Letter: Hearst’s Ocasio-Cortez Cartoon is Racist and Sexist

Letter to the editor submitted by Phyllis Alexander, Laura Kostin, Mary Ellen Markowitz, Nerlyn Pierson, Monica Prihoda, Joanna Swomley

On February 26, 2019 Greenwich Time and other Hearst publications printed a racist and sexist caricature depicting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The cartoon is of a woman of color looking at a television screen showing “Green Book” winning the Oscar for best film.  She is quoted saying that she’s happy that a movie about “conservation” has won best picture.

Beyond the physical caricature that is shocking in any publication in the year 2019,  the woman is portrayed as ignorant and stupid, the familiar insult by white racists towards people of color and often women.  Worse, the cartoonist, Dana Summers, is including the title “Green Book” in his cartoon.

The “Green Book” was a listing of restaurants, gas stations, stores, and private homes in the South where blacks could be served or sleep without fear of being rejected, or even lynched, while traveling.  The very existence of the Green Book during the Jim Crow era was evidence of the brutality and fear that a racist system engendered in black people.

The cartoon is published after the sexist writings of Dan Haar, who claims that the recommendation to name women and women of color to top jobs in the Lamont administration is “demeaning” and refers to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and others as “shrill.”

We ask that Hearst publications make more of an effort to ensure they are not using or propagating race and gender stereotypes in Greenwich Time and other Hearst publications.

Phyllis Alexander, RTM District 9 Pemberwick/Glenville
Laura Kostin, RTM District  8 Cos Cob
Mary Ellen Markowitz, RTM District 2
Nerlyn Pierson
Monica Prihoda, RTM District 6, Old Greenwich
Joanna Swomley, RTM District 10