• On racist language, local reporting, and letters to the editor


    Oh boy. I’m not touching this with a ten foot pole so I’ll just jump directly to the money-quote:

    A newspaper in West Virginia is defending its decision to publish a reader’s racist and homophobic comments, which called for “queers” to be put to death along with “n*ggers, spics, kikes and wops.”

    Good grief. People like this still exist? Perhaps we should lock him/her in a museum for all to observe.

    The reader referenced a recent report about how the Lincoln County Board of Education had terminated lesbian teacher Kelli Burns from her job at Guyan Valley Middle School teacher after she accused board officials of forcing students to write complaints that she had tried to “turn them gay.”

    “We were really glad to hear that School Board is getting rid of them queers,” the voice mail said. “The next thing is we need to get rid of all the n****rs, the spics, the kikes and the wops.”

    “You know even them Catholics, they are wrong as baby eaters,” the reader continued. “We need to clear them people out and have good, white, God fearing Christians and everybody else needs to be put to death for their abominations.”

    “We’ll keep Lincoln County white and right. Thank you.”

    My goodness. I’d love to have been in the news room when that gem hit. Had I owned the newspaper, however, that story would have landed directly in the trash bin, especially considering it was left by an anonymous caller. Sheesh… I thought newspaper people were brighter than this.

    Marshall University School of Journalism interim dean Janet Dooley, however, said that the paper had crossed a line by printing the anonymous remarks because they amounted to hate speech.

    I suppose if the newspaper wanted some free publicity, mission accomplished.


    Category: In the News


    Article by: Beth Erickson

    I'm Beth Ann Erickson, a freelance writer, publisher, and skeptic. I live in Central Minnesota with my husband, son, and two rescue pups. Life is flippin' good. :)