A heated Twitter exchange between Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux and the RNC’s Raffi Williams has led to a formal apology from the legendary black publication.
Lemieux has been widely criticized for mistakenly identifying the African-American Williams as “a white dude” and for describing conservatives as a “house full of roaches.”
“Attacking someone for his or her race, heritage or political views is the very thing Ebony has worked to discourage, and actions like those of Ms. Lemieux are far below the basic standards of journalism,” RNC Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to Ebony‘s editor-in-chief. “She did not even attempt to show journalistic objectivity. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s unacceptable to refer to those who disagree with you as ‘roaches.'”
The whole brouhaha got started yesterday when Lemieux mocked The Washington Times and Ben Carson’s plans for a new publication aimed at black conservatives.
— #sistah jamilah (@JamilahLemieux) March 27, 2014
When Williams, a RNC press secretary who does youth outreach for the GOP, promoted the project Lemieux dismissed his remarks with this tweet: “Oh great, here comes a White dude telling me how to do this Black thing. Pass.”
After Williams was identified as black there were angry reprisals from the right on social media.
Today, in a statement, Ebony apologized to Williams for “Lemieux’s lack of judgment on her personal Twitter account.”
“Ebony strongly believes in the marketplace of ideas. As the magazine of record for the African[-]American community, Lemieux’s tweets in question do not represent our journalistic standard, tradition or practice of celebrating diverse black thought,” the statement said.