Ebony Responds to Controversial Tweets Sent by Editor

Editor dismissed RNC deputy press secretary for being a ‘white dude’

Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux
Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux / Twitter

Ebony released a statement apologizing to Republican National Committee deputy press secretary Raffi Williams and the black Republican community following controversy regarding personal tweets sent by one of its editors. 

EBONY founder John H. Johnson once said that he created EBONY magazine with the intention to affirm a certain sense of "somebodiness" for African Americans. Nearly 70 years ago the magazine began on the principle that, as black people, we are all somebody—we all count.

Yesterday, the spirit of this mission was disregarded by EBONY.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux in a personal Twitter exchange between herself and RNC deputy press secretary Raffi Williams. In part of the exchange, Lemieux responded to an attempt at discourse from Williams with words that curtly dismissed him and his suggestion that she be interested in the "diversity of thought." She also misidentified him, unintentionally, as white. Williams is black.

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EBONY strongly believes in the marketplace of ideas. As the magazine of record for the African American community, Lemieux's tweets in question do not represent our journalistic standard, tradition or practice of celebrating diverse black thought. […]

EBONY acknowledges Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux's lack of judgment on her personal Twitter account and apologizes to Raffi Williams and the black Republican community.

Ebony.com senior editor Lemieux tweeted Thursday morning about the launch of a black conservative magazine, saying "I have drinking games in mind already."

When Williams engaged, tweeting, he "hoped [Lemieux] would encourage diversity of though," Lemieux dismissed his comments as those of "a White dude telling me how to do this Black thing. Pass."

Williams is black. When asked about her comments, Lemieux tweeted, "I was looking at your avi without blowing it up. I apologize for that. However, I care about NOTHING you have to say."

Twitter users who noticed the conversation began questioning Lemieux’s comments, wondering if Williams’ comments could be dismissed if he was white.