in a time when compassion
and tolerance are the order of the day.
good will in New York and around the country must stop
tolerating the divisiveness of the Post and its constant
attacks and insults on people of color, their leaders,
their youth, and their struggle for justice.
pain can and will eventually lead to an adverse and negative
impact on those inflicting that pain. To paraphrase what
George W. Bush said about the terrorists, who attacked
the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, could also
apply to the Post and its attacks on people of color.
Those who harbor and support those who are inflicting
pain on others by providing financial support or by their
silence are ultimately contributing to that pain and may
at the very least find themselves involved in a costly,
unwanted, and unnecessary conflict.
people of conscience and good will to take steps that
will stop the attacks, insults, and degrading propaganda
referring to people of color that is being heaped on New
Yorkers by the Post. You can accomplish this by refusing
to buy that paper under any circumstances.
request that the stores, bodegas, and newsstands in communities
of color seize this opportunity to show that they respect
and want a healthy and meaningful working relationship
with the communities they serve. For any of them to use
as justification for stocking that paper "I carry and
sell it because people buy it" is much like the drug dealers
using that same logic to justify selling drugs in communities
of color, and this too must stop.
If there is
truly to be a war on terrorism, wherever it exist; as
Mr. Bush said, then people in Black and Latino communities
must take the lead in waging that war by ending the psychological
terrorism of the Post in their own neighborhoods.
that paper immediately. Each of us at every opportunity
must spread the word in our churches, in our schools,
and in our neighborhoods and encourage others to do the
same and demand that the newsstands, bodegas, and other
places of business, at least the ones in communities of
the Post. As for the businesses in our communities, please
show that you respect the people in the communities that
you do business with by not stocking the Post and its
racially degrading propaganda.
A door has
opened. We must each step through it and not allow there
to be business as usual in our communities, in our hearts,
or in our minds. Don't buy The New York Post until it
not only apologizes for the years of insults aimed at
people of color but also changes the way it portrays our
communities, our leaders, and our youth. We are New Yorkers
and must all work for the common good. The tragedy of
September 11, 2001, demonstrated that quite clearly. As
Roy Wood, that great, Black, news commentator used to
say, "Now run and tell that."