People speak out against April Fools’ article about social justice

Illinois

CARMI, Ill (WEHT)– Should White County be renamed Black County? That’s what one of the Carmi Chronicle’s April Fools’ Day articles was about. Even though newspaper managers say it was a satirical piece, some people think it was taken too far.

“You’re a news paper and you’re publishing an April Fools’ joke that’s talking about black and white? It’s just unacceptable,” Jessica Cook described her reaction of the ‘Crazi Chronicle’ article about White County being renamed to Black County after the Board of Commissioners were pressured by social justice activists. “I was just shocked and kind of appalled that they thought that would be funny.”

The ‘Crazi Chronicle’ is the Carmi Chronicle’s April Fools’ paper that’s printed every year, but the article about social justice had some people fooled.

“At first I thought it was real then I thought, ‘wait a minute, I thought it was April Fools’ Day.’ Then I saw something on Facebook and I thought, ‘you got to be kidding me,'” said Carmi resident Paul Dusch.

The April Fools’ Day article says the White County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rename White County to Black County during a special meeting. They even included a quote from a commissioner.

“The county board did not have anything to do with that article,” said White County Board Chairman Ron Mcnaulty. “And we deny having a meeting, we did not call a meeting, we didn’t have a special meeting we did no voting.”

Mcanulty says the board had no idea this article was in the works.

“And if we have had a notice, we would have commented that we did not agree with them representing the county board in an article like that,” Mcanulty explained.

Some say an apology is needed.

“I hope the newspaper don’t lose their business over it, but they should definitely edit and re-think things through before they put it in a newspaper,” said Dusch.

Eyewitness News reached out to the paper’s General Manager Steve Hartsock who was unavailable for an interview. In an article on the opinions page of the paper published this week, Hartsock said the April Fools’ Day article was supposed to be a satirical paper and not factual.

(This story was originally published on April 9, 2021)

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