There’s more than one way to misidentify a black person.
In an editorial on Monday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette made mention of “the outrages of Robert Mugabe’s ruinous [run] in Rwanda.”
The newspaper said: “His fellow dictators in Africa have done little but applaud their old comrade. It’s a common enough pattern: Vultures of a feather stick together.”
Yeah, maybe. But Robert Mugabe has nothing to do with Rwanda. He’s the president of Zimbabwe. (Hat-tip: Regret the Error.)
The Democrat-Gazette, in its correction yesterday, tried to play it off with a joke:
“The error was entirely our own and not that of our geography teacher in grade school.... The map of Africa has changed wildly since we had to draw it and memorize all the capitals back in class, which is no excuse for our mistake. Rather, our cartographic ignorance is one more strong argument for emphasizing geography, along with history, as a separate discipline in elementary school.”
Cute. But, of course, a map doesn’t have shit to do with knowing who’s president of which country.
Don’t feel too bad, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial writer. It happens to the best. On September 9, 1998, the New York Times published the following correction:
“Because of an editing error, an article yesterday about Congo peace talks in Zimbabwe misidentified President Robert Mugabe’s country. It is Zimbabwe, not Zambia.”