A local newspaper in New York City’s West Village is coming under fire for an column entitled “The Nigger in the White House.”
The column in WestView News was penned by James Lincoln Collier, author of the award-winning children’s book My Brother Sam Is Dead. It is actually supportive of the president, arguing that “these far right voters hate Obama because he is black.”
“The simple truth,” Collier continued, “is that there is still in America an irreducible measure of racism,” which he connects to the position on immigration that allowed David Brat to defeat Eric Cantor in a Republican primary last month.
He wanted to use the word in the headline “to shock [readers] into accepting that there still are people who believe and use this outrageous word.”
George Capsis, the 86-year-old editor and publisher of the paper, prefaced the column by noting that, in it, “Jim reminded me that The New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that WestView should.” He also mentioned that the paper’s editorial staff “continues to object” to the word’s use.
In fact, Collier’s column shared a page with another titled “The Headline Offends Me,” written by the paper’s African-American columnist, Alvin Hall. “The decision to use the headline feels misguided to me,” he wrote, adding that “just seeing the n-word in a headline or in an article always makes me bristle.”
This is not the WestView editor’s first brush with infamy. Last August, Capsis attacked two people at a Christine Quinn rally for supporting the candidate’s healthcare position. The previous May, he was arrested for slapping a police officer whose van, he claimed, had cut him off.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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