The digital magazine The Root was accused of racism Wednesday after publishing an article declaring “Whiteness is a Pandemic” in response to Tuesday’s deadly shootings in Georgia.

There was a rush to conclude that the shootings that killed eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors were hate crimes after officials confirmed that six of the eight victims were Asian-Americans. Investigators said Wednesday that the suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Long, told them he was motivated by a “sexual addiction”. They added that racism “did not appear to be the motive”. Long has since been charged with multiple counts of murder and assault.

In the piece, Root senior editor Damon Young argued that “Whiteness” is a “public health crisis.”

“It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses and it kills people—[W]hite people and people who are not [W]hite, my mom included,” Young began. “There will be people who die, in 2050, because of white supremacy-induced decisions from 1850.”

Young, whose bio describes him as a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, added that “a line can and should be drawn from the actions of the white [sic] supremacist” in Georgia “to the relentless anti-Asian rhetoric pollinating national discourse over the past year,” insisting former President Donald Trump and the GOP “can and should be blamed for this and the sudden increase of racist violence against Asian Americans.” 

“The line doesn’t stop there, though. It extends back 400 years and has tentacles clawing everywhere white [sic] supremacy exists here, in America, which is everywhere,” Young wrote before referencing the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue and the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacres.

Damon Young
Damon Young.
The Washington Post via Getty Images

“But also to gentrification, to red-lining, to racial profiling, to gerrymandering, to voter oppression, to mass incarceration, to the war on drugs, to the subprime mortgage crisis, to the vast disparities in both COVID deaths and who receives COVID vaccinations, to how the men and women who stormed the Capitol just went home and had dinner with their families afterward.”

He continued, “White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.”

The Root is owned by G/O Media, whose outlets include Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo and The A.V. Club. G/O Media did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.

The article caused immediate backlash after it was posted to Twitter.

“This is the definition of racism,” The Federalist publisher and Fox News contributor Ben Domenech reacted.

“Thought provoking racism,” Twitter user Peggy similarly tweeted.

“If we simply kill all of the white people, surely then all of our problems will go away,” Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott joked.

Young, whose Times bio also lists him as a “contributing opinion writer” has not written for the Gray Lady since July 2020. Fox News reached out to the Times to inquire about his current status with the paper. 

Similarly, Young’s Twitter profile describes him as a writer at GQ. However, he has not published anything there since August of last year.





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