Many of the same black people, who marched lockstep to the polls to cast a vote for the first black President and unapologetically admitted that race was the prevailing reason for both their enthusiasm and selection, are now saying that it was beyond the pale for Essence Magazine to discriminate in its hiring.
Not since Tea Partiers protested government involvement in health care by asserting that it would bankrupt Medicare has a group of people displayed such contradictory thinking. It is old news that Essence Magazine ignited a firestorm last week when it hired a white fashion editor. What is not old news, however, is the ferocity with which black Essence critics were attacked and marginalized.
After the initial uproar, Essence Editor in Chief Angela Burt Murray responded to the controversy by saying: “I understand that this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience… We remain committed to celebrating the unique beauty and style of African-American women in Essence magazine and online at Essence.com.” Even CNN commentator Roland Martin, after a bit of bloviating, asserted that as a supporter of diversity, he does not oppose the hire.
The real cause of cognitive dissonance here is the political correctness which has returned to devour the very little angel faced darlings it was designed to protect. Political correctness was initiated in an effort to soften language and expressions which could be interpreted as offensive to disadvantaged communities. So instead of ‘black’ or ‘colored’, those of African descent were assigned the glossier, new and improved, Negro 2.0 category of African-American, and so on. A new school of words were employed to shave the jagged edges of the language which had been blamed for causing much of the emotional angst observed in the black community.
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