[ View the story "\"Offensive and incorrect\"" on Storify] "Offensive and incorrect" Financial journalists take Bloomberg Businessweek to task for 'racist' cover.
The Stream· Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:53:59
Bloomberg's creative director first tweeted out the cover on February 21:
The Great American Housing Reboundflickr.com
North American journalists reacted in full force. Jamil Smith, a producer for MSNBC, shared his thoughts on the design.
Unsure whether Bloomberg @businessweek was trying to be racist with this cover, but they sure as hell succeeded:
@amaeryllis @ABWashBureau How odd that our "post-racial" society keeps producing racist stuff like this.Andrea Harris
A new click-bait standard! RT @ABWashBureau I know journos need web hits, but you should draw line at being racist AND being totally wrong.Maria Aspan
Wired's Steve Silberman writes:
Honestly, it would be interesting to know if a single non-white editor had input into this @BW cover.
The online magazine Colorlines.com provided the following caveat:
The artist is Lima-born Andres Guzman, who may or may not be aware of the American legacy of imagery he’s summoning here.colorlines.com
Financial journalists and news aggregators were quick to join the discussion, pointing out the cover plays on an
existing racial narrative
to the subprime housing story.
From the anonymous but widely-followed financial account @amearyllis:
“I have an idea. Let’s blame this on minorities.” “You know what would be the best? Using historically offensive racist imagery.” - @BWamaeryllis™
@amaeryllis @jaredbkeller As someone who covered the financial crisis, this cover is both offensive and incorrect. Please explain.Rob Blackwell
In fact, in the four-year period before the 2009 US housing crisis, blacks and hispanics were
to receive subprime - or high-interest, high-risk - loans than whites in their same credit score.
In other words, minority borrowers were disproportionately victimized in the bubble. But BusinessWeek here has them on the cover bathing in housing-ATM cash, implying that they’re going to create another bubble.cjr.org
at Housing Wire says the link between minority lenders and a housing rebound is tenuous at best:
The claim that minorities are creating a housing bubble through flipping, no-look bids, and 300% returns is simply not reality. Flipping is a form of fraud and not a typical transaction. No-look bids are not exclusive to Hispanic and African-American investors. No one is making a 300% return.housingwire.com
Jamelle Bouie, a writer and former guest of The Stream, posted this response on his personal blog:
It's not just the black and Latino caricatures—the whole cover plays into the widely-debunked myth that unreliable minority borrowers were responsible for the financial crash.jamellebouie.net
editor Josh Tyrangiel has
for the cover, saying:
Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again we'd do it differently.politico.com
What do you think? Did the
Bloomberg Businessweek cover go too far?