NPR deletes ‘race obsessed’ tweet over Asian mayor's victory
NPR has apologized for “causing harm” with a tweet implying that newly-inaugurated Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s victory was “a disappointment” as she is not black.
Wu was sworn in as Boston’s mayor on Tuesday, becoming the first woman and first non-white person to lead the city after an unbroken century of white, male mayors. Kim Janey, a black woman, had been filling in as mayor since Marty Walsh was appointed labor secretary by President Joe Biden in March.
For NPR, however, Wu’s victory was apparently overshadowed by the fact that she defeated three black candidates along the way. “While many are hailing [Wu’s victory] as a turning point,” the taxpayer-funded news outlet tweeted, “others see it as more of a disappointment that the three black candidates couldn’t even come close.”
deleted, but the List comes for all, @NPR.✍🏼✍🏼✍🏼 pic.twitter.com/4dRbe6gBPo— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) November 16, 2021
NPR’s portrayal of the mayoral race as a kind of race war was slated online. “Imagine the kind of worldview one has to think this way – hyper race consciousness, obsession with racial hierarchies, and merit & fairness inversion,” author Peter Boghossian tweeted. “Now imagine an entire channel devoted to promulgating this ideology. That is what NPR has become.”
We are all Americans. Identity politics is anti-American. Defund NPR. https://t.co/r39oWE4yBo— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) November 16, 2021
The only other group of people I can think of that is this obsessed with skin color is the KKK https://t.co/CdLIRsbmOl— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) November 16, 2021
NPR deleted the tweet shortly afterwards and apologized. “We realize we don't always get things right the first time, and our previous tweet/headline misrepresented the story,” the news organization tweeted. “We deleted the previous tweet, which was causing harm, and have updated the story.”
The updated story still focused on the three black candidates who lost out to Wu. Leading with a picture of losing candidate and incumbent Mayor Kim Janey crying, the article interviewed numerous voters who complained that Boston’s new mayor won’t have black skin. “I got home, and I cried,” activist Danny Rivera told NPR. “I cried my eyes out because I don't know the next time we'll see a black mayor in our city.”
However, Rev. Eugene Rivers, a longtime black community leader, broke with NPR’s take on the election. “We can only play the race card for so many occasions,” Rivers said. “I mean Black leadership failed to produce success...we failed. Now that's not on white people.”
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