Last week, a Twitter exchange between Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux and Republican National Committee spokesman Raphael “Raffi” Williams took a bad turn. Lemieux sparked the ire of the RNC and Black conservatives by calling Williams a White man, prompting Ebony magazine’s online arm to apologize to Williams.
The exchange started last Thursday, when Lemieux began a conversation regarding a magazine launching soon from Dr. Ben Carson and Armstrong Williams. In a joke, Lemieux said she needs to begin a drinking game around the concept. After BET political writer Joyce Jones tagged Lemieux and other figures–including Williams–in a tweet asking more about the magazine, things began to go awry.
“I 100% do not want to know more, I wish I knew less!” responded Lemieux to Jones and fellow Black conservatives Hughey Newsome, Orlando Watson including Williams. Williams took umbrage with the tweet, responding [W]ish you knew less? hoped you would encourage diversity of thought.”
Lemieux then replied, “Oh great, here comes a White dude telling me how to this Black thing. Pass.”
From there Williams asked who Lemieux was calling “White,” reiterating that Armstrong and Carson are Black. Lemieux then told Williams to leave the conversation, and then dismissed him. The exchange launched a firestorm of comments from the RNC, GOP members and conservatives essentially calling for Ebony.com to apologize and to admonish Lemieux for her comments.
Many of the comments, some of which that are now deleted, were violent and racist towards Lemieux. The RNC and other conservatives have not addressed that matter, however.
A day later Ebony.com issued a statement that separated itself from the comments of Lemieux, this after the issue made its way to almost all of conservative media channels including Fox News. Ebony.com called Lemieux’s actions a “lack of judgment” and apologized to Williams and the entire Black Republican community.
Twitter users aligned themselves with Lemieux against the attacks and after Ebony.com’s, starting a “#StandWithJamila” hashtag to show their support.
Photo: Raffi Williams/Jamilah Lemieux/Twitter