Ebony magazine decided to issue a public apology to GOP staffer Raffi Williams and the Black Republican community on behalf of their senior digital editor Jamilah Lemieux today.
The heated discussion, which Lemieux described as “leaving a cookie out in a house full of roaches and turning off the lights,” started on Twitter, of course.
The situation developed after Lemieux said she wished she “knew less” about a new magazine led by Black conservatives Ben Carson and Armstrong Williams. Her comment prompted Williams, who is the deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee, to reply.
The “White dude” comment sparked more controversy because Williams is actually a Black man.
“I forgot that tweeting something about a Conservative is like leaving a cookie out in a house full of roaches and turning off the lights,” Lemieux tweeted in conclusion.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus responded with a three-paragraph, stating that Raffi deserves an apology from Ms. Lemieux and 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.”
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. She did not even attempt to show journalistic objectivity. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s unacceptable to refer to those who disagree with you as “roaches.”
Raffi 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.
In their Twitter exchange, Ms. Lemieux said she had “no interest” in a conversation about encouraging diversity of thought. I’m hopeful, however, that she does not speak for the entire magazine and that we can use this unfortunate episode as a catalyst for greater engagement and understanding between the Republican Party and the black community.
In a post titled “Diversity of Thought,” the magazine gave the GOP what they asked for.
“Yesterday, the spirit of this mission was disregarded by EBONY.com Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux in a personal Twitter exchange between herself and RNC Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams,” the apology article read.“EBONY acknowledges Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux’s lack of judgment on her personal Twitter account and apologizes to Raffi Williams and the Black Republican community.”
Williams responded to the apology with a “thank you” tweet and link to GOP chairman Reince Priebus’ article.
Do you think the magazine should’ve apologized? Was Lemieux in the wrong? Weigh in with your thoughts below.
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