was just fired for writing a racist column in the Sunday Times. I find this kind of stuff interesting because of the kinds of reactions you see. People on both sides of the free speech issue get things wrong. The Sunday Times should fire whomever they want and it isn't an assault on free speech to do so (though the fact that they did it in response to the outrage generated by the article is a bad signal). On the other hand, while free speech is not an invitation to racist speech, it does allow (at least some forms of) racist speech. Attacks should focus on what a horrible person he is, not on his actual right to write the article.
This kind of thing inevitably ends up with people discussing what they actually think of the offending item, as though that were relevant. Sooo... I didn't like the article and I do think it's a little racist, but only a little and with a little tweaking it wouldn't be. It was clearly written to piss people off but it was also muddled and unconvincing. This is a pity because I think most people have gone way too far in blaming colonialisation for every single ill faced by African counties and I'm interested to learn more about what the real effects were (Niall Ferguson's book on the British Empire is pretty high up on my list), so I wish he'd done it better.
Anyway, if you want to read a depressingly badly written article on this little drama, click here.