The Post: Repeat Offender

Saturday, March 18, 2006

In 1986 Radio One founder Cathy Hughes galvanized the black community to lead a protest against The Post because its Sunday magazine had published an issue that Hughes and many others regarded as racially offensive. Now 20 years later, I am demanding the same.

Post reporter Susan Kinzie insulted black and Latino students who attend Trinity University's satellite program in Southeast Washington in her March 2 front-page article, "SE Community, Classes Are a Study in Fresh Starts." Her implication about blacks and Latinos being intellectually inferior reeks with an air of white superiority.

Kinzie described black and Latino students acting like buffoons in class: She wrote, "Most of the time in class, the students are either laughing, or about to laugh, as the professors sass at them and they sass back, tossing a little religion, a little philosophy, a little black history in with the lesson at hand." Referring to the students in the Anacostia program as "part of an experiment of sorts," she then turned to crime statistics from June 1993.

Kinzie used students' phrases to profile them stereotypically. One is quoted as saying, "I wasn't used to stretching out my brain so I could think about the consequences." The same student says that she "never learned how to think."

Kinzie used the class system to imply that the once-majority-white women's university has been tainted because it is now majority "black" and "Latino." The front-page picture accompanying the story was a throwback of blacks during Reconstruction. Shame!

-- Charlotte Williams


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