When Racism Is Fit to Print
By Andrew Sullivan, August 3, 2018
Is the newest member of the New York Times editorial board, Sarah Jeong, a racist?
From one perspective — that commonly held by people outside the confines of the political left — she obviously is.
. . . But the alternative view — that of today’s political left — is that Jeong definitionally cannot be racist, because she’s both a woman and a racial minority. Racism against whites, in this neo-Marxist view, just “isn’t a thing” . . .
. . . In the religion of social constructionism, Jeong, by virtue of being an Asian woman, is one of the elect, incapable of the sin of racism or group prejudice. All she is doing is resisting whiteness and maleness, which indeed require resistance every second of the day.
. . . That’s why Jeong hasn’t apologized to the white people she denigrated or conceded that her tweets were racist. Nor has she taken responsibility for them. Her statement actually blames her ugly tweets on trolls whose online harassment of her prompted her to respond in turn. She was merely “counter-trolling.” She says her tweets, which were not responses to any individual, were also “not aimed at a general audience,” and now understands that these tweets were “hurtful” and won’t do them again. The New York Times also buys this argument: “her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment. For a period of time, she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.”
Let me explain why I think this is the purest of bullshit. . . .
. . . None of this excuses the behavior of the online hordes that are seeking her head. When media companies give in to those mobs, they are just feeding a voracious beast. It’s worth noting, however, that Jeong has a long record of cheering online mobs when they target people she dislikes.
. . . And I don’t think the New York Times should fire her . . .
. . . The editors of the Verge, where Jeong still works, described any assertion of racism in Jeong’s tweets as “dishonest and outrageous,” a function of bad faith and an attack on journalism itself. Scroll through left-Twitter and you find utter incredulity that demonizing white people could in any way be offensive. That’s the extent to which loathing of and contempt for “white people” is now background noise on the left. What many don’t seem to understand is that their view of racism isn’t shared by the public at large, and that the defense of it by institutions like the New York Times will only serve to deepen the kind of resentment that gave us Trump.