Newspaper Apologizes for Saying Black Men Should Have a Curfew

The River Valley Times

After receiving backlash for suggesting that Black men should be home at a particular time, publishers of a small newspaper in California has apologized.

The River Valley Times, which serves the Rancho Murieta, CA community, published an opinion piece by Marcia Courson that discussed the shooting death of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police in March and how Black men should be home at a certain time, Newsweek reports.

“In Stephon’s situation, the cell phone he carried looked like a small black gun. Police have to be careful not to overreact and you black men might be better off at home after a certain hour,” Courson wrote.

Dave Herburger, River Vallet Times publisher, accepted responsibility for the incident and told the Sacramento Bee that the piece was “not acceptable.” He said that the editor of the paper was out due to a family illness and he did not read the column before it was published, calling it “a complete miss.”

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“It connotes Nazi Germany,” Herburger told the Bee. “Having a race-based curfew is totally unacceptable.”

Rancho Murieta is a predominately white town of 5000 residents.  Eighty-Nine percent of residents belonging to the white community, while 1 percent—70 residents—are black, according to the five-year U.S. Census American Community Survey.

Herburger said that Courson is “very apologetic,” and will respond in the paper’s next issue.


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