The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s publisher caused a rebellion in the newsroom after publishing an editorial that defended President Donald Trump’s “sh-thole countries” remark about Haiti and African nations, Newsweek reported. John Robinson Block, the publisher, followed Trump’s path of bigotry and ignorance alone, as his staff rightfully distanced itself from him.
The editorial was “so extraordinary in its mindless, sycophantic embrace of racist values and outright bigotry espoused by this country’s president that we would be morally, journalistically, and humanly remiss not to speak out against it,” said a letter from the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, which underscored that it seldom comments on editorials. The letter, written on behalf of the editorial staff, was published in a tweet because Block refused to include it in the paper.
The editorial, Reason as Racism: An Immigration Debate Gets Derailed, suggested that Trump’s sin is all about semantics. Block asked whether the president’s racism is based in the fact that he used an expletive to describe the countries, suggesting that the word “hellhole” country or “failed state” would have made it better. “It is not racist to say that this country cannot take only the worst people from the worst places and that we want some of the best people from the best places, many of which are inhabited by people of color,” it argued.
African immigrants are, in fact, better educated than native-born Americans. What’s more, Trump’s stated preference for immigrants from places like Norway over the African content is clear: he’s referring to race. Trump’s comments came in the context of a lifetime of racist statements and actions. To make matters worse, Block chose to run his defense of Trump editorial on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.