A New York newspaper is under fire for running a headline that called President Barack Obama the n***er in the White House.
According to The Wrap, “The WestView News, a small paper that touts itself as “The Voice of the West Village,” ran an op-ed column in its July edition titled “The Nig-r in the White House.” The article, penned by James Lincoln Collier, was actually pro-Obama and criticized what it called “racism” by far-right voters.”
It is never okay to use the n-word in a headline. It doesn’t matter if the article is pro or anti-Obama. It is disrespectful to the President Of The United States as a man and disrespectful to the office that he has been elected twice to hold. It was not in any way an appropriate headline. In fact, it is headlines such as this that give the people who hate Obama because of the color of his skin something to point to when they get called out for their bigotry.
PoliticusUSA has, unfortunately, had to spend loads of column space pointing out and criticizing the race-based hatred and behavior of some conservatives. Headlines that go for shock value such as the one that The WestView News used is a discredit to journalism and the journalistic community.
President Obama has had to deal with race-based opposition to his presidency since before he was elected to his first term. Republicans have calculatingly used race as a political tool to divide the country. Republicans have championed conservatives who questioned the president’s nation of birth, the validity of his birth certificate, and even his college transcripts. The constant drumbeat of race-based hatred of this president has been a consistent theme of his presidency.
The last thing that the millions of Americans who are working hard combating the conservative attempts to exploit the nation’s ugly underbelly of racism and discrimination needed was a headline calling the president an n-word. By even using the headline, The WestView News perpetuated the racism that the article’s author opposes.
Supporters of a colorblind society should be saddened and outraged by this headline. I would like to think that supporters of the president are smarter than those who were involved with the creation and publication of this headline. Partisan anger brings out the worst in people, but defending the president by perpetuating racism is not the way to build a better society.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association