NYT Editorial Board Racist Tweeter Is OK, But Not James Gunn Making a Movie?

Sarah Jeong gets the benefit of the doubt because non-whites can't be racist, but James Gunn is white, so he's out.

I'd like to say it's rare that we get to see the liberal thumb placed so heavily upon the social scale of justice, but it's not rare at all. It's simply a very stark juxtaposition here between James Gunn, who was dumped by Disney for some very poorly constructed and disgusting tweets from his past--and Sarah Jeong, who the NY Times hired despite the existence of equally disgusting racist tweets directed at white people.

Tech writer Sarah Jeong has drawn fire in social media for a series of tweets she made several years ago that bashed “dumbass f–king white people,” whom she derides in another tweet as “groveling goblins.”

The NY Times said it doesn't condone the remarks, but in fact they do sort of condone it when they give a pass to Jeong, and stand by her explanation.

Jeong said she was imitating the language of her online harassers and intended it as “satire” — but now “deeply regrets that I imitated the language of my harassers.”

But she did it over and over again. If it was satire, it was quite a campaign, not a single tweet. As David French opined, I'm okay with the newspaper hiring whom they please. If they believe Jeong and stand by her explanation, as an employer, it's their right.

It's also a newspaper's obligation to do more than simply gloss over these tweets as "satire." It seems that any pushback to "the man" by supposedly powerless minorities who are harassed online is given complete absolution, but any transgressions against so-called oppressed groups, especially by white men, are taken as seriously as murder.

James Gunn was fired over tweets that practically nobody read, and were brought to the surface for the specific purpose of smearing him. Gunn was doing nothing for Disney but making a movie--probably a very good one judging from the two Guardians of the Galaxy films he'd already done. Gunn is in the entertainment business, just like many who cross over lines of good taste (even today) for the sake of a laugh.

(If what Gunn did is worth losing his career, then what shall we do with Sacha Baron Cohen? But that's a different story for another day.)

Sarah Jeong is not here to entertain us. She's here to help the New York Times, the newspaper of record for many serious Americans, shape the news. She's literally here to present truth to the world in the form of properly crafted, consequential journalism.

This isn't a case of some powerless waif punching at the moon in response to bullies. It's a woman either mocking, or at worst, hurling venomous racist comments, at other people because of their skin color. The liberal arc holds that as long as the skin color being vilified is white, that's okay.

Again, as French explains, nobody can claim that anti-white racism doesn't exist. In small and large ways, it exists. In some cases, it might be understandable, but that doesn't make it right. The NY Times, above all, should know right from wrong, and should do more than just "not condone" the tweets while keeping the person who sent them on its editorial board.

Or perhaps Disney should consider reinstating James Gunn as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy 3." If a former racist tweeter can shape the news, certainly a former shock-topic (pedophilia and other things) tweeter can make entertaining movies.

If one explanation is to be believed and the other ignored, that speaks volumes about the power exerted by those who think it's okay to hurl racist insults at white people, and about the powerlessness of white people to even point out when the liberal thumb is fully tilting the scale.

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E.E. Bokbok
E.E. Bokbok

Let's reset, because I missed something rather large and obvious: context.

Context matters.

When we judge somebody's remarks, we must judge them in context. Was it a passing mistake or an emotional outburst? Or was an indiscretion of youth? Did the person who made the mistake "grow up" since they made it?

We're called to make a judgement, and that judgement is based on what is inside of somebody's head. We can only make that judgement based on context.

Insofar as we are dividing people into two tribes--the "libs" versus Trump--then "members" of the respective "tribes" should be judged within the context of the body of ideas they support (either explicitly or by extension).

The Republican party is controlled, completely, by Donald Trump. Trump is the one of the most popular president among Republicans in history.

Trump's support, as study after study has shown, is based on white resentment: the idea that your life's problems and social problems can be traced back to non-white people. It's based on fear of non-whites "taking over" and so forth (see for example, Anne Coulter, Adios America and so on ad nauseam).

Trump implied that Mexicans are "sent here". Like animals. He continued to compare Hispanics and African Americans throughout his campaign to criminals.

He said, "there are good people on both sides".

He trashed a Hispanic judge for his race (which Paul Ryan called, "the textbook definition of racism").

He denigrated the previous president based on his race by spreading a lie about his birth place.

Then he won the Republican nomination, won 95% of the votes from Republican voters, and is presently the one of the most popular Republican president among Republicans in history.

Trump is the Republican party, and thus the high-level brand of the Republican "tribe" or side.

Trump is a racist, through and through. His appeal is based on racism, as are many of his policies.

On the other "side" you have people rejecting this racism as a whole.

So within that context we need to judge people.

So yeah, "the libs" making a racist remark is probably an emotional mistake, or a mistake of youth, or carelessness of speech, etc.

Republicans saying the same thing is an affirmation of the party's idealogical core. It's not a mistake, and denying it just turns it into a dog whistle.


E.E.Bokbok, I totally agree with you. I am sick of being denigrated because of the (white) color of my skin, just as I am sick of blacks being denigrated because of the (brown) color of their skin. Why in the world do we even have to have this conversation!!. People are people and each one should be judged by the "color" of their hearts and not the color of their skin. Unforuntately there are always "haters" among us.

E.E. Bokbok
E.E. Bokbok

There needs to be a distinction between talking about an entire race versus talking about an individual, and identifying them by their race.

In other words, there's a huge difference between:

"Some stupid black guy cut me off in traffic today"


"Black drivers are stupid and they always cutting you off".

The first statement is just a statement of fact about the particular race of an individual that happens to annoy you. The second is racism: passing a judgement on a race as a whole.

ENGLISH people. Come on!