Paterson, NAACP condemn New Yorker

July 17, 2008 11:59:44 AM PDT
New York Gov. David Paterson and civil rights organization the NAACP on Thursday condemned a magazine's satirical cover depicting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife as flag-burning radicals. Paterson, a Democrat who is New York's first black governor, told delegates at the civil rights organization's national convention that the New Yorker magazine cover that hit newsstands Monday is "one of the most malignant, vicious covers of a magazine I have ever seen," drawing a loud applause.

"It depicted them as angry, hateful, violent and unpatriotic," Paterson added.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a resolution that calls the cover "tasteless, Islam-a-phobic, mean spirited and racially offensive." It calls on other Americans who are offended by the cover to contact the magazine about their concerns. Obama is seeking to become the first black U.S. president.

A message seeking comment from the New Yorker was left at the magazine's offices on Thursday.

The cover depicts Obama in stereotyped "Muslim" clothing - sandals, robe and turban - while his wife, Michelle, has an assault rifle slung over one shoulder and is dressed in camouflage and combat boots with her hair in an Afro. The cover shows them bumping fists as a U.S. flag burns in a fireplace behind them and a portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs above the mantel.

The magazine has said satire it uses satire "to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover."

New Yorker editor David Remnick told the Huffington Post Web site that the cover was chosen because it had something to say.

In comments after his speech, Paterson said that no matter what reason the magazine gives for the cover, it was hurtful.

"The reality is that it hurts people, they knew it would hurt people; it was designed to do that and also to feed the prurient interest of bigoted, prejudiced people in this society," Paterson said.


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