August 23, 2014


I'm always surprised and saddened to see people reading the NY Post. I know they have great gossip on Page 6--if you're shallow enough to substitute gossip instead of news. But today's cover should remind us of what the conservative paper really stands for. Minorities, women, gays and average workers continue to buy the paper which continually spits on them and their rights. Even the 50 cents you pay for it contributes to it's ultra-conservative agenda. It's descent into sensational tabloid journalism happened when Rupert Murdoch, the creator of Fox News, took over. Yet New Yorkers who would never dream of watching right-wing Fox News still read the NY Post.

Today's Post cover is an article supporting the police, to provide a counter-opinion to Al Sharpton's march protesting cops choking Eric Garner to death as video shows him saying "I can't breathe." Eric was apprehended selling loose cigarettes on the street. I don't care if he was guilty, just as I don't care if Michael Brown had robbed a convenience store, refused to get out the middle of the street when asked by police or had marijuana in his system when shot by the police with his hands up. The police have no right to be the on-the-spot judge, jury and executioner--that isn't their job. No matter what we're accused of, we have a right to a trial in this country. Not vigilante cops, drunk with power and abuse, shooting whoever they like. Shooting suspects not in the leg to prevent them from fleeing, but shooting to kill. And in the case of Eric Garner, using an illegal choke hold which killed him.

Yet the Post chooses to ignore these abuses and stands blindly with the cops, saying they'll gladly toast the police force on this day. I'm not against the police. As the Post says, they bravely do a difficult job. And we don't hear about the many times they get their jobs right and we're all safer as a result. But that's not to say that police shouldn't be held fully accountable when they screw up royally and lives are lost as a result. At a time like this, with blacks being killed for no reason or murky reasons, the cops are clearly abusing their power and their weapons. For blacks, it's a trend that has never ended. Bill Deblasio won as NYC's mayor partially because New Yorkers' mostly do not want Stop-And-Frisk policies which unfairly target people of color for minor offenses. We definitely don't want fellow New Yorkers Stopped-And-Frisked-And-Murdered. There's a way to make NYC safer from crime without it's residents of color living in fear. And if you are thinking "I don't sell loose cigarettes or break laws so I have nothing to worry about" I hope you'll recall the brutal crackdowns on mainly peaceful, unarmed Occupy Wall Street protesters of all races. They weren't breaking a law either, just exercising their rights to assemble and use free speech. Yet our police somehow interpreted that as a crime. So I hope you'll think about which paper you buy and what a dangerous ideology is behind the gossip you enjoy in the NY Post.

PS: I'm no fan of Al Sharpton, who had the nerve to say on 60 minutes that he would never criticize president Obama in his role as a journalist. (MSNBC is as bad as Fox--just in a different direction.) But this march isn't a popularity contest for Al Sharpton, and he happens to be right to march in defense of Eric Garner's rights and others like him.