The New York Times Destroys an ESPN Announcer’s Career with False Accusation of Racism

In his 2000 novel, The Human Stain, Philip Roth created the besieged professor Coleman Silk, who was the object of calumny and hysteria after he called roll in class and, noticing that two students had never appeared in five weeks, asked the students present, “Does anyone know these people? Do they exist or are they spooks?” The two missing students, who turned out to be black, may have had no interest in attending class, but they took the trouble to charge Silk with racism.

Since Silk had never met the students, and hadn’t known they were black, the charge of racism was absurd: “I was using the word in its customary and primary meaning: ‘spook’ as a specter or a ghost,” he said. Nevertheless, Silk (who turned out to be a black man who passed for...

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Mar 14th 2017
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