To: Chuck Dunham, Editor-in-chief of The Record (Montezuma, IA)
Chuck Dunham of The Record: Apologize For Your Paper's Racist Comments
Print a public apology for your paper's offensive comments regarding people of color employed at the University of Iowa.
Why is this important?
There's no place in Iowa for racism. The state of Iowa has been a leader on civil rights and respect for diversity ever since its founding.
But Thursday's edition of The Record, a local newspaper in Montezuma, IA, included comments that are hard to read as anything but racist and disgusting.
The introduction to a listing of salaries paid to staff at the University of Iowa included the words "The relatively high numbers of employees with names from Asia and the Near East is interesting. While there are SMiths (sic) and Jones, there are eleven Ahmeds to only 30 Browns." While it's offensive to hint that suspicions should be raised based on a person's name, a later comment was even more shocking: "Hyphenated, unspellable, and oriental names may get you the big bucks."
All people should have their work judged in a manner independent of their race, and shouldn't have their salaries questioned simply because their names or culture are unfamiliar. The Record's comments suggest that people of color and people with unfamiliar names are intrinsically less capable of serving the public than the average person.
Editor-in-chief Chuck Dunham owes an apology to not only people of color at the University of Iowa, but to the people of Montezuma and all of Iowa whose tolerant reputation he has besmirched.
Mr. Dunham, it's time to apologize for your paper's racist and disgusting remarks.
UPDATE: Progress Iowa, a statewide progressive advocacy group, has discovered that Republican State Representative David Maxwell of Gibson, Iowa was responsible for having copies of The Record (including the racist comments) distributed to all Iowa state representatives on Thursday. Rep. Maxwell's picture is actually printed on the back of Thursday's paper, along with an ad for his company, Maxwell Tiling.