A heated debate is being waged on Twitter about the newly hired lead technology writer for the New York Times, Sarah Jeong. Conservatives brought attention to her tweets which made sarcastic remarks about Whites. Public outrage followed.
Liam Emsa @LiamEmsa tweeted that he ‘can not support @nytimes if the editorial board has someone on it who feels it’s OK to make blanket bigoted statements about an entire race.
Read More: [The Utility of White-Bashing]
Daniel Chang @718dc30521h said that he had “never been out of the U.S. but my parents are from South Korea and they have never had any hate towards anyone, period. She’s a disgrace to Americans, Koreans, and the entire human race.”
I’ve never been out of the U.S. but my parents are from South Korea and they have never had any hate towards anyone, period. She’s a disgrace to Americans, Koreans and the entire human race. pic.twitter.com/tZoMdzsjvB
— 🇺🇸🚀Daniel Chang🚀🇺🇸 (@718dc305) August 6, 2018
Meanwhile, some others called on the NYT to fire Jeong following her remarks that include sentences like, “cancel White people”, “White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon.”, and “dumb f*cking White people marking the internet.”
Hi all, I have a statement about the tweets that have been going around:
— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) 2 Agustus 2018
They also questioned the hyprocrisy of the NYT to hire Jeong but in the past firing Quinn Norton based on her tweets. Previously, Jeong was a senior writer at the Verge and has published a book, The Internet of Garbage, highlighting forms of online harassment, free speech, and the challenges of moderating platforms and social media networks.
— Russ Smith (@MUGGER1955) 6 Agustus 2018
Norton, who is a journalist, blogger, and essayist, was hired by the New York Times on February 13, 2018. However, hours after the announcement, the Times posted information that it fired Norton because of her racial and homophobic tweets, cnet.com reports.
The editorial page editor of the NYT, James Bennet, said that “despite our review of Quinn Norton’s work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us. Based on it, we’ve decided to go our separate ways.”
The NYT published a comment on its website saying that, “we hired Sarah Jeong because the exceptional work she has done covering the internet and technology at a range of respected publications…. For a period of time, she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers. She sees now that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media.”
Jeong argued that her words were merely a result of mimicking her harassers in Twitter.
“I engaged in what I thought of at the time of counter-trolling. While it was intended as satire, I deeply regret that I mimicked the language of my harassers. These comments were not aimed at a general audience, because general audiences do not engage in harassment campaigns. I can understand how hurtful these posts are out of context, and would not do it again.”
Responding to the public outrage over Jeong’s past tweets, CNN’s political commentator Symone Sanders said that some of Jeong’s tweets were taken out of context.
“I think in Sarah’s explanation, she noted some of it was counter-trolling. It’s not racist for this reason. One, racism, being racist is not just prejudice, it’s prejudice plus power. So one could argue that some of her tweets, even within context, note that she has a prejudice, perhaps, against White men. But that, in fact, does not make her racist,” she said in an interview with Don Lemon from CNN.