Harlem 4 Obama is a grassroots political organization in operation since June 2007. Our effort to deliver New York ‘s 15th Congressional District to Senator Obama during the primary and general elections has resulted in victory in Central Harlem and election of 2 of our members as delegates to the Democratic National Convention. We at Harlem 4 Obama are grieved and offended greatly by the Bary Blitt illustration, “The Politics of Fear” on the cover of The New Yorker Magazine that depicts a non-Christian Barack Obama, Michelle Obama with an AK-47, a picture of Osama Bin Laden on the wall and the American flag burning in the fireplace. The New Yorker Magazine contends that people made aghast by the illustration don’t get the satire. It is The New Yorker that doesn’t get the condition.
Our grassroots campaign has been forced to wage an unceasing defense against attempts to inflame fear about our candidate and his family by false portrayals of them as being unpatriotic and militant. This is clearly a sensitive issue to us and we know that any address to it must be meted out with caution. Our candidate at times has been self-deprecating, and we in the campaign certainly maintain a loose and positive demeanor as though it were an edit from Obama. However, this cover is nothing to laugh at.
The Obamas are the quintessential American success story of hard work and dedication overcoming the odds. For the smaller minds determined to cast Barack and Michelle Obama as something to the contrary, The New Yorker has given the ultimate visual aid. In doing so, the New Yorker cover has not satirized a malicious sentiment—it has forever become the poster for it.
The New Yorker has had many politically satirical covers. None has generated this level of national outcry as none has been as wreckless. No responsible journal could consider putting its name on this illustration without first giving great pause. We contend that in running this extremely incendiary cover, the New Yorker Magazine has not opted to satirize the news. It has clearly chosen to be the news.
Harlem 4 Obama is offering all associated and international press the opportunity to get the “real deal” on what is transpiring on the grounds of Harlem , New York during the 2008 general election.
Makeba Lloyd, Press Secretary, Harlem4Obama, Makeba.Lloyd@harlem4obama.com