By Ron Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The NAACP continued its demand for an apology from a local newspaper over its recent cover depicting Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

The image depicts Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson reading the weekly newspaper with the headline “K.J. Sues SN&R” with a furrowed brow and two beads of sweat coming from his forehead.

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Source: issu.com

Source: issu.com

The cover in the image refers to the newspaper’s story about its current legal battle with the mayor’s office over the release of emails Johnson’s lawyers say are protected by attorney-client privilege. The city recently authorized the release of thousands of emails from Johnson, some of which detail a plan to take over the leadership of the National Conference of Black Mayors.

The satirical cartoon of Johnson has the Sacramento NAACP’s Stephen T. Webb drawing comparisons.

“If you look at the satire from the ’30s and ’40s it’s a joke,” he said.

Webb denies that their concerns are about the email controversy, but about what he sees as the accentuation of Johnson’s lips and eyes.

“This is not about politics,” he said. “This is about the imagery, about the cartoonish caricatures they have portrayed.”

The group announced Thursday’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon, five days after the issue was placed on newsstands. The newspaper did not respond to the accusations in print, because the announcement came as the weekly paper was heading to press.

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Sacramento News & Review co-editor Nick Miller said on Twitter the NAACP hasn’t returned the newspaper’s calls or emails since its Tuesday announcement.

CBS13 took the May 9 cover to the streets to ask people if they saw racism in the drawing.

“No, I don’t see it at all,” said Val Kongman.

“Some people take it to the heart too much. It just looks like a cartoon to me,” Franklin Ransom.

“I don’t think it’s racist,” said Jeffery Moore.

Regardless of the public opinion, leaders like Lynn Berkeley with Race matters believes the newspaper is abusing its media privilege.

“This isn’t just about an image,” she said. “This is about the media’s responsibility and the history of an image.”

The NAACP says if it doesn’t get an apology, it’s asking readers to boycott the newspaper until it does.

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SN&R co-editor Nick Miller disputed the NAACP’s claims in a statement on Tuesday, saying the illustrations were based on an actual photo of the mayor and it was intended to depict him as “sweaty and nervous” while reading about his legal issues. He called the accusations “unfounded and without merit,” pointing to the newspaper’s history of supporting the NAACP’s mission.