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Columbia Missourian

Distasteful journalism should not be tolerated; residents must stand up for African-Americans

By Dr. William E. Robertson
August 31, 2007 | 12:24 p.m. CDT

Take some lessons from the recent Missourian article, entitled “The Saga of the Warrens” (Aug. 25) if you want to know how African-Americans are really regarded by some of the Columbia community and MU.

After reading the article, ask yourself why the editors of the newspaper, who teach at the No. 1 journalism school in the country, would feel comfortable in allowing the use of space, print, paper, ink, time and effort to be spent on this article. Certainly they had the First Amendment right and data provided in a large part by members of the Warren family.

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But more importantly, they apparently felt they had a community they did not have to respect or fear because it is so splintered and self-absorbed.

Why would the editors allow all of its resources to be spent on this while hardly mentioning the recent deaths of Clarence Wine and Paulette Grimes, two real leaders at the University of Missouri, or a positive event like the Black and White Ball?

The anointed black leaders and the mayor of Columbia should be at the head of a demonstration showing that the entire African-American community and whatever friends they have will not allow this kind of distasteful and demeaning journalism to occur in Columbia and on the Internet without a forceful response.

Take this as a lesson, African-Americans of Columbia — you have not arrived yet!

— Dr. William E. Robertson