When a friend shared a New York Times opinion piece with me about confederate statues, my reaction was one of disappointment and I rejected the premise that tearing down statues was the solution for solving America’s racial divide.
Although the opinion piece was written by an African American woman life myself, our views on the subject were on disparate poles. In response, I wrote my own opinion letter in which I addressed the author by name in its title. I then submitted the piece called “UnMonumental Moments: A Response to Carole Randall Williams” to the editorial staff at the New York Times.
Though I highly doubted that even if my letter passed through the necessary filters to reach the decision making desk that it would ever be published, I was still poised to wait for the three day recommended window for a response.
Surprisingly, I received an answer. The response was far from the one that I had expected. It was not an email aksing for my tax information,or a the formal cookie cutter rejection, but instead it was stark, eye-opening evidence that my doubts and suspicions about not being published as a Black conservative in the New York Times were indeed true.
Within two days after my submission, Bari Weiss, opinion writer and editor for the New York Times stunned the headlines when she handed in her resignation to the New York Times.
Bari Weiss’ resignation sent a message to me confirming that I was not just imagining the hypocrisy that goes on in the editorial decision making process in liberal media outlets.
It became crystal clear that only Black voices such as Ms. Williams that fit neatly into the liberal narrative would be welcomed. As a conservative voice I presented an opposing narrative and was a liability to their proscribed agenda.
I continue to hold fast to my conviction that monuments should stand and that tearing them down is far from the answer to address any remaining vestiges of racism. Without a doubt Ms. Randall will remain steadfast in her belief that only tearing down the statues will solve the problems.
But, in the end, it is not about our opposing contentious or vehemently opposed viewpoints as there being a leveling ground called Freedom of Speech that encourages voices from varying ideologies and viewpoints to use the timeless instrument of the media to share our differences in the form of civil discourse.
The liberal extremism of the New York Times and countless other liberal medial outlets sends a message to conservatives throughout our nation that this basic right is absent in their publishing practices.
In the end, Ms. Weiss’ resignation provided the ultimate response to my query. It is one that I will cherish as a monument of courage and leadership. It is a monument that cannot be replaced.