The New York Post’s Old Racism (And Micah Lasher, Not-So-Closet Racist)

New York City has always had a nasty racist streak.

The NYC Draft Riots during the Civil War were conducted by mostly working class Irish immigrants who did not want to be part of a struggle to free slaves. Freed blacks would make their way up north and compete with them for jobs, the thinking went. Blacks were under siege across the city, including the black orphanage that had to protect their charges by sending them out into the middle of the Hudson River in boats until the violence subsided.

William F. Buckley used the city’s rising crime rate as a way to pander to racist sentiment in his losing 1965 mayoral bid. He accused liberals of coddling criminals by using poverty as an excuse. Even though he did not win, he used his race-baiting tactics later to block the establishment of a civilian review board of the New York City Police Department. It was a foreshadowing of the coded racism that would define Reagan’s “welfare queens” and George Bush Sr.’s Willie Horton ads.

Mark Green, who used to be a perennial candidate for NYC mayor, came under fire in 2001 when people associated with his campaign released flyers of Fernando Ferrer kissing a certain part of Al Sharpton’s anatomy. They were released in the mostly white areas of South Brooklyn. Although Green was cleared of any wrongdoing, it hurt his image within the city’s minority community.

And who was responsible for this racist campaign flyer? None other than Micah Lasher, former chief DOE lobbyist and current head of the Michelle Rhee corporate shill group StudentsFirstNY.

From a 2003 Observer article:

Occasionally, though, he’ll let loose with a bean ball-as in the 2001 Democratic Mayoral primary, during which Mr. Lasher worked for Mark Green’s campaign. Mr. Lasher was one of the staffers behind a campaign flyer which reprinted a New York Post cartoon showing Mr. Green’s opponent, Fernando Ferrer, bussing the formidable butt of Al Sharpton. The flyer somehow made its way into largely white neighborhoods. It became a cause célèbre in a bitter campaign, and Mr. Lasher had to deal with volleys of criticism.

And there is the direct link between corporate education reform and the racist agenda that supports it.

His connection with Andrew Cuomo also has deep roots:

In 2002, Mr. Lasher joined Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign team as the state field director. Mr. Cuomo withdrew days before the scheduled primary contest with Carl McCall, but Mr. Lasher developed more contacts-particularly with Josh Isay, Mr. Cuomo’s campaign manager. The two formed a political consultancy firm afterward, Isay/Lasher Communications, now called KnickerbockerSKD.

The Billionaire Boys’ Club has a tight, racist circle: Bloomberg, Rhee, Cuomo, The Post and Micah Lasher. The common thread among them all is a disdain for minority communities.

This is the type of NYC-style, dog whistle racism in which the New York Post continuously gets involved. Back in 2009, they ran this cartoon of police officers shooting a chimpanzee. It was located on a page that directly followed a picture of President Obama signing his stimulus bill.

The Post eventually had to apologize for the cartoon.

That did not stop the Post from exploiting the tensions surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting. Who can forget this horrendous front page?

Despite the fact that there were also white lawmakers in Albany who had worn hoods in support of Trayvon Martin, the Post chose to run this cover that depicted the black leaders involved as “race hustlers”.

This is the real race card in our day and age.

It is also why the Post has been a cheerleader of the Education Deform movement. Much like William F. Buckley refused to excuse criminal behavior with the structural reailties of poverty, the Post toes the “no excuses” line for public schooling. It is why they celebrate the harsh discipline of mostly minority students in charter schools. It is also why they celebrate the bashing of teachers.

After all, if teachers are not allowed to use the “excuse” of poverty to explain why their students do not necessarily do well on bubble-in exams, then these failures must be due to the teachers.

The ghouls at the Post even stooped so low as to do a story on the “worst teacher in the city”, Pascale Mauclai. Despite the fact that Ms. Mauclai has an unblemished record and her principal adores her as a dedicated educator, Post reporters showed up at her house with telescopic lenses in their quest to publicly shame her. One can only hope that Ms. Mauclai sues the Post for defamation.

Did the fact that Pascale Mauclai is a black woman play a role in their vitriol?

Let’s put it this way, I doubt there would be as much venom behind the Post’s attack if the “worst teacher in the city” were a young, white Teach for America alum.

The Post is a regular cheerleader of Bloomberg’s whitening policy for New York City. His bike-lane-drawing, public-school-closing, stop-and-frisking regime has met with approbation from Murdoch’s wire-tapping media empire. There has not been any mention of the declining black population or the disappearing black educator in the Post’s or any other major media outlet’s pages.

There are no more excuses for the New York Post. They appeal to the basest elements in New York City. NYC schools currently get free delivery of the NY Post. Is this the type of publication to which we want to expose our students, especially considering that so many of our students are minorities?

If the Post refuses to respect the bounds of human decency, then perhaps the union that the Post hates so much should push to have the NY Post banned from NYC schools.


6 responses to “The New York Post’s Old Racism (And Micah Lasher, Not-So-Closet Racist)

  1. No offense intended, but associating bike lanes with ‘whitening’ sounds like something the Post would write. A majority of New Yorkers do not own cars, and I think it is safe to assume that those that do lean towards the white spectrum. Bike lanes are therefore life saving infrastructure used by all races. It is a crime that Murdoch’s media empire, which has written much against bike lanes, has not made it clear that bike lanes are always installed with input from the affected community boards and that every study has shown that bike lanes make the streets safer for every user, whether in a car, on foot, in a stroller, on a bike, white or not.

    • It is funny how, out of all the things mentioned in this article, you seize upon the bike lanes.

      I don’t know what studies you cite and what entities are behind such studies but, as a lifelong resident of NYC, the bike lanes to are decidedly unsafe. Even after the light has changed and there are no cars coming, you still have to contend with bikes coming from each direction. It gives pedestrians another hurdle to overcome. As ARod said, it is like playing Frogger.

      And I think it is pretty obvious that the bike lanes are a symbol of the whitening of NYC. It is a sign of gentrification. Yes, I know the lanes are open to all regardless of race, that much is obvious. Nut the lanes reflect the perceived needs of the young, mostly white and affluent residents who are enviornmentally and health conscious. Just like the smoking ban, it is a reflection of a value system that is decidedly a product of class and, by extension, race.

      The Post’s opposition to bike lanes stems from an anti-enviornmentalist agenda. If it was up to Murdoch, we’d all be driving SUVs to the corner store.

  2. Funny, crossing the street on with a bike lane feels distinctly less safe. It recalls the game “frogger”.

  3. Bike lanes have not shown up all over the Bronx, as they have in specific areas of Manhattan. I wonder why? It doesnt seem as if the idea of biking is truly meant as a citywide effort. Its targeted. Hmm do other laws changing rent stabilization and other supports align with the targetted schools for closure, charter schools and bike lanes? If so I think theassailedteacher’s argument would be proven.

Assail me some more by leaving a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s