Village Voice Writer Alerts Public to Colleague’s ‘Casual Racism’

Runnin' Scared is right...

Round One!

Oooh, fight! Tony Ortega might have to go down to The Village Voice‘s cafeteria and separate Steven Thrasher from beating Running Scared‘s new kid* James King to a bloody pulp…with his words.

No, it’s not a physical fight, because this isn’t the Norman Mailer days anymore, but Mr. Thrasher, a 3-year veteran of the paper, has a few choice words (1363 of them, to be exact) regarding Mr. King’s “casual racism” in his colleague’s post.

“…new Voice staff writer James King has come to town, bringing with him a dose of casual racism in some of his posts that I think needs to be called boool sheeeyt for the bool sheeeyt it is,” wrote Mr. Thrasher in his very long piece today, titled “James King, Newbie Voice Writer: Casual Racist BS Will Be Called BS By (Slightly) Older Voice Writer.”

The offenses of Mr. King are grave: he used a Wikipedia picture of an African-American man being lynched with the caption “This is a hate crime” to punctuate his belief that scamming up old people is not; he titled a piece about an abandoned child in Cypress Hill, “Baby In Diaper Found Wandering Streets Of Brooklyn at 2 A.M. No, She Wasn’t Selling Weed“; in the same article he referenced a Dave Chappelle routine; he uses words like “ghetto” and “Baby Mama” pretty flippantly. (The latter he used to describe a woman who was stabbed to death by the father of her child, who then shot himself, leaving their child an orphan…so…yeah, bad word choice.)

We’re summing up all the problems that Mr. Thrasher has with Mr. King only because it takes a really long time to parse through them in his article, especially when he keeps making statements that undercut his argument like this:

Now, I think it can be argued that King had a point. Indeed, he seems to be saying that crimes against the elderly should not be elevated to the level of lynching, and he’s giving some weight to lynching in this way.

But by the time you get down to the “Baby Mama” statements, Mr. Thrasher is full on thrashing:

Baby Mama? Why not just call her “Hoochie Mama,” Mr. King? ‘Cause the murdered woman deserves no respect in death, right? Because she allegedly wasn’t married, had a child in sin, and got herself killed? Is that how it is?

As Mr. Thrasher notes, he is the only African-American staff writer at The Village Voice, so when Mr. King responds to this long-winded pummeling, he should choose his words carefully to avoid another smack-down. If not by Mr. Thrasher, then by The Voice‘s commenters, who don’t seem too fond of the new writer either.

The New York Observer reached out to both parties for comments, but has not received an official comment from either party.


*Despite recently starting at The Voice, Mr. King has been blogging for sister publication Phoenix New Times since 2009. Village Voice Writer Alerts Public to Colleague’s  ‘Casual Racism’