Politics

USA Today’s “race and inclusion” editor fired after blaming Colorado shooting on an “angry white man”

On March 26th, USA Today’s “race and inclusion” editor announced she was fired after taking to Twitter to respond to the deadly shooting in Boulder, Colorado, where she blamed the attack on an “angry white man.”

Hemal Jhaveri was one of many who assumed that a “white man” was accountable for the massacre at the Boulder grocery store that left 10 dead before reports came out revealing that the suspect was actually Syrian born. Editor Jhaveri responded to a statement made by Deadspin Editor, Julie DiCaro, who tweeted “Extremely tired of people’s lives depending on whether a white man with an AR-15 is having a good day or not.” Jhaveri wrote, “It’s always an angry white man. always,” in agreement with DiCaro’s tweet. 

Following those tweets, police identified the suspect as Syria-born Colorado resident Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. Critics accused Jhaveri and the others who assumed the gunman was white of racism.

Jhaveri shared screenshots of “several alt-right Twitter accounts” who picked up her tweet “as an example of anti-white bias and racism against whites.” Dave Rubin, popular YouTube host and frequent Fox News guest, was one of the accounts she spotlighted. Rubin mocked, “I’m shocked and appalled that the Race and Inclusion editor at a major newspaper is, in fact, a racist.” Replying to the backlash, Jhaveri explained that “I wish I were more surprised by it, but I’m not. Some part of me has been waiting for this to happen because I can’t do the work I do and write the columns I write without invoking the ire and anger of alt-right Twitter.”

Though Jhaveri deleted the tweet, it was not enough to save her job. She wrote in an essay published on Medium that “On Monday night, I sent a tweet responding to the fact that mass shooters are most likely to be white men. It was a dashed off over-generalization, tweeted after pictures of the shooter being taken into custody surfaced online. It was a careless error of [judgment], sent at a heated time, that doesn’t represent my commitment to racial equality. I regret sending it. I apologized and deleted the tweet.” She concluded with “This is not about bias, or keeping personal opinions off of Twitter. It’s about challenging whiteness and being punished for it. Like many places, USA TODAY values ‘equality and inclusion,’ but only as long as it knows its rightful place, which is subservient to white authority.”

A spokesperson for Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, told Fox News that the paper was “founded on the basis of diversity, equity, and inclusion” and that “We hold our employees accountable to these principles both personally and professionally.” The spokesperson closed with “While we can’t discuss personnel matters and don’t want to comment on the specifics of her statements on Medium, we firmly believe in and stand by our principles of diversity and inclusion.”

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ARTICLE: GABRIELLA ANTOS

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST

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