Politics

03.28.14

Does ‘Ebony’ Magazine Condone Bigotry?

A senior editor tweeted at an African-American, calling him a “White dude” that shouldn’t tell her “how to do this Black thing” because he’s conservative.

Another day, another disgusting display of racism—once again at the hands of a supposed enlightened black person attacking a black conservative for his political beliefs.  Apparently in the era of  “Hope and Change” one cannot be authentically black unless they are a progressive Democrat blindly cheering on the agenda of “The One” without pause for reflection on how the immediate and long-term policies of President Obama could harm, rather than help the lives of the Americans he was elected to serve.

The latest episode of bigotry comes at the hands of Ebony Magazine Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux.  According to their website, Ebony “is the No. 1 source for an authoritative perspective on the Black-American Community… Ebony is the heart, the soul and the pulse of Black-America.  It’s more than a magazine, it’s a movement.”  Apparently black conservatives do not exist in the heart, the soul and the pulse of the world of Ebony. Consider the following exchange from Twitter Thursday night between the two:

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Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this exchange is the condescending nature and supposed moral superiority Ms. Lemieux displays when she notes: “Oh great, here comes White dude telling me how to do this Black thing.  Pass.”  First, Raffi Williams is black.  Second, in the 21st century is there a monolithic way of thinking, living and acting that is easily characterized as “this Black thing?”

Progressives and their cheerleaders in the media have long hailed President Obama’s election as setting America on a course to become “Post-Racial.”  Instead, I believe just the opposite and wrote Blackwards: How Black Leadership is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal (St. Martin’s Press, 2012) to explain why.  Ms. Lemieux’s disparaging remarks above remind me of an interview conducted a few years ago between Joy Behar and Harry Belafonte in which conservative blacks are savaged for having a different point of view:

The Republican Party, the Tea Party, all those forces to the extreme right have consistently tried to come up with representations for what they call black, what they call the real Negroes [this in reference to former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice.]  They’re heroes for some people.  Bur for a lot of us, they’re not.

Commentary offered by Lemieux and Belafonte illustrate that bigotry and hatred based on race is not merely a white versus black problem.  Black progressives are given a free reign to attack, malign and offer the most despicable commentary towards black conservatives under the guise that one cannot be authentically black while articulating a conservative point of view.

America’s greatest strength is our diversity.  Diversity of thought, religion, ideology and freedom of expression is the underpinning of our democracy.  The motto of the United States is E Pluribus Unum Latin for “Out of Many, one.”  Lemieux’s attack on Williams from her powerful position as a senior editor at a leading magazine aimed towards blacks is particularly abhorrent.  If Ebony holds itself out as the #1 source for authoritative perspective of black America, is Lemieux’s view emblematic of the leadership of the magazine?

I’m glad Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has called on Ebony today to issue an apology for one of their senior employee’s remarks.  In the relevant section of the letter Mr. Peiebus sent to Ebony’s Editor in Chief, the Chairman noted:

Attacking someone for his or her race, heritage or political views is the very thing Ebony has worked to discourage, and actions like those of Ms. Lemieux are far below the basic standards of journalism…Rafi deserves an apology from Ms. Lemieux and from Ebony not just for making assumptions about his race but more importantly for dismissing black Republicans and the validity of their opinions in public discourse.  

Racism and bigotry have no place in our society.  That a brave young conservative who happens to be attacked due to the color of his skin is a disservice to all that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the brave patriots of the civil rights movement have stood for.  I will conclude by reminding Ms. Lemieux of Dr. King’s words from his “I Have A Dream” speech:

And that is something that I must say to my people who stand on the worn threshold, which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

Lemieux is a French-Canadian surname which means “The Best.” Jamilah Lemieux’s slur against Raffi Williams represents the worst of those whose bigotry and racism blind them to disparage their fellow Americans based on the color of their skin.