NEW YORK : A community newspaper in New York faced intense criticism Sunday, for calling President Obama, in a headline, a nigger, a disparaging term used for a black person.
The WestView News, a small monthly paper that touts itself as “The Voice of the West Village,” ran an op-ed column in its July edition titled “The Nigger in the White House.” (West Village is a New York City neighbourhood). The article, penned by James Lincoln Collier, was actually pro-Obama and criticized what it called “racism” by far-right voters.
Possibly fearing a backlash, the paper did not put the article on its website. But a copy of it was posted online by the New York Post, a tabloid, along with a screen grab of another story by WestView News Columnist Alvin Hall, who criticized the article.
In a rebuttal titled ”This Headline Offends Me,” Hall wrote, “I don’t see how its use benefits anyone, but I do feel all too clearly how it deeply offends me.”
Reaction on Twitter was just as negative, with user Donna Bee asking, “How do you refer to Jews, Mexicans, Muslims and Asians? Just curious.”
West View News editor George Capsis says Collier convinced him to use the offensive word over objections from the paper’s editorial staff.
“In this article, however, Jim reminded me that the New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that West View should,” Capsis says in an explanation published in the paper and reported by The Post.