Protecting Whiteness By Any Means: An Open Letter to Ariel Levy and The New Yorker

No White Saviors
7 min readApr 9, 2020

We want answers, we need to see an apology and require an immediate retraction / modification. Your publication put out an article this week which attempts to vindicate and humanize, Renee Bach, a white woman involved in an ongoing human rights case in Uganda which involves the wrongful deaths of more than 100 Ugandan children.

*Initially we believed that removal of the story would be the best call to action, however, journalists we trust informed us that it would just serve to erase rather than confront. An apology and retraction is the least we should expect to see from The New Yorker.

We are disappointed with the experience we have had with two of your employees, Ariel Levy and fact checker Teresa Matthew. This is in regards to the following story: A Missionary On Trial in which we were contacted by Ms. Levy for interviews in both Philadelphia and Kampala. We granted her these interviews with the understanding that she was interested in covering the Renee Bach case. She never indicated or gave us the chance to consent to a story putting a woman’s mental health or stability on trial.

The lack of ethics, professionalism and the deceptive nature of your staff writer, Ariel Levy, has left us hoping that she is not representative of The New Yorker as a whole. In this letter, we will lay out our concerns, with her conduct and with the article published. We are asking that this piece be removed immediately and that The New Yorker issue an apology.

We will wait 24 hours after sending this before we will move to addressing it publicly and calling attention to the decision of The New Yorker to publish an article which humanizes a white woman and her organization who are involved in an ongoing human rights case involving the wrongful deaths of more than 100 Ugandan children.

1) We want to highlight articles that have been published about this exact same case. These reputable media outlets have managed to tell this story in an unbiased way. How were so many capable of covering this case without reducing this to a cat fight between two white women or ignoring the pain and suffering of the mothers involved? Please read through and contrast these articles with the one you have published: