I’ve asked Byers to clarify, but as I read this tweet, it seems that Bret Stephens included an unredacted use of the n-word in his column this week to make a point, and the column got spiked—maybe as a result?

Four times. The column used the n-word (in the context of a quote) four times. https://t.co/14vPhQZktB https://t.co/hcDXh5zMZc
For context: In 2019, a Times reporter was reprimanded for several incidents of racial insensitivity on a trip with high school students, including one in which he used the n-word in a discussion of racial slurs.
That incident became public late last month, and late last week, after 150 Times employees complained about how it had been handled, the reporter in question resigned. https://t.co/3S8MFvrMcN
In the course of all that, the Times' executive editor said that the paper does not "tolerate racist language regardless of intent.” This was the quote that Bret Stephens was pushing back against in his column. (Which, again, was deep-sixed by the paper.)
Stephens and folks like him tend to lean heavily on something called the "use-mention distinction," which is the principle that using a word yourself isn't the same as quoting someone else using it.
I find that distinction a useful one myself, but here's the thing that folks like Bret need to remember: IT'S NOT A MAGIC WAND.
There was no need for Stephens to use the n-word in his column (four times!). It didn't clarify anything, eliminate any ambiguity about his referent or intent.
It was gratuitous. And the gratuitous use of racial slurs is vile. To put it another way, the gratuitous use of racial slurs is USE. Not "mention," use.
The Times published the Atwater quote unredacted as recently as a year and a half ago, in a Krugman column. The difference? The quote was actually relevant to that column, which was about GOP racism. https://t.co/GtmqsztlBJ
Also, just to reiterate: The reporter at the center of the original scandal, Donald McNeil, WAS NOT FIRED. He was reprimanded privately, and quit when the story became public.
Would Don McNeil have been fired if he hadn't quit? We don't know. Why don't we know? BECAUSE HE QUIT.
I really hate it when people claim that folks who were criticized for doing or saying obnoxious things got fired in situations in which those people did not in fact get fired.
BTW, I should have used the word "uttered" rather than "used" in this tweet, given the discussion of the use/mention distinction later in the thread. The context of the utterance is a matter of some ambiguity. https://t.co/9pTh0S7JJu
This is really well said, and it reflects the evolution of my own views on the topic. https://t.co/fMhUZlzsT3

More from For later read

How I created content in 2020

A thread...

Back in Aug 2016, I started creating content to share my experiences as an entrepreneur.
Over 3 years I had put out 1,200+ hours of content - posting every week without

Little did I know that something I started almost 4 years back would give my life an entirely new direction.

At the end of 2019, my biggest platform was LinkedIn with ~700K followers.

In Jan 2020, I decided to build a team that would help me with the content.

I ran a month long recruitment drive to hire a team of interns.

It comprised 4 detailed rounds - starting with my loved 20 questions, then an assignment, then a WhatsApp video round and finally F2F.

Through 1,200+ applications, I finally selected 6 profiles, starting March.

I am a firm believer in @peterthiel's one task, one person philosophy
So the team was structured such that everyone was responsible for ONLY one task

1. Content ideas
2. Videography
3. Video editing
4. LinkedIn (+TikTok) distribution
5. FB+IG distribution
6. YouTube distribution

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