Black Leaders In Massachusetts Want African American Newspaper Boycotted After Being Labeled ‘Uncle Toms’
It was all because they failed to support the newspaper owner's son for mayor in early 2023.
Name-calling hurts. And some Black leaders in Springfield, Massachusetts, are calling for the boycott of a Black-owned alternative newspaper after an article called them “Uncle Toms,” Mass Live reports.
In an article titled “The Worst Article I Ever Wrote,” writer and owner of the paper African American Point of View, Frederick A. Hurst, slammed 11 prominent Black community leaders because they didn’t support his son, Justin Hurst, who ran for mayor in early 2023. Those leaders included city councilors Melvin Edwards and Lavar Click-Bruce, state Rep. Bud L. Williams, Vietnam veteran and organizer Bernard McClusky, and Bishop Talbert Swan, who is president of the local NAACP chapter.
Frederick Hurst referred to them as “Uncle Toms” and had a few more choice words for them.
“They will never stop serving their ‘master’ because some are simply weak by nature and others think money is God and ‘master’ controls the money, which, in their minds means ‘master’ is God,” Hurst wrote in the op-ed. “Neither of these types of folks will ever go away. We generally refer to them as ‘Uncle Toms.’”
The community leaders held a press conference on Dec. 7 at City Hall, where they described Hurst’s piece as “tasteless,” “disturbing,” “infantile,” and “vitriolic.” Archbishop Timothy Paul Baymon wants an apology from Hurst before further action is taken. “We are calling for the publisher of this paper in his next month’s issue, or even prior to that, to issue a public apology, a retraction of this article,” Baymon said. “If he does not, we are prepared to boycott.”
The mayoral candidate lost his race to Mayor Domenic J. Sarno in the general election in a vote of 12,077 to 8,945. Hurst’s father blames the lack of endorsements from leaders who chose to support white candidates, calling them “Black Judases.”
Swan felt Hurst’s wording and tone was unnecessary and offensive. “The incendiary tone and racial stereotypes in that article were reprehensible they were not only offensive to black people but they were offensive to all people of good will in the city of Springfield all of the residents in the city of Springfield,” Swan said, according to WWLP. “He did not respond with grace and dignity.”
When asked if was willing to apologize, Hurst didn’t budge. “Just read my article. It is pretty clear,” he said. “I’ve said everything I wanted to say in the article. I’ve written hundreds of articles and I will write more.”
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