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A Minnesota-based publishing house has dropped one of its authors for calling a black conservative woman an "Aunt Tom" and "ignorant c--t" on Twitter.
Author Scott Colbert has since deleted the Friday tweet to Crystal Wright, known as "@GOPBlackChick," and locked his Twitter feed, but not before conservative commentator and bestselling author Brad Thor highlighted it on his own Twitter account. Thor, a frequent Glenn Beck television and radio guest, replied to Colbert: "Did you just hurl a racial slur at my friend?"
Thor then proceeded to tweet Colbert's publisher, KHP Publishers, Inc., and many of Colbert's followers a screenshot of his epithet.
By Saturday, KHP had posted a message on its website announcing it had terminated its contract with an author, whom it did not name, due to an "inexcusable" incident.
"[T]he author made a racial slur at the person with KHP material plastering his Twitter page’s background. This involved the company, and we saw the results of this on our own Twitter page this morning," KHP wrote. "[W]e find this inexcusable. In sticking to our own 'zero tolerance' model, we terminated our contract with this author immediately and his book is in the process of being removed from stores."
The publisher noted that the decision was "not just a business issue" but a personal one as well -- the company's CEO is white and married to a black woman: "They have two beautiful children and have dealt with racism often in their lives. It simply will not be tolerated by any of us here at KHP."
Crystal Wright (Image source: conservativeblackchick.com)
Wright told TheBlaze in a phone interview Sunday she isn't sure what specifically prompted Colbert to send her the tweet. The editor of conservativeblackchick.com, she's appeared on CNN, Fox News and TheBlaze TV and said she frequently receives obscene and racist messages on Twitter.
"From progressives who so-called preach tolerance...there is not a day or minute goes by in my Twitter feed that someone doesn't call me an Uncle Tom, an Aunt Tom, 'I'm not black,'" Wright said.
Wright said she gives every credit to Thor for blasting the tweet out and showing that "really most of this is coming from the left." She said she applauds KHP for terminating their contract with Colbert but questioned their call not to name him in their statement.
KHP associate editor Jerrod Balzer said in an email to TheBlaze the decision not to name Colbert came from an immediate "need to wash our hands of him, so to speak, in regards to our web presence."
"In the heat of the moment, we were so disgusted with the situation that we didn't want any traces of his name or book on our site to be found. We were hurt that someone would start such a horrible fire, then lock his account so that it all went to us," Balzer wrote.
He said Colbert attempted to "shrug it off" with an apology email to them, but that the decision to terminate him was made.
"Anyone who would stand as a representative of our company...and express such racism... well, they needed to be gone from us, right away," Balzer wrote.
In an email to TheBlaze, Colbert said his tweet to Wright was prompted by something she had posted against gay marriage.
"As a gay man, I found the idea of one minority group supportive of denying the rights of another minority group hypocritical," Colbert said. "The fact she is a very vocal supporter of a political party whose track record on minority rights abysmal also hypocritical -- hence my Uncle Tom comment."
He said he deleted the tweet within minutes of posting it, admitting it was "over the top," and "unwarranted." He said he's received more than 200 hate tweets and several death threats from Twitter users in response.
"I realized my mistake and deleted the tweet almost immediately," Colbert wrote. "Since then I've been labeled a racist (which is absolutely absurd -- especially to those who know me), had my life threatened, called far worse than anything I said and still continue to get hate tweets. I've had to protect my Twitter account, change my phone number, change my email and somehow I'm the bully?"
Colbert said he hasn't reached out to Wright to apologize and is not sure if he will.
"My use of language was unwarranted, but not sure if it's too little too late," he said.
Wright said Colbert's tweet is not the worst message she's ever received, but certainly ranks near the top.
"A friend of mine was talking to me today and said, 'You know Crystal, I can't imagine that this doesn't bother you at some point.' And you know, it does," she said. "For some reason they think it's OK to attack women. It's very misogynist."