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Newspaper runs headline referring to President Obama as N-word

A local paper is making national headlines thanks to a questionable word choice in one of its own news headlines.

The West View News, a monthly paper in New York’s West Village with a circulation of around 20,000, ran an op-ed from author James Lincoln Collier titled “Nigger in the White House.”

If the headline wasn’t strange and shocking enough, the New York Post reports that the op-ed is actually a pro-Obama piece, in which Collier argues that, “far right voters hate Obama because he is black.”

The Post included a photo of the article headline in its piece with the offending language blurred out.e52fb280-056d-11e4-bba9-7d7983f2b13e_WestView-News-Column-618x400

The West View News ran an opposing view column below Collier’s piece by African American columnist Alvin Hall titled, “This headline offends me.”

“The decision to use this headline feels misguided to me,” Hall writes. “I don’t see how its use benefits anyone, but I do feel all too clearly how it deeply offends me.”

It’s not the first time Collier, 86, has stoked controversy through his use of the N-word in publication. His 1981 historical novel Jump Ship to Freedom (co-written with his brother) uses the word repeatedly in its text. It was reportedly taken down from the shelves from several libraries over the years.

So, why did the paper decide to run a headline with such a controversial, and many might say, unnecessary, word choice? It might just come down to little more than a strange case of journalistic rivalry.

West View News editor George Capsis says Collier convinced him to use the word over objections from the paper’s editorial staff.

“In this article, however, Jim reminded me that the New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that West View should,” Capsis says in an explanation published in the paper and reported by The Post.

The West View News has not formally responded to questions about the editorial and did not run a copy of it on its website.

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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4 comments

  1. Jackie Robinson wasn’t chosen to integrate the major leagues because of his talent, he was chosen because of his temperament. It didn’t matter how well he played, there were still idiots who despised him and threaten his life and the lives of his family members. These people made it difficult for Mr. Robinson to do the job he was hired to do. In the same vain, there are idiots in the US who continue to with this tradition of hatred and bigotry and are hell bent on seeing President Obama fail, even at the peril of the destruction of a nation. What’s sad is that the President isn’t the first Black American President, he’s the first half Black American president of modern times. These bigots hate Black folk so much that they dismiss that fact that half of his DNA is actually White.

  2. Lastly, the President is so focused on maintaining his decorum and setting the example that he has chosen not to identify with those of us who are majority of African decent. For him to have not uttered the word reparations should be slap in the face for those Blacks who voted him into office. I’m not speaking of money, I’m speaking of dealing with the psychological damage to its citizens of color this country is guilty of, publicly admitting to its transgressions, improving upon its education system, and meeting with large groups of the offended to both discuss what needs to be done then putting those suggestions in to law to heal the nation.

  3. To put it another way and to continue with my Jackie Robinson line of thinking; There was a lot that Jackie Robinson could have said or done to support civil rights back in the day, but he did not. Some believe that he could not have used his platform to actively improve upon the condition of Blacks back then because of internal influences. President Obama can’t stand up for issues specific to the Black community because whites would look at his actions as being biased toward one group. To better illustrate my point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wstg2bRn9WI

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