West Virginia Rant: ‘Keep Lincoln County White and Right’

Author: March 23, 2013 6:34 pm

130320_14747_200Residents in Lincoln County, West Virginia got quite a shock when they opened their recent editions of the Lincoln Journal. In an opinion column entitled Gripes and Gratitudes, the rantings of a racist, homophobic bigot, originally left on the paper’s voicemail, were printed. Warning: Harsh, Offensive Language. The rant says:

We were really glad to hear that School Board is getting rid of them queers. The next thing is we need to get rid of all the n****rs, the sp**s, the k***s and the w**s. You know even them Catholics, they are wrong as baby eaters. We need to clear them people out and have good, white, God -fearing Christians and everybody else needs to be put to death for their abominations. We’ll keep Lincoln County white and right. Thank you.

The paper’s Managing Editor, Sean O’Donoghue, says that, as a Roman Catholic, he is offended by the rant. Further, many residents were disgusted. However, the paper is defending the decision to print the rant, saying that it is in reference to a local story about a local gay teacher who was recently terminated, which has recently been the top story.

However, the question is, should a paper, regardless of reasoning, publish something like this? It is clearly hate speech, as Janet Dooley, who is the interim dean at the School of Journalism at Marshall University, says. Further, the speech is threatening, directly targeting specific groups of people.

Now, personally, I like to know who my enemies are. However, there is such a thing as going too far, and there is such a thing as keeping your readership and not printing something for the sake of printing it. We all know that there are bigots out there, and this anonymous rant hardly falls into the category of “news.” I’d have left it out, or, at the very least, printed a retraction. This isn’t about censorship, either. It is about not printing something that serves to do nothing but give a hateful bigot a platform from which to spew his bile.

Read the story here on WCHSTV.



facebook comments:


  • I love West Virginia. I live in Arizona now but I have loved ones there. I know for a fact that many in WV are as progressive and liberal as anywhere in the U.S. It is obvious the person who left this rant on the newspaper’s voice male is an uneducated, indoctrinated racist evangelical and probably desperately poor. Admittedly that is just a guess but I will bet it is pretty close to the mark. People should be held responsible for their opinions, but environment also has a lot to do with it. It shows there is much work to be done to lift these people out of poverty and insure that everyone has access to an adequate education. Just saying.

  • The use of English shows what class this racist is! [It just goes to prove that the uneducated, ignorant among us are the Republican racists. They are often poor, also.] This is why we need to put more money into schools, make preschool free, and teach critical thinking at all levels. Since we can’t sterilize them, we must attempt to insure their children grow up to be better people they are.

  • That editorial sounds like a Poe to me.

  • If anything else, the rant displays the evidence for evolution, and in the ranters case- devolution.

  • ohgoodgrief99

    It should not have been published anonymously. I know that my local paper will not print letters unless they are signed. They also require your mailing address, but they do not print it.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. If the paper felt the need to editorialize about the racism, they could have published it with stats and a disclaimer. The way this publisher went about it and his comments afterwards, make me wonder if he isn’t a closet racist, afterall. Just sayin’.

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