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Black Newspaper Portrays Nina Turner as Aunt Jemima
Posted by Carmen Dixon

A black-owned and operated newspaper in Cleveland has grabbed national headlines for running a cartoon that portrays Ohio State Senator Nina Turner as Aunt Jemima. As you can guess, the Call & Post is not a fan of Nina Turner and vehemently disagrees with her on important legislation passed by voters last month.

Issue 6 overhauls county government by separating the executive and legislative powers until now held solely by county commissioners. Issue 6 backers argue that it will give county government more checks and balances and that the elimination of most county offices will streamline some government functions and save money. Nina Turner was the only black elected official to to support Issue 6.

Most black elected officials and community leaders wanted further study of the reform and were specifically worried about how changes would impact the education of “50,000 Black school children in the Cleveland School District”. Because Issue 6 sponsors would not consider the education issue explicitly, almost all black leaders rejected the reform.

The decision by Call & Post, owned by Don King, to call-out Nina Turner by portraying her as the subservient, smiling, always-white-people pleasing Aunt Jemima, because she supported the reform, has folks protesting and defending the cartoon with equal and opposite energy.

Even the local NAACP chapter appears to have a split opinion of the cartoon.Stanley Miller, executive director of the Cleveland NAACP civil rights organization, which opposed Issue 6, said he was bothered by the cartoon and plans to ask his board Tuesday night to formally address it. “It was disturbing to me,” he said. Miller said he’s not upset about the politics behind the cartoon and accompanying editorial, but by the negative stereotype that dates back decades. “It’s more about the image of an African- American woman in 2009,” said Miller, who logged several complaints Monday about the cartoon.
Miller’s view could put him at odds with NAACP President George Forbes, who is legal adviser to the Call & Post and holds great sway over its editorials.

Forbes said in an interview Monday that he stands by the cartoon and said critics miss the point of the editorial view: Issue 6 does not specifically address the needs of Cleveland school children yet Turner backed the plan anyway. “The cartoon is no more unfair to black people than what she did to black people in not securing some type of concern or something in return for the kids in school,” he said.

Source: Call & Post called out for cartoon depicting Nina Turner as Aunt Jemima,