(Republicaninformer.com)- The Washington Post was forced to issue yet another correction after an op-ed piece lamented the absence of black players on Argentina’s national soccer team and accused Argentina of erasing blacks.
The December 8 “Perspective” column, written by Erika Denise Edwards, an associate professor of Latin American history at the University of Texas at El Paso, was headlined, “Why doesn’t Argentina have more black players in the World Cup?”
In her column, Edwards claimed that Argentina’s lack of black soccer players stood in “stark contrast” to other South American World Cup teams like Brazil.
Edwards claimed that the “idea of Argentina as a white nation” was “inaccurate” and attempts to portray it that way was part of the “longer history of black erasure at the heart of the country’s self-definition.”
She cited historical data that she said showed that in the 18th century, a third of the population in Argentina was black. But after the country gained its independence, Edwards wrote, its leaders initiated a “whitening” to bring Argentina closer to Europe.
She claimed that Argentina believed that if it wanted to “join the ranks of Germany, France and England,” it would have to “displace its black population – both physically and culturally.”
In the original version, Edwards cited census figures from 2010 that showed “roughly one percent” of Argentina’s population was black.
The Post then issued a correction noting that the actual number is “far less” than 1 percent.
In its correction, the Post described the mistake as an “editing error.” It explained that while the number of black people cited from the 2010 census was correct, “the percentage was actually far less than one percent and the piece has been amended to state that.”
Some on Twitter cited scholars who noted that migration from European countries like Italy and Spain set in motion the demographic changes that explain the shrinking black population in Argentina.
When contacted by the Washington Post on Monday, Edwards pushed back against the criticism, arguing that her column “primarily debunks the various myths that have been used to explain black disappearance.” She said it is unacceptable to think “it is just European immigration that whitened the population in Argentina.”