I’ve said my piece in various comment sections. I just want to say two more things.
One, if there’s any way something you write or do could be construed as you saying “Ha, remember when we could do what we wanted to you with impunity and you just had to take it?” without any hint of sarcasm, you should not write or do it, if you want the people who are of the group who just had to take it to not be upset with you. It doesn’t matter what’s in your heart. You wouldn’t ask someone you just accidentally hit in the face to understand where you were coming from.
We’re not all going to get that right 100% of the time. But that should be a baseline for civil discourse. The apology should have come as soon as Kleinheider got that people were upset and why.
Which brings me to my next point.
Two, instructing someone to “to stop pouring fuel on the fire with his responses” while at the same time trying to tell yourself “that a serious discussion about race was beginning to happen” doesn’t jibe. Either there’s a discussion in which all parties are free to talk (even if one of the parties talking is making a complete ass of himself and your company) or there’s a bunch of folks growing even more concerned and outraged because they’re experiencing what took place in that thread as them being ignored by the person you have told to stop responding.
“White man does something stupid, seems to ignore concerns of people who call him on it” is not a serious discussion about race. It’s business as usual.