Kenneth Eng took the fall for this, but AsianWeek's editors are the ones to blame. They too should be fired.
"I don't hate asians, but after this doofus, I know there is at least ONE asian I dislike intensely.
Posted by: Brian Schlosser | Feb 26, 2007 2:58:04 PM - WIRED Message Board"
'Hate Blacks' writer dismissed by AsianWeek
Leslie Fulbright, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, March 1, 2007
The 22-year-old author of a column titled "Why I Hate Blacks" in the regional newspaper AsianWeek has been dismissed, and the paper's editors said Wednesday that they suffered "a serious lapse in editorial judgment" when they published his column.
Editor at large Ted Fang said Wednesday at a news conference organized by the San Francisco branch of the NAACP that Kenneth Eng, who lives in New York, will not write again for the free weekly.
"The failing of our editorial process in allowing this piece to go forward was an insensitive and callous mistake that should never have been made by our publication," Fang said."As a publication whose motto is (to be) the voice of the Asian American community, we are humbled and overwhelmed at reader response not only chastising our editorial process but strongly urging our paper to sever all ties to this contributor."
Eng, a regular contributor who wrote roughly every two weeks from November until this week's edition, offered in the column "a list of reasons why we should discriminate against blacks."
He called himself an "Asian supremacist" in another of his columns, which ran under the label "God of the Universe."
Some of the paper's critics have said the editors who approved this week's column should be held accountable for its contents, but Fang has so far refused to address the subject.
"We think the editor responsible for green-lighting the column should be removed," said Keith Kamisugi of the Equal Justice Society, one of the sponsors of a petition demanding that AsianWeek terminate Eng, counter the column in print and review its processes.
"Removing Eng was a small part of the problem. We are looking for journalistic responsibility at AsianWeek," he said.
The newspaper's editor in chief, Samson Wong, did not attend the news conference, which brought leaders from various civil rights and faith-based organizations together both to condemn the column and to discuss improving race relations in the city.
Another conversation on the column is planned Friday, when New America Media, a national coalition of ethnic media outlets based in San Francisco, has invited community leaders to discuss the media's role in fostering greater understanding between Asian Americans and African Americans.
Some Asian American leaders are upset the meeting was planned so quickly. Several groups asked in a letter sent Wednesday on Equal Justice Society letterhead that the meeting be postponed to allow more people to get involved and to ensure the discussion centers on the damage done by the column.
Amos Brown, the leader of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, will be out of town for the meeting but explained his feelings during the news conference Wednesday.
"I hope we will go forth seizing the opportunity to do a better job of racial relations and interfaith and intergroup activities," Brown said. "We are not here to castigate anyone, we are simply here to say we have a problem in the human family in San Francisco."
Dan Daniels, a representative for the California branch of the NAACP, said he was appalled by the column and said it indicates there is still a need for the civil rights organization.
He said the column, published Feb. 23 in the free weekly, was grounds for firing and applauded the editors' decision to let Eng go.
"Racism is very much alive and well," said Doris Ward, a former San Francisco supervisor and city assessor, who also spoke. "All of us here are responsible for doing something."
This wasn't Eng's first inflammatory piece, but it is the only one Fang acknowledged he was mistaken to publish.
When asked why he allowed Eng to continue writing for the paper after producing columns titled "Why I Hate Asians" and "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us," Fang would say only that the editorial decision process is under review.
Brown called the column a "fluke," commended Fang for attending the meeting and accepted his apology for printing the racist words.
He said he hoped to find a way to reach out to Eng and teach and inform him.
Eng could not be reached for comment.
The meeting sponsored by New America Media is set for 10 a.m. Friday at the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, 1044 Stockton St.
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