NY Times editor says Detroit, Rashida Tlaib aren't part of the Midwest

by

comment
RASHIDA TLAIB
  • Rashida Tlaib

On Wednesday, we wrote about how Dem leadership and the media seems to be focusing too much attention on white swing voters in Detroit's suburbs while largely ignoring Black voters in Detroit.

As we noted in the story, there's a whole lot of white media bias that favors white voters. As if on cue, New York Times editor Jonathan Weisman tweeted yesterday that Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar are not really from the Midwest, presumably because they are people of color from large cities.

As Splinter reported, Claire McCaskill — a former centrist Democratic Missouri senator who lost her race in 2018 — previously said that “free stuff from the government does not play well in the Midwest," which is a jab at progressives.

Justice Democrats spokesperson Waleed Shahid responded Tuesday night on Twitter, pointing out that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are literally from the Midwest, and in the process appeared to push back against the notion that white, conservative voters are the only people who matter here.

Early Wednesday morning, Weisman jumped in with an awful tweet in which he reinforced the idea that the 700,000 mostly Black people in Detroit are not, in fact, a part of the Midwest. It sparked a big ol' Twitter fight that started here.

SCREENSHOT COURTESY OF SPLINTER.
  • Screenshot courtesy of Splinter.

Weisman, who is clearly a doorknob, quickly took down the post after people got rightfully pissed, and said he didn't "adequately" make his point.

Splinter eloquently explained why this is a problem:
The troubling thinking behind this is that people who live in cities aren’t really from the state they are geographically located in because they’re more liberal than the rest of the state. This goes hand-in-hand a line of argument often used by racists, like the President of the United States, that minorities in cities aren’t really from here — they’re some other, alien nation within ours, and can’t be included when referring to the region or state that they literally live in. The Midwest must refer to its conservative white residents; the Deep South must only refer to the guys who look like Bull Connor, not the guys who look like MLK. (Three of the four members of Congress he picked are minorities, and the one white guy represents a majority-Latinx district.)

It’s truly unbelievable to insist that a civil rights icon like John Lewis isn’t really from the Deep South because he represents Atlanta. Not only would it be ridiculous if he were born in Atlanta, but Lewis was born to sharecroppers in Alabama, for fuck’s sake.

Omar also responded, and, of course, the racist white dudes came out swinging.

screen_shot_2019-08-01_at_1.57.57_pm.png


Then a voice of reason jumped in, explaining something that seems obvious, but is apparently lost on former Senator McCaskill, The New York Times, and Dem leadership.


Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.