Sometimes in life you get a second chance for mistakes you make. When Don Surber, editorial columnist for Charleston’s Daily Mail, called Mike Brown an “animal” who deserved to “be put down,” and referred to protestors as “packs of racists,” he crossed a line where second chances are much harder to come by. Today Surber was fired by the Daily Mail for his incendiary comments Mike Brown and protestors and the following statement, titled “Regrets and a Change,” was issued:
The point of view of The Charleston Daily Mail’s editorial page is conservative. It was so disheartening to see the careless words of one of our own editorial writers describing a young man whose life ended tragically too soon. Writing on his own personal blog, Don Surber discussed the tense race-related situation in Ferguson Missouri. He selected words that were unfortunate, inflammatory and, in our view, inexcusable. [….] As of this week, Mr. Surber is no longer employed by the Daily Mail. While his sometimes controversial and caustic columns were noted by many readers, few readers realize the in-depth institutional knowledge and substantial contributions he made during his 30 year career here.
Sadly, referring to African Americans with animal adjectives has a deep and ugly history in this country. Thankfully, the Daily Mail understands that one can be fully and staunchly conservative without advancing that ugly history into 2014. Mike Brown was not an animal, but rather a son, a brother, a friend, a teenager who died a tragic death.