On February 18th the New York Post printed a political cartoon that depicted a monkey being shot by police officers (a reference to the chimp attack in Connecticut) with one of the officers saying: "They'll have to find someone else to write the new stimulus bill." Immediately following, activists lobbied the Post for a retraction and an apology, stating that it was an obvious racist reference to President Obama (Fox News article).
Although I agree that the cartoon is inappropriate and probably a racial attack, I do agree with the Post on one issue: some people will exploit racial conflicts to the detriment of achieving racial equality. Activists such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have made a considerable living as hatemongers; they have incited riots, looting, and murder in the name of racial equality.
For example, after an incident in which medical services treated a Jew preferentially over a Caribbean-American, many people protested this discrimination. The protests soon escalated into violence after Al Sharpton shouted at a demonstration, "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house" (Newsday article). Fueled by untrue rumors from hatemongers like Al Sharpton, riots ensued and finally a Jewish student was captured and killed by a mob, which was shouting "kill the jew" (Gothan Gazette article). Al Sharpton undoubtedly wants to better his race, but is his goal racial equality if he consistently incites hatred towards other races?
These hatemongers even oppose members of their own race that don’t conform to a specific racial identity, such as President Obama. After an episode in which police arrested six black youth, Jesse Jackson criticized then-Senator Obama’s reaction and accused him of “acting like he’s white” (CNN article). Worse than the Post’s monkey cartoon was what a microphone caught an unwitting Jesse Jackson saying: “See, Barack's been talking down to black people . . . I want to cut his nuts off” (CNN article). In my opinion, these kind of remarks represent a kind of racism much worse than the Post’s: an unveiled hatred of anyone not belonging to a specific racial identity.
This hatred is sold under the guise of improving equality, but it only fuels racial hatred. Still, activists need to take steps to oppose racial injustices, such as ignoring due process and hate crimes. Until then, activists may either peacefully protest true injustices or selfishly incite more hatred in order to fill their own pockets and achieve notoriety.