Atlanta Journal-Constitution apologizes for weird tweet

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution apologized Wednesday for a tweet about a lottery winner that said he could now “get 40 acres and a whole lotta mules.”

“The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sincerely regrets an earlier Twitter message that contained an inappropriate statement,” Editor Kevin Riley said in a statement e-mailed to Poynter. “We took immediate action to apologize via social media and on our website and will issue an apology in Thursday morning’s print edition.”

The tweet was about a person from Powder Springs, Ga., named Willie Lynch. Here’s a screenshot:

That appears to be a reference to a rule by Union Gen. William Sherman that redistributed land to black families during the Civil War. (The “mule” part came later, Henry Louis Gates Jr. writes in a fascinating history.)

Even odder, Lynch shares his name with the supposed author of a famous (and probably fake) speech about slaveholding.

Earlier Wednesday, the AJC apologized on Twitter:


The paper is “reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again,” Riley’s statement said. “Additionally, we are taking the appropriate disciplinary action with the individuals involved.”

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  • JTFloore

    hell, yeah. and i’m sure ol’ willie agrees. he CAN get a whole lot more than 40 acres and a mule. good for him. maybe he’ll end up with 80 acres and two mules, which would beat most of us. maybe he’ll let us know. do follow up, ajc.

  • LydiasDad

    Quit being so sensitive people. I wish people would just stop apologizing every time someone is offended. Tell them to suck it up.