- Washington Posteditors
Fire Richard Cohen
UPDATE: Richard Cohen continues to be racist and sexist. In the year 2013, Cohen wrote, "People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)"
As Alex Pareene notes, "The trouble with this paragraph is the use of the word 'conventional' instead of, say, 'retrograde' or'archaic' or 'racist.'" Cohen's insistence on normalizing racism is dangerous and has a body count. It should not be allowed to continue in any widely-read publication that considers itself intellectual or serious. The Washington Post's continued employment of Cohen is an embarrassment to a city with a long, proud history of black culture and struggle.
In 1986, Richard Cohen wrote that jewelery store owners were justified in keeping black people out of their stores for fear of theft. On July 15, 2013, he wrote in a column called "Racism vs. reality" - as if they are two separate things - that Trayvon Martin was a "young man understandably suspected because he was black."
This kind of racism is the reason George Zimmerman was acquitted, and it has no place in our society. The Washington Post is the primary newspaper in a primarily black city, and it should show it has higher standards than this by firing Richard Cohen.
A day after Cohen's column came out, Huffington Post reported that The Washington Post was defending Cohen. Politico caught up with Cohen, and he promptly doubled down on his racism, saying, "A hoodie: It's what's worn by a whole lot of thugs." The following day, Salon's Alex Pareene wrote a great piece called "Richard Cohen is terrified of black people." And from the great Ta-Nehisi Coates, "The Banality of Richard Cohen and Racist Profiling". We don't suggest reading Cohen's column, but if you must...
Take a stand against racism and sexism. Fire Richard Cohen.
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