Nearly four dozen Philadelphia Inquirer journalists called out sick after the paper published a “Buildings Matter Too” op-ed.
At least 44 Black journalists called out sick, saying they are tired of being “sick and tired” after the newspaper appeared to compare buildings with Black Lives Matter, the far left group that campaigns against violence and systemic racism.
The opinion piece expressed disapproval of the property damage caused by protests over the death of George Floyd, 46, at the hands of a white policeman who kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes in Minneapolis.
“Yes, they can be rebuilt, while lives are forever lost. But that doesn’t mean they will be,” read the sub-headline.
The paper issued an apology on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough for the Black journalists who say the headline reflects the racial disharmony at the paper.
The journalists said an apology doesn’t cut it when the culture of racism and lack of empathy persists at the Inquirer.
“As journalists of color, we do more than report on the community — we are the community,” staffers said in an open letter Wednesday to the paper’s top execs. “We do our best to give the community a platform to be heard. We strive to represent the voice of the people. And we are tired.”
The Black writers went on to say they are tired of the “hasty apologies and silent corrections,” of endless “workshops and worksheets and diversity panels,” and of “working for months and years to gain the trust of our communities — only to see that trust eroded in an instant by careless, unempathetic decisions.”