A West Village, New York City newspaper used the n-word in a headline about President Barack Obama.
WestView News, an 11-year-old newspaper that calls itself “the voice of the West Village,” published an article headlined “The N****r” in the White House,” written by James Lincoln Collier. The article does not appear to be online.
The New York Post uploaded the print version of the Page 15 opinion article from the July issue, which the Post noted was “pro-Obama.”
WestView News‘s publisher George Capsis defended the use of the racial slur for an odd reason.
Capsis said he was “convinced” the paper should run the slur because the New York Times doesn’t.
“In this article, however, Jim reminded me that The New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that WestView should,” the New York Post quoted Capsis as saying.
Capsis also said that the writer advocated for the inclusion of the n-word to “shock us into accepting that there are people who believe and use this outrageous word,”
Jezebel noted that “Right beneath Collier’s piece is a response by Alvin Hall succinctly titled ‘The Headline Offends Me.'” Hall, who is black, said he was offended.
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“The decision to use the headline feels misguided to me,” Hall wrote, according to Jezebel. “I don’t see how its use benefits anyone, but I do feel all too clearly how it deeply offends me.”
According to the WestView News‘ website, “Each month, 20,000 copies are distributed across the West Village, Greenwich Village and parts of Chelsea neighborhoods.”
iMediaEthics has written to WestView News for comment.
UPDATE: 7/6/2014 1:19 PM EST This post has been updated to add that we have contacted WestView News, as well as added the distribution of the newspaper and an image of the article in question.
UPDATE: 7/7/2014 10: 03 PM EST iMediaEthics spoke at length last night with George Capsis, 85, the elderly publisher of the WestView News, a West Village, New York City newspaper that printed the n-word in a headline about President Barack Obama.
Capsis’ news was that he had just found out that the writer of the article headlined with the n-word, James Lincoln Collier, had a “personal interest” in using the word because his 1981 book was pulled from library shelves over the inclusion of the word.
Capsis admitted to iMediaEthics, that in light of this fact, it was a mistake to have published Collier’s Obama N-word column. However, he still feels strongly it is unjustified that he is held responsible for the N-word mess even though he is the publisher and chose to publish the article in the first place.
For context, this isn’t Capsis’ first donnybrook. Last year, at a protest in New York City, a video posted by the New York Times that shows Capsis giving a quick face slap to New York state senator Brad Hoylman. He also reportedly “hit” an intern for Christine Quinn. He was not charged.