Posted on July 14, 2020

Another Political Sacrifice

AR Staff, American Renaissance, March 1998

Editor’s Note: In light of the recent wave of “resignations” from important media organs, it is worth remembering that this is not a new trend.

Though self-styled conservatives like to attack liberals for being “politically correct” they can be equally P.C. on issues of race. Scott McConnell, who was the editor of the New York Post’s editorial page, has joined Sam Francis and Joe Sobran as a political sacrifice made by conservatives to liberals.

His offense? Opposing Puerto Rican statehood. In a July 14, 1997, editorial called “The Puerto Rico question,” Mr. McConnell noted the obvious: Puerto Ricans are poor, dependent of American food stamps, and are often hostile to the English language.

The editorial chided Congress — especially Republicans — for supporting an important bill without much debate or caution. Mr. McConnell even dared to suggest that whatever benefits statehood might have for Puerto Rico it might not be good for the United States.

New York’s Puerto Rican “activists” demanded an apology. At a meeting with New York Post publisher Martin Singerman and Mr. McConnell, more than 30 Puerto Rican leaders took turns accusing Mr. McConnell of racism. In an article about his firing that he wrote for the October, 1997, issue of Heterodoxy, Mr. McConnell describes his response — which his employer apparently found inadequate:

When they had finished, I said, as calmly as I could, that I took full responsibility for the editorial, that its purpose was to expand the debate about Puerto Rican statehood which I felt consequential for the country as a whole, and that it certainly was not written to insult Puerto Ricans. I rejected the charge of fomenting a stereotype, which I described as a process of exaggerating a trait to give a maliciously false impression. Accurate statistics from the U.S. Census were not and could not lead to stereotyping. I said — provocatively perhaps — that perhaps some of the anger was due not so much to was written in the editorial as in the fact that the editorial broke the monopoly held by Puerto Ricans on discussion of the status of the island’s future. What I did not do — and this was probably my big mistake — was apologize for the editorial, or say that it was ill-conceived or unfortunate.

Soon afterwards, Mr. McConnell was fired by the “conservative” New York Post.