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A black journalists organization slammed a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist for his op-ed in which he says that American slavery wasn’t so bad, Raw Story reports. The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation called the piece “egregiously ignorant,” and said a response was necessary because the newspaper gave the column credibility by printing it.

Jack Kelly’s column, titled “Remnants of Slavery: White Guilt Is Not Helping Black America,” opines that slavery was not benign, but slaves in the American South and British West Indies “were treated less harshly than in most other places where slavery has been practiced—especially in ancient times.”

African Americans today are not suffering any consequences and should stop blaming white racism for their social dysfunctions, he argues. Kelly goes a step further and says that black Americans are mostly “better off than if their ancestors had remained in Africa.” 

In a statement condemning the column, the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation notes that historians, sociologists and psychologists widely agree that American slavery “was uniquely pernicious in its practice and long-term debilitating effects on slaves and their descendants.” Slavery’s legacy can be seen in the racial disparities in education, economics and other areas, the group notes.

The organization calls the op-ed “a blight on journalism” and criticizes the newspaper for printing it.

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