Jamilah Lemieux, Senior Editor for EBONY, has a message for black and white Americans who lean conservative or who don’t support individuals based solely on the color of their skin: Your opinions don’t matter and you are, in her opinion, very obviously hate-able.
Such is the tone of a few of Lemieux’s Twitter proclamations Thursday about blacks who don’t adhere to her worldview.
Joining a conversation about a new digital magazine for black conservatives called American CurrentSee, which is headed up by tea party darling Ben Carson and columnist Armstrong Williams, Lemieux made clear that she had no interest in knowing more about the project.
After the EBONY editor mocked the project and said that she wouldn’t bother wasting her time to learn more about the black conservatives’ point of view, Republican National Committee spokesman Raffi Williams said he was disappointed that someone in her position wouldn’t encourage diversity of thought.
That angered Lemieux, whose prejudices evidently drive more than her contempt for black conservatives— she isn’t interested in hearing anything that a “white dude” has to say about “how to do this black thing.” Her vitriolic response at first confused Williams, who noted that the magazine is being headed up by black men.
Lemieux quickly tried to clear things up by letting Williams know that he was the “white dude” whose opinions she would not tolerate.
There was just one small problem with Lemieux’s remark: Williams, the son of former NPR and current Fox contributor Juan Williams, is black. Lemieux quickly realized the error in her racist remark and tried to save face by blaming her outburst on too-small picture and “GOP folks” trolling on the social networking site.
After realizing what a jerk she’d been, Lemieux courted the ensuing Twitter backlash in the manner in which any abhorrent purveyor of intolerance worth his or her salt would— by hurling baseless insults at people with ideas that differ from her own.
Before the exchange with Williams, Lemieux had already been busy hurling Twitter insults at NBA star Kobe Bryant for failing to make skin color a primary factor in deciding whether he felt the need to come to the defense of a fellow human being.
Bryant is quoted in a story scheduled to publish on March 31 in The New Yorker saying that, if it’s based solely on race, the Miami Heat’s show of solidarity with Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin raises questions about whether the Nation has progressed as a society.
“So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself,” Bryant reportedly responded to a question.
Knowing as much about Lemieux as she does about the people she spent Thursday insulting on Twitter and taking special care not criticize her in a jingoistic or trite manner still leaves ample room to point out that her prejudices come from no more noble a place than the repugnant attitudes of the Nation’s lingering white racists.
There’s no question that the wounds of America’s ugly past will never fully heal. And just as world peace is an unachievable goal, post-racial society is a phrase with no meaning. But, whether from the left, right, white or minority, what gives Lemieux the right to hatefully disavow any idea that is not her own without fear of being exposed as an enemy of progress?
There is a quote of Horace Greeley’s, whose work toward enabling a more just society is certainly meritorious, that EBONY’s editor ought to keep in mind next time she feels compelled to deride opposing views without careful consideration or friendly debate:
Full of error, and suffering as the world yet is, we cannot afford to reject unexamined any idea which proposes to improve the Moral, Intellectual, or Social condition of mankind. Better incur the trouble of testing and exploding a thousand fallacies than, by rejecting, stifle a single beneficent truth.
Of course, Greeley was white, so Lemieux may not deem anything attributed to him as beneficial to those out there trying to do the “black thing.”