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West Virginia Rant: ‘Keep Lincoln County White and Right’

Residents in Lincoln County, West Virginia got quite a shock when they opened their recent editions of the Lincoln Journal. In an opinion column entitled Gripes and Gratitudes, the rantings of a racist, homophobic bigot, originally left on the paper’s voicemail, were printed. Warning: Harsh, Offensive Language. The rant says:

We were really glad to hear that School Board is getting rid of them queers. The next thing is we need to get rid of all the n****rs, the sp**s, the k***s and the w**s. You know even them Catholics, they are wrong as baby eaters. We need to clear them people out and have good, white, God -fearing Christians and everybody else needs to be put to death for their abominations. We’ll keep Lincoln County white and right. Thank you.

The paper’s Managing Editor, Sean O’Donoghue, says that, as a Roman Catholic, he is offended by the rant. Further, many residents were disgusted. However, the paper is defending the decision to print the rant, saying that it is in reference to a local story about a local gay teacher who was recently terminated, which has recently been the top story.

However, the question is, should a paper, regardless of reasoning, publish something like this? It is clearly hate speech, as Janet Dooley, who is the interim dean at the School of Journalism at Marshall University, says. Further, the speech is threatening, directly targeting specific groups of people.

Now, personally, I like to know who my enemies are. However, there is such a thing as going too far, and there is such a thing as keeping your readership and not printing something for the sake of printing it. We all know that there are bigots out there, and this anonymous rant hardly falls into the category of “news.” I’d have left it out, or, at the very least, printed a retraction. This isn’t about censorship, either. It is about not printing something that serves to do nothing but give a hateful bigot a platform from which to spew his bile.

by Anonymousreply 2103/25/2013

Who are the w**s? And as for the k***s I don't think Hamlin, WV has a Jewish population at all.

by Anonymousreply 103/23/2013

Print it; the more it is exposed and out in the open, the more the targets get support.

by Anonymousreply 203/23/2013

West Virginia is one of the most backwards shitholes in America. The people are some of the most homophobic and racist people you'll meet.

by Anonymousreply 303/23/2013

It was nice of Michele Bachmann to share her thoughts with a West Virginia newspaper

by Anonymousreply 403/23/2013

Here is a link to an article about the teacher who is the reason for the racist comments. I can't seem to find anything about what initially got the school board to take action. It doesn't talk about why she was first suspended.

by Anonymousreply 503/24/2013

West Virginia, working hard to keep the reputation it has earned!

by Anonymousreply 603/24/2013

" Keep Lincoln County Right, White, and on Welfare."

by Anonymousreply 703/24/2013

Well, it's certainly white. They seem to be interpreting "right" rather broadly.

by Anonymousreply 803/24/2013

You could let loose a band of chimps in that state and it would improve the gene pool. What a bunch of lowlife white trash they are.

by Anonymousreply 903/24/2013

I'm sure he was trying to be ironic.

by Anonymousreply 1003/24/2013

Somebody should write a letter to the paper about that offensive letter and see if they publish it. That will validate the paper's agenda one way or the other.

by Anonymousreply 1103/24/2013

I don't think I've ever known anyone under the age of 90 to use the terms "kike" and/or "wop." Is he Archie Bunker?

by Anonymousreply 1203/24/2013

I am with r2 and think it is good to let this kind of thing (within reason) be aired in public. The racial slurs could be kept out but being out in the open about the prejudices we feel, if it can be voiced in a sane manner, can only benefit everyone. The alternative is to keep acting as if nothing is wrong and waiting for the powder keg of seething racial, homophobic, sexist etc. hatred to explode.

by Anonymousreply 1303/24/2013

"W***s" means "wops", an old-timey slur against Italians. In addition to Jews, many racists don't even consider Italians to be "white". This guy sounds like a full-blown white supremacist, not just your garden variety bigot.

I'm glad they printed it. This kind of thinking needs to be exposed and publicly condemned.

by Anonymousreply 1403/24/2013

R13, I think the other positive is that it makes clear that people who are homophobic are often just plain bigots all the way around.

by Anonymousreply 1503/24/2013

I just want to make an observation. IMO some of the meanest, dumbest people in the world live in places like West VA, Tennessee, Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

Yes, we have dumn mean people in FLA & TX, But the truly heinous, despicable people seem to congregate in these states. It's sad because they have inferior education systems, they befoul the environment, they are so anti-union their standard of living is in the toilet, and, they have rotten services.

They have ignorant imbeciles representing them in Congress, and they have local elected officials who can't find their asses with both hands. Sometimes I wish the federal government would declare martial law, and just take over the fucking states.

They need to be forced to upgrade schools & services and take care of the environment in these states and their people. We can't just keep ignoring the fact that there is this sick cancer is affecting our whole country.

Some of these have incredible, beautiful geography and potential to be breally viable instead of unravelling into 3rd world garbage dumps.

by Anonymousreply 1603/24/2013

I don't think the paper should have printed the letter, and I think the editor's reasoning is stupid. This was published on the opinion page. It wasn't a quote in a story, where it could be seen as in some way relevant to a bigger point.

So the editor had to use his discretion whether to run a vile stream of racism, and he chose to do so.

I assume the next time a letter writer opines that our president is a (racial epithet), the paper's editor will use that letter, too.

by Anonymousreply 1703/24/2013

Every publication gets weird and offensive letters like this. They just don't print them. Even during the heyday of pre-Civil Rights era Southern apartheid this sort of screed wouldn't have made it into print. This is something new. It's obviously meant as a deliberate provocation to rally the white supremacist faithful and stick a finger in the eye of anyone who disagrees with them.

r16, although I agree with you that the South is unique in its concentration of willful ignorance, one of the most heinous gathering places of white supremacist anarchists is Michigan. They've taken over the state legislature and if you want to see the "white and right" mentality in action, just watch what's unfolding with the state takeover of Detroit. In my lifetime I have never witnessed such a blatantly anti-African American movement on such a scale.

by Anonymousreply 1803/24/2013

"I think the other positive is that it makes clear that people who are homophobic are often just plain bigots all the way around."

True, which is why it is so depressing to see some people here defending George Zimmerman and all the right wingers who go after minorities and welfare recipients. You think those people don't hate gays, too?

by Anonymousreply 2003/24/2013

This is why Republicant's be taken seriously anymore, they are dinosaurs.

by Anonymousreply 2103/25/2013
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