McNeil is the victim of cultural terrorism, and if ‘the community’ doesn’t object to his treatment, the community’s members will become victims too.
Donald McNeil worked at The New York Times for 45 years. He was recently nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his articles on the pandemic. In a discussion several years ago with a teenager about one of her classmates, McNeill asked if the classmate had called someone else the N-word or whether she had been rapping or only quoting a book title. It was as if he had said: “We should all be very careful never to call anyone a ‘nigger.’”
He was investigated, of course! And acquitted. But that was then—before the healing spirit of Joe Biden covered the land.
Just recently, however, 150 New York Times employees demanded that the investigation be reopened. It was—and McNeil resigned.
It’s tempting to say to McNeil, “Serves you right for working at The New York Times.” And maybe it does.
But maybe he worked there to feed his wife and children (do New York Times employees have children?) or his aging parents. We should examine the issue, regardless of how woke McNeil may be, because his fate may tell us something about us.
McNeil is the victim of cultural terrorism, and if “the community” (even if it isn’t his community) doesn’t object to his treatment, the community’s members will become victims too. It’s time the non-woke community said, “Enough!”
Parenthetically, isn’t it also time to see if Joseph Pulitzer’s papers ever used the word “nigger”—and if they did, to rename the prize?
Why, one should ask, is saying or writing “nigger” so bad? Please don’t say it shocks people. In modern discourse, print, and screen, the f-word and the s-word (and a lot of words just like them) are used as commonly as “and” and “but” and “the” without any delisting by the guardians of our culture.
Here’s a line from the movie The Way of the Gun, described as “an American neo-Western action thriller: “Shut that cunt’s mouth or I’ll come over there and fuckstart her head.” [ … ]