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The micro-aggressions of Arlene Jones

April 10th, 2018 4:02 PM

I am a huge fan of the work you all produce that highlight the great things going on in and around the Austin community. I always look forward to picking up your paper and reading your articles. 

I work closely with the Austin community and I am deeply rooted in Chicago's South and West Side. I am always impressed with your work, because it highlights the good things that happen every day in the community that aren't always highlighted in our local media.

With that being said, I am confused as to why you all would allow a person, such as Arlene Jones, to continually write pieces for you, that are shared across Chicago and that blatantly use such violent and discriminatory language such as "illegal aliens," which she employed in a column published online May 27, 2018, entitled "Immigration enforcement led to black employment."

Please explain to me why your 'Comment Policy' states, "You may not use language that abuses or discriminates on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability or nationality," and yet you do not hold the same standards for your writers?

Your 'Comment Policy' also empowers readers to report concerns over comments posted that may be inappropriate. Since Arlene Jones continually uses language rooted in racist and discriminatory rhetoric, where do we as readers report concerns over actual articles? 

Currently her latest post has two comments, with one of them specifically questioning her racist tone. Please consider editing her words if there is a discriminatory tone in her pieces. 

If you all need help figuring out whether or not some of her words are micro-aggressions, then it would be my pleasure to help you all point them out so she can make her edits.

My question is simple: If Arlene Jones is able to get away with such violent language in her pieces then does this mean Austin Weekly News supports her and/or her stance?

Or does Austin Weekly News simply not care about the language in their pieces, but does care when comments are violent?

— Alex Thompson

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com