An Official Statement on Jawn Murray from AOL Black Voices10/25/2010
[ Editor's Note : Yesterday evening I sent an email to Tariq Muhammad Walker of AOL Black Voices asking for an official statement on the...
[Editor's Note: Yesterday evening I sent an email to Tariq Muhammad Walker of AOL Black Voices asking for an official statement on the Jawn Murray situation. He responded this afternoon. Here is our exchange.]
Hello Mr. Muhammad,
My name is Kimberly Foster, and I am the editor in chief of ForHarriet.com. On Friday, we published a story about comments made by one of your contributors, Jawn Murray. On Wednesday, October 20, Mr. Murray published two tweets to his Twitter account in which he referred to Black women as "angry," "militant," and "nappy-headed."
Black women were outraged by Mr. Murray's comments. A circulated petition on Twitter reached over 100,000 users, and posts on our site and MadameNoire.com on the comments have been widely circulated.
We are still surprised, however, by the lack of a response from AOL's Black Voices considering Black women make up a substantial portion of your website's readership.
Though we appreciate Mr. Murray's attempt to apologize, many Black women were left unsatisfied with his failure to accept culpability for the hurtfulness of his "joke."
We would like to know that you take our concerns about the behavior of your employees seriously. What is AOL Black Voices' official position on the comments made by Mr. Murray? What steps has your company taken to insure that your employees will be discouraged from making similar inflammatory comments in the future?
Please be advised that your response will be published as an official statement on ForHarriet.com
Hello Ms. Foster,
Thank you for reaching out. We are aware of the insensitive comments made by Jawn Murray on his personal Twitter account last week and have reviewed the ensuing feedback from our audience. As an independent freelance contributor, Mr. Murray's personal comments are his own and in no way reflect the opinion of AOL BlackVoices or any staff member. Over the past several years Mr. Murray's efforts for AOL BlackVoices have been productive and professional. Mr. Murray's ongoing contribution to AOL BlackVoices is under review while we determine how best to move forward. As always, BlackVoices' mission is to provide an inclusive environment for news and views for, by and about the black community.
Tariq Muhammad Walker
VP AOL BlackVoices
The Tom Joyner Morning Show has yet to respond to our request for comment. Contact Reach Media at (972) 789-1058 or Maiya Hollie firstname.lastname@example.org