by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nikole Hannah-Jones protests the assertion, made by yours truly, that she led the outrage mob that ousted former New York Times editorial-page editor James Bennet.
Hannah-Jones’s name did not appear in the headline of the article to which she refers, but that’s beside the point: She’s right.
How could anyone ever think to attribute Bennet’s departure — announced as a “resignation” — at least in part, to her? Why would anyone expect the Times to take action after its most prominent voice on racial issues publicly denounced the paper, declaring “I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.”
Who could have foreseen that there would be ripple effects to that denunciation, especially amidst heightened racial tensions, and surrounded by progressive co-workers?
And after all, Hannah-Jones has never shown a taste for blood. When the wolves came for science reporter Donald McNeil after he repeated back a racial epithet while responding to a question from a student (ironically, about the circumstances in which it would be acceptable to suspend a student for using it), Hannah-Jones leapt to his defense.
She did not, as she told Slate, go digging for more dirt on McNeil and tell a meeting of black employees and the Times’ executive editor that McNeil “had said disparaging things about Black teenagers, and has made what some consider misogynistic and culturally insensitive remarks in general.” She did not respond to critics of the staff revolt that cooked McNeil’s goose by arguing that “what they’re calling ‘mob rule,’ some would call democracy.”
She did not comment on the response to McNeil’s firing by tweeting “for the record, it’s almost never appropriate for people other than those from whom the racist slur was created to ever used [sic] the slur.”
Follow the second link above to find the evidence that Hannah-Jones engaged in each of these actions.