Unnecessary apologies seem to be the order of the day. Especially when it comes to Black branded media. For those who may not have heard, this week an “incident” involving a tweet from Ebony writer and senior digital editor Jamilah Lemieux. It began when Lemieux tweeted a statement critical of Black conservatives. From there, it branched into an exchange between Lemieux and RNC Deputy Chairman Raffi Williams. To make a long story short, the whole thing escalated by a swarm of conservatives attacking and using their voice to condemn instead of comprehend.
Now here is where things get shameful. Instead of backing one of their key people, Ebony Magazine opts to post an apology to the conservative forces and their ginned up outrage, throwing Lemieux under the bus. This is not a small deal. Things like this do the Black community a disservice. When Fox News and the RNC chair can politically bully around a large publication, and convince its editorial board to leave a writer out to dry over a tweet, this is a problem.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to point out that Ebony is not truly Black owned. Which is why I wrote Black branded to begin with. There is a key difference, and many of us are beginning to see what that is. This is one of the reasons why we still need Black, independent media outlets. So that political attacks that are bound to come sooner or later can be weathered by those with principles.
In this writer’s opinion, it seems like its not so much the “market place of ideas” that it is concerned with, but solely its place in the market. The bottom line, not free speech seems to trump all. Its time to say that this is wrong. For this and other reasons noted in this post, Polite On Society stands with writer Jamilah Lemieux.