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.
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.
In a letter to EBONY from RNC President Reince Priebus, he suggests, "that we can use this unfortunate episode as a catalyst for greater understanding between the Republican Party and the black community."
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.