Protesters Want Columnist Fired for "Racist" Post - NBC Chicago
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Protesters Want Columnist Fired for "Racist" Post



    Protesters Want Columnist Fired for "Racist" Post
    Christian Farr

    Responsibility of the press was questioned as a small but vocal group of protesters gathered outside the offices of the Chicago-Sun Times on Tuesday.

    Most of the dozen or so protesters who gathered outside the building on North Orleans Street were supporters of mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun and were upset by what they say was a racially-charged column in Monday's paper.

    Longtime columnist Neil Steinberg's article carried the title "Carol, I Miss You Already," and mocked the idea of a Moseley Braun administration.

    Steinberg claimed his job would be a breeze with Braun in office due to "the lush displays of ridicule that would blossom in the loamy soil of her rule." 

    Dr. Leon Finney, president of the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, was insulted by Steinberg’s claims. Along with his fellow protesters, Finney demanded an apology and the possible termination of Steinberg.

    "Some things are not right to say. There is a time to be the free press, but the free press has to be responsible for what it says. Should it not be responsible, then it undermines the very foundation of our democracy," said Finney.

    In his column, Steinberg also referred to a N'Digo magazine poll regarding the mayoral race.  He claimed it was a poll of all African-American women who were friends of the N'Digo publisher Hermene Hartman.

    Hartman, a supporter of Moseley Braun, said the poll was unscientific but an open poll to the magazine's readers.
    "Mr. Steinberg insulted me, insulted my poll, but more than that, he insulted the larger black community. [He] made us sound like we are mystical, like we on voodoo,” Hartman said at Tuesday's protest.

    Steinberg had no response to the protester reactions, stating in an email that "it was a factual column, and none of their accusations have any merit."

    The protesters said they'd requested a meeting with the Sun-Times, but that has not yet been scheduled.

    Moseley-Braun's campaign has declined to comment on Steinberg's article and Tuesday's protest.