It’s not exactly a common sight, but the way a newspaper in Alabama has taken up the cause of racial justice has many in the state worried.
Last week, the Alabamian Press and Press-Register published an article entitled “It’s Not a Question of Race, It’s a Question Of Right and Wrong,” which detailed a slew of racist incidents and the ways that they had been exacerbated.
In the piece, which appeared on Wednesday’s edition of the paper, the paper detailed a series of incidents that have seen a number of African American residents targeted and harassed, many of whom were white.
While the article highlighted some of the more egregious incidents, it also pointed to an alarming trend of racial bias in Alabama newspapers, with a number describing the state as being “the poster child for racism.”
“When it comes to our community, there are those who don’t want us to be here, those who believe our stories and that they should have their voice heard,” said Marjorie Sullivans, who owns the newspaper.
“We’re not against them.
We just don’t see them as the enemy.”
Sullivants is not alone in her criticism.
“If I’m in a store and I’m going to see a black person, I’m not going to go out and buy a gun,” said resident and activist James Coughlin, who called the paper’s article an attempt to justify police brutality.
Coughlin’s comments are particularly troubling considering the newspaper’s own recent editorial, which called on its readers to “stop reading about the police brutality in the news” and instead “be aware of our own systemic racism and discrimination.”
In a statement released on Thursday, the Press-Registrar said it would continue to publish the article and “treat all citizens equally, including those who disagree with us or who disagree on our policies.”
“We believe that racial issues are important and we want to share the stories of people who have been impacted by racial bias,” the statement said.
“The American press is a reflection of our society and the diversity of our nation.
We are proud of our commitment to free speech, and we encourage all citizens to take a look at our stories.”