The sign on the door of a Savannah, Georgia church where a community meeting was held to discuss the city’s future mayoral race read “Black Press Only.”
The event was held for the purpose of drumming up support for mayoral candidate Van Johnson among a group of African-American community leaders. Johnson is currently a Savannah city councilman and is one of three black mayoral candidates to have announced campaigns.”
A reporter from The Savannah Morning News said “at least two black reporters and the publisher of a local African-American newspaper were allowed inside” and several white reporters were barred from entering the building.
Following the meeting, Johnson spoke with white reporters outside and said he relayed “my vision for an inclusive Savannah, a progressive Savannah.”
A reporter from WTOC-TV questioned Johnson about the sign prohibiting white members of the press and he said: “It’s not my meeting. Again, I was asked to come give a statement, and so I came and I gave a statement.”
On Thursday, however, Johnson offered a more conciliatory statement on Facebook.
Although 55% of Savannah’s residents are black, 38% are white and occasions like this certainly won’t endear them to white voters.
Yes, I’m going to ask the question. What if a sign was posted that said, “White Press Only”? Especially if were in the South. Rev. Al Sharpton would be knocking on their door and the organization would be labeled as racist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Actually, given their last two weeks, maybe not.
I suppose we just have to accept that racism is only racism when it’s perpetrated by a white person.