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This is the editorial cartoon accompanying this week’s article in Cleveland’s Call & Post attacking State Senator Nina Turner for her support of county reform Issue 6 instead of the “Old Guard” African-American leadership/union back Issue 5.? Amazingly, the article states:

Lastly, Nina Turner should stop telling the lie that Black leaders have threatened her. When asked by this newspaper who issued such threats, she refused to answer.

Senator Turner didn’t need to answer.? Your column is graphed with a depiction of an accomplished, intelligent, political leader as an ignorant, ebonic speakin’, house slave.? It’s pretty obvious that the “Old Guard” of the African-American leadership is punishing Turner for “goin’ rogue” by publicly depicting her as being “owned” by the white power establishment.

The rub, the column claims, is that Turner went off the reservation by supporting Issue 6, and not Issue 5:

Obviously, State Sen. Nina Turner didn?t know the damage she did to her career when she became the only Black elected official to jump headstrong and support Issue 6 ? county government reform.

To no avail, all of the advocates of the reform approached most of the Black leadership of Cleveland for support. But, when questioned about the advantages for Black people if this reform passed, no sensible answers were given.

And yet, nobody could point to any language in Issue 5 that would advantage the African-American community, particular schoolchildren, if it had passed.? And yet, the Old Guard of the African-American community supported it anyway, so this criticism seems to be a post hoc rationalization.

I’m hundreds of miles away from Cleveland and I’m white, but this criticism strikes me more as an aging power structure is threatened by the independence of a new generation of African-American leaders.? It’s like the leaders in Chicago who initially opposed Obama because he was “uppity,” “not genuinely black enough,” and was an “outsider.”

Mark Naymik from the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the division in the African-American leadership over the Turner cartoon.? Naymik notes that Call & Post‘s legal advisor is the President of the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP, George Forbes.? However, the Executive Director of the NAACP, Stanley Miller, promises that he will ask his Board to address the cartoon tonight.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has gone on record calling the depiction inappropriate.?? Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones defended the cartoon:

“As I have said previously, although I vigorously disagreed with Nina’s stance on Issues 5 and Issue 6, I defend her right to express her opinion,” he said. “Unfortunately, she has now unwittingly become a pawn in a battle between the Call & Post and The Plain Dealer. Sadly, politics today is bloodsport, and the treatment Nina has received from the Call & Post is no more harsh than that which those who have disagreed with the Plain Dealer have experienced in editorials and caricatures.”

If the Plain Dealer depicts you as an antebellum-era house slave, Commissioner Jones, let me know, and I’ll condemn them, too.? But I seriously doubt they’ve EVER done that.? And you should be ashamed of trying to defend this.

[UPDATE:]? Yeah, I noticed the obvious crop lines around the text, too.? I don’t know if that means they just have a poor production process, or God forbid, there was text they actually vetoed in favor of what they went with.

I’ve left messages with both the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus and its President, State Rep. Sandra Williams asking them for comment on this editorial cartoon.? I’d note that State Senator Nina Turner is the Treasurer of the OBLC.

Disclosure: I briefly worked with Nina Turner when I used to work for former State Senator Minority Whip? Rhine McLin.? During that time, I was impressed with Nina, we all were, and we all knew that she had a future in politics.? That’s why I’m shocked at this treatment.? Nina Turner should be the kind of person the leadership in the African-American community should be embracing and promoting, not degrading because they lost on a power struggle and now hold a grudge against her.

  • I will have A LOT to say about this after the Afghanistan speech, but short term……

    This is why Lee Fisher's decision to involve himself in Issue 6 was truly stupid. If this is what the Call&Post crowd does to Nina Turner over Issue 6, wait until Lee Fisher walks into the neighborhood.

  • modernesquire

    Well, Turner was one of Lee's early endorsers, so she may have played a role in this. Turner's life story is just the kind that the African-American community should be celebrating, not presenting her as a white-faced house slave.

    It's a dangerous power play for them. One, they inherently lose credibility in attacking such rhetoric when others use it. Two, if Turner runs and wins, they are demonstrated to be politically impotent and irrelevant.

  • modernesquire

    I wonder if the Black Legislative Caucus will issue a statement? They're failure to do so would be pretty telling and, frankly, shocking.

  • Excellent question. They should denounce it.

  • Lee's gonna finally learn, after 30 years of ignoring Cuyahoga County Democratic Party politics, just how fun it can be.

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  • Wow.

  • tom

    shocking that Tim will try to make this about one of his “pet projects” instead of what the actual story is.

  • modernesquire

    I'm awaiting comment. I've left a message with the OBLC at their office in Columbus, and apparently, OBLC President/Rep. Williams (D-Cleveland) at her home (I didn't know it was her home number).

    We'll see if we get a reply.

  • Rose

    It is truly dissappointing to see that this is the way a “black” newspaper and it's management choose to share disagreements with one of it's own – in a way that the paper & the people behind it have fought against for so many years. It just illustrates that egos for some are larger & more controlling than principle.

  • Bob in Ft, Myers

    If any African American disagrees with the olde NAACP, they are treated as traitors to the 'black' race. Its sounds exactly like the way skinheads & neo-nazis on the History Channel KKK shows speak about white folks that aren't racist like they are. It seems there is a culture of hate at the olde NAACP that rejects any new or different ideas. The only difference is that the NAACP leadership doesn't have the swastika tattoos and rotten teeth.

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  • you know me

    senseless, in poor taste, demeaning, ignorant, and childess

  • you know me

    senseless, in poor taste, demeaning, ignorant, and childess

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