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Former Editor Sues N.Y. Post, Claims Racism

Former Editor Sues N.Y. Post, Claims Racism

Published November 11, 2009

A Black former senior editor at The New York Post, who says she was fired for speaking out against a violently racist cartoon against President Obama, is suing her ex-employer on charges of “unlawful employment practices and retaliation."

In her 36-page complaint, Sandra Guzman details allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination against the tabloid’s top editor, Col Allan. Guzman argues that her firing in September was triggered by her public rebuke of a Post cartoon, published seven months earlier, showing a dead chimpanzee on a sidewalk with two police officers standing over it with their guns smoking. One officer says to the other, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” At the time, President Obama was getting quite a bit of press over the government-stimulus package, which many believed he had drafted.

"There is no doubt the chimpanzee pictured shot to death and lying in a pool of blood with three bullet holes was intended to be President Obama," she said. “The Post's decision to publish the racist cartoon was part of a concerted effort at the Company to undermine President Obama's authority and attack the first African-American President in this country's history.”

She said, too, that D.C. bureau chief Charlie Hurt  "and a high ranking journalist at the newspaper  had confirmed to [her] that the Post had such a policy in place, telling her that the Post's 'goal is to destroy Barack Obama. We don't want him to succeed.’” 

In an excerpt from her filing, Guzman says that “behind the trumpeted headlines and within the four walls of The Post there exists a hostile work environment ,where female employees and employees of color have been subjected to pervasive and systemic discrimination and/or unlawful harassment based on their gender, race and/or national origin.”

But in a statement to the online political blog POLITICO, a spokesman from the Post says, “This lawsuit has no merit and is based on charges that are groundless. As previously stated, Ms. Guzman’s position was eliminated when the section she edited was discontinued due to a decline in advertising sales.”

Written by BET.com Staff

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