What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 15, 2015

Jack Kelly Sunday

In case you missed it, the Post-Gazette's Jack Kelly had a pungently vile column published in the P-G this past weekend.

If you were to scroll past the vile and down to the comments, there's more than a few protesters there.

But instead of my usual debunking of Jack's rhetoric, I want to give the floor, entirely and without any comment from me, to this statement by from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation
Normally, the type of propaganda and twisted thinking evidenced in Jack Kelly’s column “Remnants of Slavery,” published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sept. 13, should not be dignified with a response. However, its content is so egregiously ignorant, its premise so flawed, and the platform that lends it credence so public that it must be addressed for the sake of truth and accuracy.

Outrageous excerpts from the column are as follows:
  • “The words ‘slavery’ and ‘benign’ ought never to appear in the same sentence, but slaves in the American South and the British Caribbean (usually) were treated less harshly than in most other places where slavery has been practiced — especially in ancient times.”
  • “Slavery was horrible, but no black American living today has suffered from it. Most are better off than if their ancestors had remained in Africa.”
Historians, sociologists and psychologists across the globe agree that U.S. slavery was uniquely pernicious in its practice and long-term debilitating effects on slaves and their descendants, a disgraceful legacy that still has adverse impact today. Some of the racial disparities that persist in educational achievement, access to quality housing and livable wages, and other areas have been linked to the lasting effects of slavery.

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation calls on all columnists, reporters and other media professionals to responsibly discuss salient issues.

Before sitting down at his computer to write, Mr. Kelly should consider the professional and ethical mandates of responsible journalism. In this case, learning the facts about U.S. slavery and institutional racism before articulating an opinion likely would have resulted in a more legitimate expression of opinion and provided an important public service to P-G readers.

To that end and for future reference, we are glad to furnish experts from every ethnic group who can educate Mr. Kelly about the myths, fallacies and erroneous assumptions that undergirded his column. We also would be delighted to introduce him to journalism ethicists who can remind him why an opinion piece is not a license to revise history.

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation strongly condemns the column as a blight on journalism. Shame on Mr. Kelly, and shame on the Post-Gazette for printing something unfit for a serious newspaper.

1 comment:

Ol' Froth said...

Wow. I need a bath after reading that column, some of the most vile writing I've seen, it reads like something penned in the 40's and 50's to justify seperate but equal. How the P-G can continue to pay Kelly after that steaming pile is a mystery.