My reply to Richard Prince’s column on Rishawn Biddle, on the Maynard Institute website. The column was being discussed in the forums.
If a white male writer in Indianapolis had written what Rishawn wrote he would have been fired, and probably a lot more quickly than Rishawn was.
What he wrote wasn’t edgy or even necessarily correct, especially in some of the original, non-cleaned up versions of the blog post which are floating around on the web. He actually revised it repeatedly and only in the fourth version did it have somewhat of a point; the originals were offensive beyond measure.
An African-American city-county council president is under investigation for ethics violations, but the end of that investigation is by no means a foregone conclusion, even though the local right-wing blogosphere has tried and convicted him repeatedly in volatile rants laced with racial epithets, all of which have little to do with the actual supposed violations and everything to do with trying to break down the democratic power base of Indianapolis’ urban townships.
Rishawn got caught up in the noise of Indy’s politically-charged, shoot from the hip blog world, and forgot he worked for a newspaper that has actual fact-checking standards and ethical requirements.
The Indy Star’s reader’s forums have repeatedly been criticized on a national level for being full of racially charged, borderline KKK rants, and the newspaper has been under scrutiny both by their corporate offices and by national journalism standards boards for it, so it’s not surprising that they were sensitive enough to the issue to go to pinks slips quickly.