“Just because all our editors and executives have been deliciously milky-white doesn’t mean we’re racist,” said editor-in-chief David Daley. “On the contrary, we like publishing articles written by African-Americans and, for good measure, the occasional Latino.”
“Oh, this one time we published an essay written by a woman from Pakistan, and she explained what it’s like being a woman in Pakistan,” Daley added. “We’re clearly not racist.”
Salon.com was founded in 1995 by unapologetically-white journalist David Talbot, whose goal was to create “a premier news source for non-racist whites, by non-racist whites.” Since then, Salon has grown into an influential publisher of non-racist articles covering politics, culture and technology.
In response to the change that denying minorities promotion amounts to racism, Salon Media CEO Cindy Jeffers said the the practice is simply a rich tradition, common to many venerable non-racist publications including Mother Jones, Utne Reader and The Nation.
To show their support for people of color, every autumn the company throws a costume party where each staff member gets to dress up as his or her favorite minority.
“It’s fun,” Jeffers said, “and totally non-offensive, because we’re honoring them, you see, unlike those rednecks we expose, the ones who dress up in blackface and so on.”
The defense of having an all-white editorial staff was echoed by Mother Jones co-editor Clara Jeffery.
“We love, love, love minorities,” Jeffery said. “It’s just that we prefer editors who come from a certain socio-economic class, and we also like editors who are educated at private liberal arts colleges. Individuals meeting those criteria tend to be white, that’s all.”