Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas is a graduate of Wayne State University. Her recent revelation that she is a virulent anti-semite has caused the University to reconsider an award it has been handing out in her name in order “to recognize her role in promoting diversity in the media and issues of race in America.”
Leonard Pitts, Jr. and Lynette Clemetson are the most recent recipients of this …um… honor. There is no word on whether these luminaries have returned their awards. Similarly, there is no word from Ben Burns, a WSU journalism professor who serves as chairman of the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Awards committee.
I think removing Ms Thomas’ name from this award would be an overreaction. Why can’t they just rename it the “Helen Thomas Spirit of Perversity” award and give the first one posthumously to some German leader who also liked sending Jews to Poland and rural Germany.
Another approach would be to insist that true devotion to diversity would, perforce, include a person who hates Jews. That is a minority position (outside academia and ignoring media bias) and it certainly invokes “issues of race” in America.