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Priebus Calls on Ebony Magazine to Apologize After Editor’s Racial Attacks on RNC Staffer

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus is called on EBONY magazine on Friday to apologize for the actions of its news editor, Jamilah Lemieux. Lemieux recently engaged in a heated exchange on twitter with RNC Deputy Press Sec. Raffi Williams, the son of Fox News Contributor Juan Williams, in which she accused him of being a “white dude” and attacking conservatives in the process.

The confrontation began when Lemieux took to her twitter account to mock a new publication founded by two conservative African-Americans, Ben Carson and Armstrong Williams. When a reporter with BET included Williams in the conversation, the RNC staffer expressed his concern over Lemieux’s resistance to “diversity of thought.”

Lemieux shot back:

When she was corrected repeatedly about her impression of Williams as a “white dude,” Lemieux specified that she was not attacking William’s race so much as his employer.

Asked to apologize for the misapprehension about Williams’ race, Lemieux insisted that she had. She repeated, however, that she was not interested in hearing from conservative voices:

The RNC has decided to elevate the altercation from a dispute on Twitter to a broader, cultural issue. Priebus issued a statement on Friday asking for an apology from EBONY‘s editor-in-chief.

“When one of the Republican National Committee’s staff members challenged her assumptions and attempted to engage in a dialogue, she dismissively referred to him as ‘a white dude,’” Priebus wrote. “That staffer, our Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams, is black. She went on to deride those who were criticizing her as ‘a house full of roaches.’”

Attacking someone for his or her race, heritage or political views is the very thing EBONY has worked to discourage, and actions like those of Ms. Lemieux are far below the basic standards of journalism. She did not even attempt to show journalistic objectivity. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s unacceptable to refer to those who disagree with you as “roaches.”

“Raffi deserves an apology from Ms. Lemieux and from EBONY—not just for making assumptions about his race but more importantly for dismissing black Republicans and the validity of their opinions in public discourse,” Priebus concluded.

[h/t HotAir]
[Photo via EBONY Magazine/RNC]

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.