Look at these Sarah Jeong tweets (collected by Arvin Navabi):
Who is Sarah Jeong, this rabid anti-white bigot? Why, she’s the newest member of The New York Times editorial board. The Times hired her knowing that she has this staggering history of public racial hatred, but — get this — they’re saying she was forced to do it by racists:
Our statement in response to criticism of the hiring of Sarah Jeong. pic.twitter.com/WryIgbaoqg
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) August 2, 2018
This is insane. Does anybody believe that a white person who tweeted this way about Asians, blacks, Jews, or gays, would stand a ghost of a chance getting a job at the Times? I believe in repentance, forgiveness, and redemption, but that is not remotely what’s going on here with Sarah Jeong. According to the Times statement, she was not expressing racism, but rather “imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.”
That’s not credible. That is, in fact, embarrassing to the Times, were it capable of being embarrassed. The more reasonable conclusion is that like many on the left, the Times sees nothing disqualifying about racial bigotry, as long as the bigotry is directed towards whites. Jeong is a graduate of Harvard Law. What is it about elite culture that cultivates this kind of racial bigotry in people?
This is actually a big deal. The Times, one of the most important left-liberal institutions, is now giving its effective imprimatur to virulent anti-white bigotry. Of course the Times is not going to say that it’s good, exactly, but as long as one of its writers claims her own bigotry was really the fault of white bigots, she gets a pass.
The Times will no doubt continue to be mystified as to why people vote for Donald Trump, despite it all.
What the Times has done in the Jeong case is basically what Woody Allen’s character does in this scene from Annie Hall:
UPDATE: I agree with Robby Soave: I don’t believe that people should be ruined professionally for bad tweeting. Not even racists like Sarah Jeong. Excerpt:
A culture in which people are allowed to seek forgiveness, grow, and go on with their lives without losing their jobs is vastly preferable to one in which armies of trolls are constantly hunting for that one career-ending tweet, statement, or association.
One wonders, however, why Jeong is allowed to come out of this unscathed when the same dispensation was not granted to Quinn Norton, who was asked to join the New York Times editorial board as a tech specialist last February and fired immediately after her ill-advised tweets were publicized. Norton had used an anti-black slur and an anti-gay slur (she claimed she belongs to the LGBT community, so this was in-group usage), and she was friends with the alt-right hacker weev (she claimed she did not share his pro-Nazi views and hoped she could persuade him to abandon them). When these facts came to light, The New York Times and Norton went their separate ways.
Part of the problem here is that people with a special expertise in technology policy are likely to have spent a lot of time on social media, and the more time one spends on social media, the greater the opportunity to say something career-ending. Again, I don’t think anyone is solely defined by their worst moment or stupidest opinion, and both Jeong and Norton probably have much of value to contribute. The same goes for Kevin Williamson (speedily dumped by The Atlantic for some offensive comments about women who have abortions) and Ben Shapiro (rejected as a plausible candidate for “reasonable conservative that liberals should pay attention to,” in part because of some gross and juvenile statements he made, some of which he has renounced).
I’m tempted to think there’s a pretty fundamental reason that Jeong weathered the storm, while Norton and Williamson drowned at sea. Norton and Williamson committed thought crimes against intersectional progressivism. But “white people” are not an exploited category, according to the kind of thinking popular on college campuses these days, and many leftists therefore do not think it is wrong to malign them. Calling out this hypocrisy is a worthwhile exercise; supporting the lynch mob against Jeong is not.