Letter to the editor: Paper should not have published Black Lives Matter letter
When it comes to Black lives, there is no “but.” Garnett Payne’s opinion was riddled with oversimplifications and misrepresentations acting to divide and stoke racial fear. The Summit Daily News claims that “The credibility of our news reports is one of our most valued assets.” Allowing a piece with inaccuracies to be published is an inexcusable failure to meet their own “highest of standards.”
Other responses to Payne have fact-checked some of her claims. If the Summit Daily continues to demonstrate itself as incapable of vetting for factual information, it’s the responsibility of all citizens to seek the truth and become more informed, compassionate and loving members of society.
Black Lives Matter is not a fringe, radical or “terrifying” concept. What’s terrifying is the litany of challenges of living with black skin in America: Black men receive prison sentences 19.1% longer than white men for the same crimes, Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women, and Black people are hospitalized for COVID-19 at a rate five times that of whites. Black Lives Matter advocates for “a world … where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.” Isn’t that the justice for “all” that Payne mentioned?
Everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone has a right to free speech. But not everyone has the right to have their opinion published in a newspaper. A piece with misinformation and twisted narratives is not an opinion. The Summit Daily claims it won’t print “letters considered libelous, obscene or in bad taste” and that it “reserves the right to edit all letters.” Why wasn’t that done? They must ensure that what they print isn’t false information designed to maintain white supremacy and perpetuate the subjugation of Black people.
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