Detroit News pulls politics blog post about ‘The Negro’ and black-on-black crime

A photo of former Detroit News editorial cartoonist Henry Payne is posted next to a column headlined, “Why do brothers kill brothers.” Here’s how it begins: “The Negro, as I prefer calling the people that are commonly called blacks or African-Americans…”

Payne didn’t write the piece, though; African-American pastor Robert L. Smith is the author. Still, the blog post was quickly pulled by the News. Smith didn’t seem surprised when I called him this afternoon. He said he also used “Negro” – he prefers that over “black” – when he recently talked to “60 Minutes” for its segment on Detroit, and the word never got on the air.


* Ron French: How did this get in the Detroit News? (

Update — Managing editor Gary Miles tells Romenesko readers: “I pulled the Politics Blog item by Rev. Robert Smith Jr. from our site today because I felt it wasn’t quite ready for publication.

“Henry Payne was, until Monday, the editor of the Politics Blog and his photo appeared on our Politics Blog only in that respect. Henry didn’t edit or write this piece. But because his was the only photo on that page at the time it was posted, Facebook picked up his mug shot when readers reposted the blog.”