The New York Times still backs newly hired staffer Sarah Jeong following a social media backlash from people calling out her clearly racist tweets about white people. Neither the paper nor Jeong are defending the exact words that were said, Vos Iz Neias News reports.
It didn’t take long for social media to jump on the new hire just mere moments after she was brought on board in the middle of last week. A number of prominent conservatives and other anti-racist activists cited a number of previous tweets that made broad negative categorizations about whites. One example of Jeong’s tweets were: “Oh man, it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”
The New York Times made a statement about Jeong on Twitter that addressed the controversy, saying that “journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment. For a period of time she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers. She sees now that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media. She regrets it, and The Times does not condone it.”
The statement continued on about how “she understands that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable at the Times.”
The author of the tweets, herself, took to Twitter to make her own statements so she could give her side of the story. Her explanation acknowledged that she ”engaged in what I thought of at the time as counter-trolling” and that she stooped down into the gutter rather than being above the fray because she “mimicked the language of my harassers.” In order to give people an idea of what she was dealing with, she shared a few examples of the harassing comments that were sent her way, some of the many which she cited as the reason for her own comments that now have her in hot water.
Because the newspaper still stands by Jeong, some conservatives view the move as tacit endorsement of negative sentiment being aimed at white men.
She said that “while it was intended as satire, I deeply regret that I mimicked the language of my harassers. These comments were not aimed at a general audience, because general audiences do not engage in harassment campaigns. I can understand how hurtful these posts are out of context, and would not do it again.”
Some examples of the avalanche of negative reaction to the ordeal include a tweet by Fox News columnist Stephen Miller, who tweeted “I don’t care about sarah jeong’s dumb old tweets but it’s the Times themselves who set this standard.”
Washington Free Beacon writer Alex Griswold chimed in too by sardonically saying “If I ever tweeted something racist back in the day, that’s only because people of that race were racist to me first. I regret it, and am now absolved.”
By: Stephanie Pullam