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On Wednesday a reader noted that the Minneapolis Star Tribune had posted and removed a column by Imara Jones attacking Paul Ryan as bad for black Americans. Jones’s column is a small part of the MSM drill that Steve Hayward noted this past Sunday. The reader also observed that the Star Tribune had not enabled comments on the column and wondered why.

Jones describes himself as a “New York-based blogger who writes about economic justice, among other issues, for Colorlines. His site caffeineator.com offers incisive commentary about our disruptive world and what comes next, and he serves as editor of www.slaveryblog.org, an online information resource on the transatlantic slave trade and Afro-Atlantic world.”

We wrote Strib editorial page editor Scott Gillespie to ask what was going on. Scott promptly responded to our inquiry with the following explanation:

We turned off the comments because opinion on race often inflames our anonymous comment participants, some of whom seem to take great joy in violating one or more of our guidelines:

Keep it civil and stay on topic.
No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

The commentary disappeared from the site because of a miscommunication down here; it’s available now here [under the headline "Paul Ryan's a disaster for people of color"].

Readers can decide for themselves if they think the opinion piece merited publication on our site. We thought enough of it to publish it online. As far as I know, the commentary first appeared on The Root, a website owned by the Washington Post.

We invite readers to comment on Jones’s column or related issues below.

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