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02/20/2009

Now it's our turn: GLAAD rallies against Delonas' other ink stains

by Jeremy Hooper

DelonasSome may be ready to wrap up Sean Delonas' week of national notoriety. GLAAD, however, is actually stepping up their efforts to combat the anti-LGBT Delonas cartoons that we in the gay activism world have known about for years.

Head over to GLAADBlog for a slideshow, info, and most importantly -- emails where you can register your complaints about the New York Post cartoonist's unfortunate scribblings:

CALL TO ACTION: Sean Delonas & The New York Post [GLAAD]

But of course judging by the way the Post "apologized" for the stimulus cartoon, don't be surprised if they blame your ability to have outraged reactions as the real problem, not their careless willingness to offend the same.

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

Even if none of these people can be bothered to apologise properly, it does some good to get awareness out there and to have people saying that this isn't acceptable.

And perhaps, once Delonas has been picked over, maybe other equally awful cartoonists can get some stick. For example, some dreadful race-themed ones from Mike Lester:

http://s5.tinypic.com/v4z482.jpg
http://s5.tinypic.com/2j790p.jpg
http://s5.tinypic.com/24b1aar.jpg
http://s5.tinypic.com/10gh56s.jpg
http://s5.tinypic.com/2gumkoo.jpg
http://s5.tinypic.com/2ioghh.jpg
http://xs136.xs.to/xs136/09082/r549.gif

And some gay ones:

http://xs136.xs.to/xs136/09082/r608.gif
http://xs136.xs.to/xs136/09082/r166.gif
http://cagle.com/working/081112/lester.jpg

Shamelessly stolen from this (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3044829&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1) thread, although the Lester wave starts around here (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3044829&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=179)

Anyway, as many racists and homophobes need to be shamed publicly. That's my point.

Posted by: Celia | Feb 20, 2009 9:00:09 PM

A silver lining to this nasty cartoon is that it could have the same galvanizing effect that Buttars' anti-gay comments had on the fair-minded people of Utah.

From a great Salt Lake Tribune editorial, Buttarsaurus - Dinosaur still walking, talking: "When Buttars opens his mouth, it turns heads. It also changes minds, driving some conservatives toward the middle and some moderates to the left. He is, in our opinion, the best spokesperson that Utah's LGBT community has ever had, galvanizing their righteous efforts to achieve not superiority, but equality." (http://www.sltrib.com/Opinion/ci_11742757)

Delonas has revealed, once again, just how extreme and antiquated this kind of thinking is. And GLAAD's condemnation helps push it even further into the past.

Posted by: AKA William | Feb 21, 2009 3:30:48 PM

While personally I am not a Delonas fan, I think this cartoon and the other two targeted toward gays are VERY different.

I think the other two cartoons (the Startrek one and the sheep one) were very, very obviously targeted at gay people and Delonas' opinion toward gay marriage.

I do not however, think the monkey one is racist. Stupid, yes, because some people could view it that way, but while Obama SIGNED the bill, he did not WRITE IT!! If it said "we'll need someone to sign the new bill" I'd totally support the idea it was racist.

This is mocking those who actually constructed and wrote the bill, which consisist of more than just Obama. It is, in my opinion, anyway, suggesting that those who constructed the bill have the intelligence, IQ, capacity, whatever, of a monkey.

I think the NAACP's call to fire Delonas or boycott the post on this stance is wrong on a lot of reasons. The NAACP first of all made no stance against him whent he cartons DID target someone specificallly. Suddenly, because they feel offended, it matters. After working for my school paper (lame, I know but same thing kind of) and being the opinion editor, I dealt with our cartoonists. The cartoons are supposed to draw emotion. Not everyone will agree with them all the time. But I personally don't believe in this kind of censorship. Would you have a serious problem if Delonas tomorrow turned around and penned a cartoon that mocked Evangelical Christians? I wouldn't. While I often don't agree with his point of views, I would never deny him the ability to express said views. I don't personally believe this is like, hate speech or inanely horribly disgustingly offensive, and while the other 2 toons were, in my opinion, distastful, I don't think they were horrendously, awfully, wrong either. All of us just happened NOT to agree with his outlook.

Second, I don't think in this time of economic downfall should anyone boycott any company, let alone a newspaper. Papers are going under left and right, and people are losing jobs. The NAACP forgets about the hundreds of other employees of the New York Post that decision would effect, jobs that could be lost, families that could be put in serious financial damage. Why? Because you're pissed at a cartoon? Be sensible.

TO be honest, despite the firestorm over it, that cartoon helped the post. More people looked at the website, bought the paper, just to see it. Financially, it is probably a good thing for the Post to keep Delonas on because he annoys people. What I found being the opinion editor, is usually the people who wrote the most outlandish, stupid, argumentative columns got the most reactions.

Posted by: Stef | Feb 21, 2009 9:21:29 PM

Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by: Bonnie_Half-Elven | Feb 22, 2009 9:00:37 AM

Stef.

You make a lot of sense with your reasoned and thoughtful arguments. And I concur with what you say. As a libertarian, I do not believe in censorship of any kind, be it from the likes of Sarah Palin (to use an example from the right) or the likes of . What we tend to lose sight of in the middle of our enraged passions is that the US Constitution, that "commie, homo loving" (apologies to Sean Penn) subversive document created 200+ years ago, protects ALL speech for ALL Americans. I am personally sickened by the views and shenanigans of the Fred Phelps, the Rick Warrens and the James Dobsons of this country. However, if we sink to their level and start to censor their speech while fervently protecting the speech that we "agree" with, then we end up being no better than the "conservative" religious zealots that we are fighting against and end up creating a dangerous precedent when it comes to individual civil liberties. I am as fervent in my support for same sex marriage as I am in seeing affronts on civil liberties like the Patriot Act and the FISA laws getting repealed.

Do I find the cartoons disturbing and offensive? Absolutely. However, is censoring something that you do not agree with the right way to go about getting your message across? I jest not.

Posted by: Matt | Feb 23, 2009 1:54:45 AM

Matt: Let's be careful about muddying the lines between censorship and speaking out against a certain corporation's editorial decisions. We're not talking about a government placing limits on someone's speech -- we are talking about the decisions made by a for-profit business.
The Post has run MANY disturbing Delonas cartoons, and the public is reacting to the same.

Nobody, as far as I can tell, is disputing Mr. Delonas' right to create such cartoons or even the Post's right to run them. People are simply using their own speech to draw attention to this long series of affronts that have come from the pen of Sean Delonas.

The public bestows praise when it is due, an condemnation when it is deserved. Denying the latter would be more tantamount to censorship.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 23, 2009 3:10:16 AM

Jeremy-

I completely understand (well, sort of, I can't speak as a member of the LGBT community, but simply as an avid supporter) where you are coming from.

I have no problem with people being outraged, and as I said earlier, I thought Delonas' 'toons with the sheep and with star trek were very obviously gay bias. However, while you and a lot of other sites voiced their disgust with the 'toons, I don't really recall ANYONE from the gay community (though, I could be wrong) calling for Delona's to be fired, let alone any prominent gay voice calling for a boycott of the Post IF Delonas wasn't fired.

Everyone has a right to completely rip Delonas a new asshole for his point of view, but I don't think the way the NAACP is handling this situation is right at all, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that I don't think the cartoon was intended to be racist. I think Al Sharpton (who I LOATHE for many, many reasons) is simply looking for a new way to get his face in the paper again, and cooked this up. Was the cartoon stupid? Yes. Should editors have maybe considered that some people who weren't aware that obama passed off the creation of the stimulus package to others could view it as racist? Absolutely.

Should a man be fired for, theoretically doing his job? No. Delonas' job is doing exactly what he's doing.

A few years back when I worked at The Diamondback as an editor (holla school newspapers!) we ran a cartoon that was a reference to what some people thought was a noose found outside our cultural center on campus. However, since the "noose" in question was removed and thrown away, only on epicture of it existed. And to many, it didn't look like a noose, but half of a rope that was used to hold up a banner. Further, the "noose" was found in a stairwell, not in front of the building or anything like that. However, my campus (Maryland) went absolutely INSANE.

I'm pretty sure every white kid on campus felt the tension, myself included. It was as if we were ALL being blamed for something we weren't even sure really existed. A lot of people wrote in about the "racist white culture" on Maryland's campus, which absolutely does NOT exist. Maryland is a very diverse university on every level - race, sexuality, religion, you name it. We were all kind of stung by the accusations.

As the opinion editor at the time, one of my best cartoonists drew a cartoon regarding the situation. Had to do with a noose and a "get whitey" mentality. It was basically calling out all the over-zealous people who almost WANTED it to be a noose so they could blam every white kid they saw on campus for it.

I chose to run it. Both myself and my cartoonist got TONS of hate mail. But it was one of the most viewed cartoons we've ever posted on our website, and it brought a lot of readers to the opinion page. And, in my own opinion, it was not at all intended to offend anyone. It was intended to make a point. SOme people, in their own stupidity, chose to take offense to it.

I did not fire my cartoonist despite the backlash, and I was not fired by my editor in chief. And both me and my cartoonist enjoyed a successful run that year.

My point is (sorry for the really long story) that while I understand the LGBT outrage for his cartoons, I respected that said community kept their discourse civil and on point. The NAACP is basically giving the Post a very shitty ultimadum. Fire him or we boycott. I just find, in this economy, i a cartoon worth so many families having it financially harder? This is a huge trickle effect. If people boycott the paper, advetisers profits go down as well, and THOSE companies lose employees. I find it pathetic that Al Sharpton finds his own feeling of "offense" worthy of that kind of insane downfall. The pressure he is putting on the Post and the advertisers they have is disgusting. He is bullying them into doing what HE wants and I don't think that's fair to anyone.

Posted by: Stef | Feb 23, 2009 1:10:12 PM

Oddly enough, for many years I've associated the phrase "the chimp in the White House" with George Bush.

Is that phrase not known on your side of the Atlantic?

TRiG.

Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Feb 24, 2009 12:40:57 PM

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