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Why Would the Boston Globe Give Space to Racist, Sexist Hot Garbage?

The Boston Globe’s Roland Merullo posted a “think piece” just before the July 4th holiday called “In Defense of the White Male.” You know, because no one ever comes to their poor, defenseless, marginalized aid.

I’m not going to link to the piece (if you want to find it, Google is there for you), but I did want to make sure that you saw comics creator and podcaster Rebecca Cohen’s awesome breakdown of the piece on Twitter where she, as she promises in the tweet above, “tears it apart,” starting with its Not All White Men/everybody’s capable of evil (so don’t pick on us when we’re evil)/white men are oppressed everywhere these days nonsense:

She then brings up the fact that the only reason why white men have done a majority of all the Good Things Merullo talks about is because they, throughout history, oppressed others to gain power in all fields:

Cohen then points out a part of the article where he illuminates his complete lack of understanding of oppression and how it works by talking about his exchange with a female student:

You should definitely check out Cohen’s take-down in full over on Twitter, as it is both entertaining and 100% correct.

However, what upsets me most about this whole thing isn’t that this guy wrote this piece. There are genuinely people in this world who believe what this guy is spewing. I get it. Whatever. What upsets me is that a newspaper like the Boston Globe gave this piece equal weight and space. Something tells me that they wouldn’t post a piece titled “Why I Hate Women,” or “Here’s Why Black People Don’t Deserve Any Special Protection.” Yet this piece, which is clearly steeped in sexism and racism, got a free pass.

Merullo calls complaining about white men “a narrow and skewed reading of both history and current events,” which makes me laugh, as there’s nothing more narrow than not including other voices in the world. Merullo wants to talk skewed? He brings up Idi Amin’s atrocities, but fails to mention the fact that he was groomed by white, Western powers, particularly Great Britain, because he was deemed a suitable puppet to defend Western capitalist interests in Africa.

To pretend that dictators of color flourishing is in no way related to white colonialism is the very definition of a “narrow and skewed reading” of history. To mention the few female serial killers that exist as if they are in any way on par with male serial killers, but not talk about the epidemic of domestic violence around the world and the fact that women are disproportionately affected by violence from men in their lives is deliberately obtuse.

So, why would the Boston Globe allow space to an opinion that is clearly ill-informed? Why would the Boston Globe give column inches to someone whose “opinion” boils down to being the textbook example of how racism and sexism manifest themselves in society? Is that the point? Did The Boston Globe post his piece ironically to “show us” how racists and sexists think? Or are they operating under the misguided notion that, in order to protect free speech, one has to give equal weight to oppressive speech.

C’mon Boston Globe. We expect better.

(image: screencap/The Boston Globe)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.