The New York Times is at it again. (I think they have one big fuck up like this EVERY DAY.) This time it is Katharine Q. Seely with a myopic piece that includes a juicy tidbit about ubiquitous black failure.
Americans got a rare glimpse Wednesday night of what it means to have a black president in the Oval Office.
In response to a question at his prime-time news conference about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black Harvard professor, in his own home over the weekend, Mr. Obama declared that the Cambridge, Mass., police had “acted stupidly.”
Mr. Obama’s response was his most animated performance of the hourlong news conference, and represented an extraordinary plunge by a president into a local law-enforcement dispute. And it opened a window into a world from which Mr. Obama is now largely shielded, suggesting the incident had struck a raw nerve with the president.
In the public spotlight, Mr. Obama has sought to transcend, if not avoid, the issue of race. As a candidate, he tried to confine his racial references to the difficulty of catching a cab in New York, although he was forced to confront it directly during the Pennsylvania primary when his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, became an issue. And last week, at the 100th convention of the NAACP in New York, he spoke in uncharacteristically personal terms about his rise to power as a black man, while warning black Americans not to make excuses for their failure to achieve.
We know the New York Times missed the point of the NAACP speech. The President himself said so. And he was not alone.
From Ta-Nehisi Coates
From Eugene Robinson
Now, based on any empirical measures available to the writers at the times, I am certain they would find that the achievements of Black folk in this nation state are quite beyond dispute. There isn’t an aspect of American life that is untouched by the hands and hearts of Black folk. Whether you’re talking about the construction of the great ice road in Alaska or the guts of the subway system in New York City, we were there. And it is far more than labor. As a group, we’ve been here far longer than most Europeans and have the scars to prove it.
The Times has reached a point where they continue to overreach. The editors and writers simply lack the education, discipline, experience and skill to cover much of the world. Perhaps their desperate reach to become relevant online (amid ever dwindling street sales) will fail in large part because of their inability to actually get the story right.
I continue to find it important to read the Times not because they are “the paper of record” but because they are the architects of distortion.