A vegetarian friend came to my house. I made her a vegetarian meal. A friend asked to stop to pray on a long bike ride, I stopped and waited for him. Some Jewish friends wanted to eat outside due to Sukkot, we ate outside in a booth. I thought my joke that used the word "gay" was funny--- but friend said "no that's offensive" --I listened and I'll never tell that kind of joke again! I get it now. Once I put up a poll where the only options were "man" and "woman" for gender-- I found out that --um that's not as inclusive as I thought. I think I could make a better poll next time.
I'm not trying to say I'm saintly. These kinds of things are basic ideas for interacting with other human beings. Try to be polite and accommodate other people. Try to learn from your mistakes. Don't be a dick. If you area dick say you're sorry, mean it, and don't do it again.
If I ran a newspaper in a city like New York I'd want my staff to be as diverse as the city. I'd want to publish a paper that was informative and accurate, and I want the entertainment aspects of the paper to be funny and not offensive to my readers. I'd want readers of all races and religions and backgrounds to enjoy my paper. So, If I had an idea for a cartoon I'd run it by a lot of different people and if it was VERY offensive to some readers (even if that was not the intention of the artist) I'd just not run it-- I'd find something funny and run that instead.
Now if there were some people that I just didn't give a shit about-- well, I might just run something that was hurtful to them anyway. If they complained I'd say "stop being so hypersensitive" --I'd issue a non-apology that made it seem like the complaints about the cartoon were only coming from the most controversial and least popular members of that community-- I'd make no attempt to understand why people were angry-- I'd insist that they "need to me more rational."
In short, part of what disgusts me about the events surrounding the cartoon is the need for a "rational debate" before anyone has even stopped to listen to the reasons why the cartoon is offensive. The reasons are rational and well justified. A newspaper with sensitivity to its multiethnic audience would not publish such a cartoon because they wouldcare enough but their audience to KNOW them and to KNOW how it would be received and they'd care about how these things make people feel.
Now what do we call people who just didn't give a shit about whole groups of people based on race? What's the word for that?