As a Los Angeles lawyer notes, the New York Times has hired “a racist to join its editorial board.” The racist in question is Sarah Jeong. Jeong is the author of many racist tweets. She has repeatedly written “white men are bullshit,” and promoted the idea that we should “Cancel White People.” She has also referred to “dumbass white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants,” and boasted about “how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.” And she suggested that “white people” are “only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.”
Jeong’s defenders falsely claim that she can’t be racist because racism is about power, and only white people have power. This claim is contrary to dictionary definitions of racism, which define it in terms of prejudice, not power. It is also contrary to federal court rulings, which make clear that whites can also be victims of racism and discrimination.
In 1976, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that whites are protected by the civil-rights laws against racial discrimination in McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co. Courts have also consistently ruled that it is illegal for blacks to racially harass their white co-workers, because racism is racism no matter who perpetrates it. Thus, whites who were subjected to racist abuse were allowed to sue over it, in Huckabay v. Moore (1998) and Bowen v. Missouri Department of Social Services (2002). These decisions ruled that whites could sue for the racially hostile work environment created by racist black co-workers. Similarly, men can sue over sexism in hiring, or sexual harassment committed by women.
The New York Times may not agree with these rulings, but it should have paid attention to them, because they are legally binding. The Times denounced the Supreme Court’s 6-to-3 decision in Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) striking down a racial quota system at the University of Michigan. It also criticized Supreme Court Justice Byron White when he retired, because that moderate Democrat had the temerity to vote to strike down workplace discrimination against whites in the 1980’s. The Times’ history of condoning anti-white racism may be circumstantial evidence that it also illegally discriminates against white people in employment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
It is plainly false that only white people have power. Many affirmative action ordinances have been adopted by predominantly black city councils or predominantly black cities, at the expense of white contractors or employees. Such enactments are exercises of black power. Some such ordinances have been declared unconstitutional. One example is the racial quota in government contracts struck down in O’Donnell Construction Co. v. District of Columbia (1992), where a federal appeals court — including Ruth Bader Ginsburg — struck down a quota adopted by a majority-black city. Another example is Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989), where the Supreme Court struck down a racial quota in government contracts adopted by a city that was 50% black, and less than 50% white.