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The Baltimore Sun solidified its wokeness on Friday when its editorial board issued an apology for having “promoted policies that oppressed Black Marylanders” in an attempt to “make amends.”
“Throughout its 185 years, The Baltimore Sun has served an important role in Maryland: uncovering corruption, influencing policy, informing businesses and enlightening communities. But legacies like ours are often complicated. We bore witness to many injustices across generations, and while we worked to reverse many of them, some we made worse,” the editorial board groveled to its readers.
“Instead of using its platforms, which at times included both a morning and evening newspaper, to question and strike down racism, The Baltimore Sun frequently employed prejudice as a tool of the times. It fed the fear and anxiety of white readers with stereotypes and caricatures that reinforced their erroneous beliefs about Black Americans,” they continued.
“Through its news coverage and editorial opinions, The Sun sharpened, preserved and furthered the structural racism that still subjugates Black Marylanders in our communities today. African Americans systematically have been denied equal opportunity and access in every sector of life — including health care, employment, education, housing, personal wealth, the justice system and civic participation. They have been refused the freedom to simply be, without the weight of oppression on their backs. For this, we are deeply ashamed and profoundly sorry,” the board explained.
The piece bullet points the paper’s offenses, dating back to as early as 1837 when the newspaper featured “classified ads selling enslaved people or offering rewards for their return.”
Other sins included “a failure to hire any African American journalists before the 1950s and too few Black journalists ever since” as well as a failure to publish enough stories featuring “Black residents in stories of achievement and inspiration.”
Clarification provided by @BmoreDoc . pic.twitter.com/GY9PmjrPIR
— HistoricWestBaltimore (@ASPIREhomes) February 18, 2022
“The paper’s prejudice hurt people. It hurt families, it hurt communities, and it hurt the nation as a whole by prolonging and propagating the notion that the color of someone’s skin has anything to do with their potential or their worth to the wider world,” the board wrote.
Some readers were grateful for the publication’s apology although not all thought it went far enough and hoped to hear from the descendants of the paper’s founders soon.
As a member of a multigenerational Black Baltimorean family,thank you. Throughout my life, I’ve had no respect for your publication due to it’s racist orientation.However, it takes strength to acknowledge wrong doing. It’s a respectable step in the right direction. #DeedsNotWords
— HistoricWestBaltimore (@ASPIREhomes) February 18, 2022
It’s a start. Now recognize this: the current governor of Maryland is a vicious white supremacist who – when not enriching himself or advancing his political ambitions – has spent his time in office trying to hurt, imprison, and kill as many black people as he can.
— GoldenCSO (@GoldenCSO) February 19, 2022
It’s taken too long. There are families connected to what the paper did that profited as well. I’d like to hear from the founder’s descendants soon.
At least I get now why The Sun is a paper I was advised not to read or rely upon.
— darrellemiedia (@darrellemiedia) February 19, 2022
But others found the piece embarrassing for its extreme level of wokeness.
So woke lol, embarrassing
— -BP- (@BDP0000) February 18, 2022
The Irony is thick here. The Sun apologizing for not pointing out the the racism of the black ruled Baltimore and the violent effect these feckless Black rulers are having on the lives of Blacks. How fucking hollow.
— ElevenBush (@BushEleven) February 19, 2022
You are a lousy, leftist newspaper
Wish the NewsAmerican was back
— Walter Ambrose (@57walt98) February 18, 2022
The Sun explained that they believe being “colorblind” is an antiquated view of the world because that tactic doesn’t recognize systemic racism.
“Our approach today, unlike that of the country’s ‘colorblind’ era of the 1980s and ‘90s, is to actively see the differences among us and work to understand: why they exist, what they mean to whom and why, whether they’re real or perceived, and whether they should be honored or struck down,” the piece read. “Pretending we were all the same never worked, because it ignored the fact that we’re not all given the same opportunities to succeed or fail on our merits; some are privileged, others are oppressed. Refusing to recognize that only prolonged difficult conversations and much-needed soul-searching, dooming more generations to repeat the cycle.”
By falling over themselves in apology for past transgressions -most of which the writers were probably not alive to commit – the board claimed this will help set them on a path to righteousness.
“As journalists, as the Fourth Estate, we at the paper have a public responsibility to confront and illuminate societal ills so that they can be addressed and eradicated. On race, The Sun’s history is one we’re not proud to share, and we should warn you that it’s offensive to read,” the board noted. “But addressing one’s wrongs begins by acknowledging them. While we’ve taken great pains to highlight the paper’s righteous actions through the years, and there have been many, we have yet to shine a light on our dark corners — until today. This accounting is most certainly incomplete. Nevertheless, we hope that by revealing some of our institution’s past injustices, we will step closer to truly providing, as our masthead says, ‘Light for All.”
The publication’s Editor-in-Chief Trif Alatzas issued what he called an “overdue” apology for its perceived offenses.
“In an editorial today, we chronicle The Baltimore Sun’s history in covering the Black community. We also apologize for The Sun’s failures in that coverage,” Alatzas wrote. “Too often, The Sun did not use its influence to better define, explain and root out systemic racism or prejudiced policies and laws. And, at times throughout its 185-year history, The Sun actively advocated for inequality.”
“It is a disturbing piece to read, containing descriptions and examples of racist statements, scenarios and news coverage. It is a necessary introspection, and, along with the apology, is overdue,” he added. “We know we need to do better and are committed to doing so,”
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