In the Ebony-GOP Twitter Beef, Republicans Need to Toughen Up

Personal insults are never a good look—full stop. But once black Republicans decide to get in the fray, they have to be able to take the heat as well as dish it out.

Jamilah Lemieux; Raffi Williams
Jamilah Lemieux; Raffi Williams YOUTUBE screenshots

Right off the bat, let’s be clear: Insults don’t elevate the dialogue. So there’s no way to condone it when a black Republican gets called a “sellout” or an “Uncle Tom.”

And by that same standard, it’s equally uncool when left-leaning African Americans are referred to as “low information voters” stranded on the Democrats’ “plantation.”

Sadly, though, it’s stuff you hear all the time. Particularly if you hang out on Twitter.

Which is why I’m puzzled that the Republican National Committee is making such a big deal about Thursday’s Twitter scrap between Ebony’s Jamilah Lemieux and RNC Deputy Press Director Raffi Williams, in which none of those aforementioned insults were hurled, but Lemieux—who was lamenting the launch of Dr. Ben Carson’s new black conservative magazine—mistook Williams (who’s black) for white and said:

To which Williams responded, in the exact manner that he should have:

And when Lemieux realized her error, she apologized—with a side order of “scram”:

That’s pretty routine Twitter business, and that should have been the end of it. But then the RNC demanded an apology from Ebony, and Fox News ran with the story: