The Washington Post was forced to publish a correction to an opinion piece that highlighted the lack of black players in Argentina. world Cup crew.
Argentina secured a place in the semi-finals of the tournament after beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout in Friday’s wild game. In her Washington Post opinion piece, Erika Denise Edwards, an associate professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, shared her criticism of the team’s racial makeup.
“Why don’t Argentina have more black players in the World Cup?” the title of Edwards’ article asked, with the subtitle, “Argentina is far more diverse than many people realize – but the myth that it’s a white nation has persisted.”
She encouraged her Twitter followers to read her post with the preview, “A history of black erasure in Argentina!! Check out my post!”
Edwards argued that Argentina stood “in stark contrast” to other South American countries like Brazil in terms of black representation. She said while a 2010 census seemed to confirm to many that Argentina was a white nation, showing that less than one percent of the country was black, history suggests otherwise.
“In 2010, the Argentine government released a census that noted that 149,493 people, well under one percent of the country, were black,” she wrote. “For many, this data seemed to confirm that Argentina was indeed a white nation.”
“But around 200,000 African captives landed on the banks of the Río de la Plata during Argentina’s colonial period, and by the end of the 18th century a third of the population was black,” Edwards continued. “Indeed, not only is the idea of Argentina as a white nation inaccurate, but it clearly testifies to a long history of erasure of black people at the heart of the country’s self-definition.”
She goes on to list several “myths” supposed to “explain” the absence of black Argentines.
Since publication, The Washington Post has admitted an “editing error” in Edwards’ article regarding the census data she cited.
“Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article stated that approximately 1% of Argentina’s population was black according to a census released by the government in 2010,” now reads a correction at the top of the article. . “While the number of blacks quoted is accurate, the percentage was actually well below one percent and the article has been edited to reflect this.”
Several social media users balked at the correction and the article as a whole, alleging Edwards was overwhelmed with her comments on Argentine culture.
“Never mind the country,” tweeted The Lafayette Co. President Ellen Carmichael. “Sport is always a poor indicator of a country’s racial makeup.”
“These articles are always written by people who know nothing about football but know a lot about awakening,” tweeted Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of UK think tank The Bow Group. “Are @WashingtonPost suggesting that there are good black Argentine players who are not selected for the team due to racism? Who are they? No footballing nation leaves out great players because of race.”
“You can’t apply an American perspective to this, @washingtonpost“Said Nico Slobinsky, senior director of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “The obsession with putting everything through a lens that matches your worldview is deeply troubling. In your article, you demonstrate a total misunderstanding of the indigenous and Hispanic history of Argentina.”
But Edwards said most of the feedback she received from the article was positive.
“The overwhelming feedback I’ve received has been positive,” Edwards told Fox News Digital. “Many people, and especially Argentines, are excited to finally have a conversation about race in Argentina. While difficult for some, this conversation is necessary to reflect on the past. I said that is factually incorrect. Some may not have liked the focus on race, but the issues around Argentina’s perceived whiteness and lack of diversity are very much about their culture and history. ”
Some of Edwards’ defenders said they saw his most important point.
“I came here to @Prof_Edwards‘ historical analysis on Argentine racial formation, but was instead caught off guard by Argentines furious at their country’s racial exceptionalism in the comments,” tweeted Jorge E. Cuéllar, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies, Latino -American and Caribbean at Dartmouth College.
“My God, solidarity with this scholar,” said Dr Johanna Mellis, co-host of The End of Sport podcast. “Shows how much this work is needed, but also the levels of vitriol that people decide to send him to present evidence-based analysis.”
Edwards took Twitter users on Monday to view an NPR interview in which she explains her experience of traveling, living and conducting research in Argentina for more than 20 years.
“Over the past 20 years, I have visited and made several extended stays in Argentina,” Edwards told Fox Digital. “Argentina is an amazing country with very welcoming people! I cannot thank enough the various friends, who have become like family, and the colleagues who helped me become the Fulbright Scholar, the Ford Scholar and the award-winning author that I am today. I am forever grateful to the Argentinian archivists and scholars who have done this work for years! It is an honor that they have received my work so positively.”
Argentina will face Croatia in the first World Cup semi-final on Tuesday.