Since 1927, our family has been involved with the Post-Gazette, shaped primarily by the nearly six decades of William Block Sr.’s socially conscious leadership. Some of us knew him as “Dad,” some “Grandpa,” and some “Bill,” but we all knew him as a man whose dedication to excellence and generosity infused the newsroom culture at the paper. He was an advocate for civil rights and freedom of the press. He was both a publisher who listened to his editors and a constant — and accessible — presence. The editorial “Reason as Racism,” published on Martin Luther King Day, printed without the Post-Gazette editorial board’s consensus, and attempting to justify blatant racism, is a violation of that legacy.The letter's signed by more than a dozen people - more than a few with the last name of Block.
We are so grateful that Bill never had to read it. It goes against everything he worked for and valued. Our family strives to continue embodying his values of social justice, respect and equality in our communities.
As shareholders and family members of the family that operates this newspaper, we are very mindful that Dr. King himself said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We do not condone the sentiments expressed in the piece. We do not condone the whitewashing of racism, nor the normalization of it. We cannot remain silent and by implication approve of the use of the Post-Gazette to provide cover for racism.
And now a letter that the P-G has refused to publish:
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, the union representing 150 reporters, photographers, copy editors, artists and other editorial employees at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is collectively appalled and crestfallen by the repugnant editorial “Reason as Racism.” As a matter of course, the Guild does not weigh in on editorial positions, but this piece is so extraordinary in its mindless, sycophantic embrace of racist values and outright bigotry espoused by this country’s President that we would be morally, journalistically, and humanly remiss not to speak out against it.That's signed by the executive committee of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh.
This editorial is a blight on the 231 years of service the Post-Gazette has provided its readers. Over its long life, it has railed against racism and supported civil rights and justice for all. Given this history, the shameful and unconscionable editorial that ran on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of all days, is an abomination that cannot go without condemnation from journalists committed to fairness, accuracy and decency. To be clear, no member of the Newspaper Guild had anything to do with that editorial and we stand together in solidarity against the bigotry, hatred and divisiveness it engenders.
Our hope is that, like us, readers of the Post-Gazette will decry this lapse in promoting common decency, equal opportunity and justice across our great land and the world. This editorial and its sentiments solely represent the opinions of the Block family, owners of the Post-Gazette, and not their loyal employees who use our talents to fight against what this editorial stands for.
As the editorial was first force-fed into the otherwise unsuspecting eyes of the Toledo-based news reading public, the president of the Newspaper Guild of Toledo has also made his thoughts public:
Let me add my own thought, (if not already obvious): the Block editorial was reprehensible on so many levels it's difficult to keep them straight.There's a difference between disagreeing with an editorial, which will always happen, and the publisher adopting intellectually dishonest positions to advance his personal and political views in the name of employees who are mortified at them.— Nolan_Rosenkrans (@NolanRosenkrans) January 16, 2018
So Donald's porn star romp will have to wait.