Politico faces backlash for only having one non-white person in their ‘smartest historians’ of 2018

Conrad Duncan@theconradduncan
Saturday 29 December 2018 14:15
news
Picture(Rex Features)

Politico asked 16 of the “smartest historians” what history books will say about 2018 but their list ended up looking very old-fashioned.

Fellow historians noticed the list was almost-exclusively white - although some didn't realise that one historian, William P Jones, is African-American.

One historian argued that while government policies are having a major effect on the lives of minority groups, not including historians of colour was a bad reflection of the year.

Journalist Terrell J Starr spoke out against people questioning why people of colour (POC) working at Politico did not complain about the almost all-white list.

Important note to those asking, "Did any POC comment on this piece before it went live?" The reality is that, at many of these newsrooms, POCs often do not have decision-making power and fear retribution for speaking up. You know, like at your own jobs.

And Dr Keisha N Blain, the president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), offered an alternative list of historians.

In her list, she shouted out Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory University.

Ibram X Kendi, a professor at American University.

And Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor at Harvard University, who mentioned Politico did try to contact her but she was unable to speak to them.

Historian Peter Cole added Robin Kelley, who teaches history at UCLA in California.

One user questioned whether Blain’s list was any more diverse than Politico’s, as it did not include Middle Eastern, South Asian or Latin American historians.

They provided their own suggestions:

To be fair to Politico, they did say these were the “smartest historian we know” and not necessarily the smartest historians overall.

But next time they want to find a historian for an article, they now have a lot more people to choose from.

HT: Twitter Moments

More: Riz Ahmed perfectly broke down the difference between diversity and representation

Trending