The Editorial Board at The Baltimore Sun published an apology for the newspaper’s lengthy history of racism towards Black people.
The Sun shines a light on the lengthy list of the paper’s “offenses,” beginning with classified ads printed in 1837 about the selling of enslaved people and rewards for those who escaped. In addition, the paper admitted it had not hired its first Black journalist until 1950 and “and too few Black journalists ever since.”
It also cited numerous editorials hostile towards Black people.
“Throughout its 185 years, The Baltimore Sun has served an important role in Maryland: uncovering corruption, influencing policy, informing businesses, and enlightening communities. But legacies like ours are often complicated. We bore witness to many injustices across generations, and while we worked to reverse many of them, some we made worse,” the editorial board began in its address to readers. “Instead of using its platforms, which at times included both a morning and evening newspaper, to question and strike down racism, The Baltimore Sun frequently employed prejudice as a tool of the times. It fed the fear and anxiety of white readers with stereotypes and caricatures that reinforced their erroneous beliefs about Black Americans.”
“Through its news coverage and editorial opinions, The Sun sharpened, preserved, and furthered the structural racism that still subjugates Black Marylanders in our communities today. African Americans systematically have been denied equal opportunity and access in every sector of life — including health care, employment, education, housing, personal wealth, the justice system, and civic participation. They have been refused the freedom to simply be, without the weight of oppression on their backs. For this, we are deeply ashamed and profoundly sorry,” the board continued.
“The paper’s prejudice hurt people. It hurt families, it hurt communities, and it hurt the nation as a whole by prolonging and propagating the notion that the color of someone’s skin has anything to do with their potential or their worth to the wider world,” the editorial board wrote.
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The Sun also noted the steps it has taken to right wrongs, including the launch of a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reporting team,” “developing a cultural competency style guide,” and “forming outreach committees” to improve the representation of Baltimore residents.
What other U.S. outlets are going to issue their apology?