By Jueseppi B.
Richard Cohen is a syndicated columnist for the paper and has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist four times.
In July, he wrote a column justifying the racial profiling that led to the murder of unarmed Trayvon Martin.1 In September, he blamed Miley Cyrus and the MTV Video Music Awards for “so-called Steubenville rape,” adding that the issue in Steubenville was less about criminality and more about “decency.”
Now he’s gone too far–way, way too far–again. Yesterday he wrote a column suggesting that interracial marriage is offensive to many Americans and makes them want to “gag.”
His op-ed is going viral and people everywhere are outraged. The New York Observer calls it a “horribly racist” column.3Newsweek calls him a “menace to readers.”4 Calls for him to be axed are growing.”
Enough. Racism, sexism and victim blaming have no place in our discourse. This isn’t a one-time mistake from Cohen–it follows a long history of deeply offensive rhetoric. And The Washington Post needs to know that this time, we’re not letting them sweep it under the rug.
Here’s the full quote:
People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)
Equality at a higher frequency is our guiding principle, and we’re gagging at the thought that a respected publication like the Post, on which millions of people depend for news and opinion, keeps publishing this guy’s columns. His long history also includes:
- Being reprimanded for inappropriate behavior and moved to a different office 12 floors higher by the Post over his harassment of a 23-year-old female co-worker, including telling her to “stand up and turn around” and that she “looked good in black.”
- And after he defended rapist Roman Polanski, writing, “There is no doubt also that after all these years there is something stale about the case, not to mention a ‘victim,’ Samantha Geimer” and “[Polanski] ran from the prospect of a judge who was going to make his reputation at Polanski’s expense and send him to jail for a very long time. I would have done the same.”
The growing stain on the Post that is Richard Cohen won’t change his views, because the Post keeps publishing them. So it’s time for us to take a stand. Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos recently bought the newspaper and is looking for ways to improve it. Now’s our chance to make it clear that readers will continue to leave unless Cohen is fired.
Too many of his columns spew sexism and racism that justify and legitimize the culture that we’re fighting to change. Rape and racism culture is about more than just the perpretators–now’s our chance to do something about the enablers. The Washington Post needs to do the right thing, and cut Cohen loose