Reported by Andrew Scot Bolsinger
Seeking to stir up the readers of a community newspaper for the liberal elite of Manhattan’s West Village, author James Lincoln Collier got what he wanted and more with his opinion piece that ran under the headline, “The N—-r in the White House” — except without the dashes.
The headline in the WestView News is a reference to President Obama and criticizes what Collier calls the anti-black “racism” of far-right voters.
Collier wrote the pro-Obama piece with the derogatory slur headline precisely to draw attention to the racism that he says fuels the opposition to the Obama administration.
According to the New York Post, West Villagers did not see it that way, instead attacking the paper for printing the slur.
“It’s disrespectful in any context to refer to the president of the United States as the N-word,” said one West Villager, Eugene May. “If you were quoting something or referring to the historic context of the word being used, I can understand the justification.”
Any ironic intent in calling Obama by the word was no consolation, he said, according to The Post.
“It seems he’s just using it for shock value,” May added.
Joe Megie, a self-described “black Republican” and West Village resident, also blasted the headline.
“My first take is, it’s sad,” said Megie, 38, the CFO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
The monthly’s 86-year-old editor/publisher, George Capsis, knew the rage was coming and agreed with it. Still he agreed to print the headline as Collier wanted it. He followed with an editorial against the headline he just printed.
“The editorial staff continues to object to the use of the word,” Capsis wrote.
“In this article, however, Jim reminded me that The New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that WestView should,” he added.
Collier “wanted to use the word” to “shock us into accepting that there are people who believe and use this outrageous word,” Capsis went on.
In the piece, Collier, wrote, “The simple truth is that there is still in America an irreducible measure of racism.”