I think the question was whether James’s piece should be considered plagiarism as some of the responders felt it should. I remember early on in my Medium days someone used one of Kel Campbell’s pieces in exactly the same way. If I’m not mistaken, it was determined by Medium NOT to be plagiarism.
Personally, I believe the original piece in this case WAS hateful, and that James’s turning it around demonstrated just how hateful, and bigoted, it was. Whether it’s plagiarism or not, I wouldn’t think so since he gave the author credit, but nobody asked me.