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All the racism that’s fit to tweet

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George Fisher

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

This is going to ruffle some feathers: an old white man saying white men are being discriminated against by the mainstream media. How avant-garde.

Not long ago, the name Sarah Jeong would not have echoed with many people, perhaps it still doesn’t. But, this Berkeley graduate and Harvard educated attorney was hired on to the New York Times editorial board. The move prompted people to search her out, especially her columns on Vox (a Verge publication), and her Twitter posts. What they discovered was disturbing.

Jeong tweeted racist slurs against white people, in particular white men, extending from 2013 to 2015 using hashtags such as #CancelWhitePeople. Here are some examples:

“Dumb*a** f**cking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.” Another post lashed out at Republicans: “I open my mouth to politely greet a Republican, but nothing but an unending cascade of vomit flows from my face.” And another: “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”

Sarah Jeong is a self-proclaimed progressive and feminist. She worked for The Verge, spouting off about technology and law before joining the New York Times’ editorial board. As Jeong’s tweets went viral and criticism ensued, left leaning publications ran to her rescue siting Jeong as a woman of color who has encountered the bitterness of harassment first-hand. Jeong called her comments a “counter-trolling” attempt to fight the harassment and racism she faced as a female minority.

No excuse or explanation comes close to being acceptable because Jeong called for the eradication of white people: “White people have stopped breeding. you’ll all go extinct soon. that was my plan all along.” Regardless of whether she meant to be sarcastic or funny those words are just not acceptable. Dare I say acceptable to whites; especially white males.

There is the impression on the political left in America that a person of color cannot be racist. Also, that women cannot be gender biased against men because they lack the power to do so. In an essence, we’re experiencing in the age of a new social constructionism propagated and designed by a left of center narrative.

Let me dispel that rumor; anyone can be racist. And, it’s not okay — even when the New York Times tries to mask it. What’s even more upsetting is that the Times was not always like this.

Back in February of this year, Quinn Norton, a white female journalist, announced that she would be joining the Times’ editorial board — much in the way as Jeong. The same scrutiny applied to Norton and when some of her tweets were identified to have praised a neo-Nazi blogger, Norton apologized saying, “These were not my best tweets.” She didn’t join the NYT editorial board either. Furthermore, the Times never came to her defense. The difference is that Norton never lawyered-up with pretty politically correct words or suggested a counterargument. She admitted that she was wrong and she accepted responsibility.

Jeong, on the other hand, has brown skin and is Asian. Should the same guidelines apply to her as they apparently did for a journalist who happened to be born white? These are the questions that need to be acknowledged and answered because we cannot continue to live and work in this strange new American paradigm without knowing the rules.

I was advised that as an old white man, I was going out on a limb if I called out racism particularly against fellow white men. Even if it is ‘a thing,’ it was best not to bring it up. Really? Where’s the fairness in that? Equality should mean equal without exception. Or are we as a society too politically correct for that?

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