New York Times staff editor Bari Weiss stirred up some backlash after trying to praise Mirai Nagasu’s historic performance with a misguided tweet.
Weiss retweeted a video from NBC Olympics’ Twitter account that depicted Nagasu landing a triple axel. Nagasu is the first American woman to land a triple axle in any Olympic competition in history. “Immigrants: they get the job done,” Weiss added.
Here's the thing: Nagasu was born in California to Japanese immigrants. The 22-year-old isn’t an immigrant.
Weiss was quickly criticized for conflating race with nationality, and the tweet has since been deleted.
In response to criticism, Weiss claimed she was using “poetic license,” saying that her statement is a quote from Hamilton and an attempt to praise Nagasu and her parents. “Wow, this is utterly breathtaking in its bad faith,” Weiss responded to one critic. “Her parents are immigrants. And my tweet was obviously meant to celebrate her accomplishments. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable with an outlet like Think Progress making the same point.”
Wow. This is utterly breathtaking in its bad faith. Her parents are immigrants. And my tweet was obviously meant to celebrate her accomplishments. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable with an outlet like Think Progress making the same point? https://t.co/SYhmT5tqqQ— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 12, 2018
Do you need another sign of civilization's end? Here's one: I tweeted "Immigrants: we get the job done" with a video of Mirai Nagasu's triple axel. The line is a Hamilton reference. I know she was born in Cali. Her parents are immigrants. I was celebrating her and them. (1/2)— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 12, 2018
After the offending tweet was deleted, people on Twitter continued to take shots at Weiss, who obviously missed the point of the criticism and instead doubled down on her comments.
Weiss also misquoted herself during her defense, saying she said "immigrants: we get the job done," but she originally tweeted "immigrants: they get the job done." Even Chrissy Teigen chimed in to criticize her defense.
The tweet may have gone a bit more under the radar had it not come from Weiss, who's been at the center of controversy thanks to her dubious viewpoints shared through the Times. One of her recent op-eds on the Aziz Ansari incident fueled an already heated debate about consent and pissed off a lot of people.