The New York Times' White People Problem

Posted by Cord Jefferson

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The Grey Lady is at it again. Last month, under the title "Rising Wealth Inequality: Should We Care?" the New York Times published an op-ed debate between nine financial experts, not a single one of whom was a person of color. Black Americans have barely one-tenth the wealth of white Americans, so one would think it might be important to get at least one African-American voice into the mix, and yet, nothing.

Today, the Times attempts to tackle another conundrum on its "Room for Debate" page, this one "The Psychology of the 'Birther' Myth." Once again, in a discussion about people who relentlessly attack our black president for being a secret African, you might think it would be helpful to hear the perspective of an actual black person. But, yet again, the Times went with all white panelists—and all white men at that.roomfordebate

As someone in media, I'm well aware of how hard it can be to get experts to weigh in on articles like this, some of which are thrown together at the last minute. But excuses are easy. The Times simply can't expect to be taken seriously while overlooking black and Latino Americans—who will, by the way, soon outnumber the white people covering their "Room for Debate Page."

Related: Change.org has put together a petition to try and increase diversity on the New York Times' op-ed page. Go here if you'd like to sign it.