The New York Times is displaying an astounding lack of curiosity about a significant charge of racism relayed by its own editorial page editor. Brent Staples was quoting a Missourian article by University of Missouri journalism professor Cynthia Frisby when something she wrote just leaped off the page. It was a charge of racist slurs being hurled at her by fellow School of Journalism faculty members. So what was the response from the Times? Nothing. Even though it would be easy to investigate, they have not checked into her charges. Here is the shocking claim by Professor Frisby as relayed by the incredibly incurious Staples:
Cynthia Frisby, a journalism professor, crystallized this history in the Missourian newspaper this week. In nearly 18 years at the university, she wrote, “I have been called the n-word too many times to count.” She recalled jogging along a road in May when a white man in a truck flying a Confederate flag stopped, spat at her, called out a racist slur and sped off.
And passersby in pickup trucks were not the only perpetrators: “I have had a few faculty call me the n-word and treat me with incredible disrespect. Yes, faculty.”
WHOA! Stop the presses! The entire faculty of the University of Missouri School of Journalism has been placed under the cloud of racist suspicion because of Frisby's charge until this is cleared up. A New York Times reporter could easily pick up a phone and call her to find out the names and then check with the accused for their side of the story. Key word here is "could" but the Times didn't so now all members of that School of Journalism remain under suspicion.
Even though the New York Times remains stubbornly in snooze mode on this matter, many of their readers are fully alert as you can see in some of their comments:
Why doesn't Ms. Frisby name the individual faculty members that called her the "n-word"? That is, and should, be grounds for firing. Until she does, I will highly doubt whether or not what she says is true.
A teacher who worked their 18 years claims faculty members called her the N-word but she can't say who, when, where or why?
I find this quite hard to believe, given our modern racially tolerant context. She needs to name names and should not be allowed to make this kind of ludicrous accusation without substantiation.
I know that this is supposed to be a "blog editorial"... However, could we please get more facts concerning the incidents which occurred and the response of the university leadership? I still do not have enough information.
To the latter commenter: Sorry but the New York Times as of this writing has shown no inclination to wake up from its very convenient snooze and practice actual journalism.