Why does the powerful owner of the most alternative weeklies in the U.S. get away with saying “my n*****” at an awards ceremony?


Where is the outrage over the racist use of the word n**** at an awards ceremony by powerful editor and owner Michael Lacey of the Phoenix New Times, who also owns at least half a dozen other weeklies across the country, including Village Voice weeklies? Other prominent persons of influence have been forced to step down for similar remarks, including Senator Trent Lott, talkshow host Don Imus, and Gov. George Allen of Virginia had to drop his presidential bid. Arguably Lacey’s remark was even more derogatory than Lott’s or Allen’s.

In his acceptance speech at the Society of Professional Journalists banquet, Lacey referred to a deceased employee of his whom he’d fired in a demeaning sense, as “my n****.” There were African-Americans present and one of them was there to receive an award for her son, the late Tribune sports writer Bob Moran.

None of the mainstream media has bothered to cover the story, except the East Valley Tribune. Billye Paulson, an African-American reporter for the Tribune, was present and sent Lacey an angry email afterwards. The Capitol Times Yellow Sheet, local Channel 3, local blogs including Arizona Majority, Red State Arizona, Lighthouse Blog, Oscar Tillman of the local NAACP and talkshow hosts like J.D. Hayworth have been the only ones calling Lacey out on this.

After they did, Lacey issued an apology – which wasn’t really an apology but mocked those who were offended by adding, “It is regrettable that any phrase of mine offended those attending a First Amendment awards banquet.”

This kind of racism must not be tolerated. Lacey needs to step down. Arizona does not need a reputation as a racist state, reinforcing old stereotypes about our state. We need to send a message to the rest of the country that Arizona does not tolerate racism.


  1. Antifederalist says

    It’s the Dem mentality: get caught w/ $90K in your freezer in your Congressional office? Hey, it’s OK, you’re a D!! Allow a male prostitution ring to be run out of your apartment by a male prostitute you’ve paid to have sex with? Hey, it’s OK, you’re a D!! Drive impaired and crash your car into a Capitol Hill barricade? Hey, it’s OK, you’re a D!!

    We Republicans don’t tolerate that crap. You screw up, you’re out! Foley is OUT (pun intended) and nobody thinks Vitter or Craig or Renzi should remain in office. I KNOW there are plenty more examples out there besides the ones I list and are in the main article.

  2. FreeAdvice says

    I thought it was ok to use that word if you were referring to a dead white male.

  3. KansasGirl says

    These liberals are hilarious! I thought alternative weeklies were suppose to be “hip”. The “chickens” are coming home to roooooost!

  4. Where’s Al Sharpton on this one huh? The really outrageous part was that it was the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr when he said it. I suppose the politics of this asswipe are more important to people like Al Sharpton than his values. It’s only an outrage to people like Sharpton if the person who says it is not useful to him. How DARE this guy call Sheriff Arpaio a racist when he is just enforcing our immigration laws!!! I love it when karma comes back to bite people in the ASS.


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