June 02, 2015

Source: Shutterstock

I sent him a fairly straightforward question, respectfully worded:

I”€™m old enough to remember when “€œBoyz “€˜n the Hood”€ came out, and how John Singleton was lauded for bringing attention to “€œblack-on-black”€ crime and absentee dads. Singleton himself included several dialogue scenes in the film in which the lead characters complain that the news never mentions the violence going on in the inner cities. Singleton even testified before the U.S. Senate about these issues. Many, many publications at the time supported Singleton for bringing to light issues that the “€œwhite media”€ ignores.

So back then, it was considered racist for the media to ignore black-on-black crime and absentee black fathers. And now, here we are in 2015, and apparently it’s racist for the media to give attention to black-on-black crime and absentee black fathers. How did this shift occur?

Repeated attempts for comment yielded only silence. However, Holland pointed out on Twitter that he has a policy of “€œnot feeding the lions,”€ which he defined as “€œnot responding to a reader’s email.”€ Welcome to 21st Century liberal “€œdialogue,”€ man “€“ always a monologue.

Okay, I thought, maybe I”€™ll have better luck with CNN’s Sally Kohn. In a CNN.com piece about the Waco coverage, she”€™d written: “€œSo why is it that in cases such as Michael Brown and Freddie Gray “€“ and so many others “€“ race is made central to the story?”€

My question to her:

Checking the initial news reports on the Michael Brown shooting from the St. Louis CBS, NBC, and Fox affiliates, and from the L.A. Times and USA Today, Brown’s race wasn”€™t mentioned at all (in contrast, the Huffington Post mentioned it from day one). However, on the day of the shooting, John Gaskin of the St. Louis County NAACP gave this statement to the press: “With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers … this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization.”€ It was the NAACP that first introduced race into the coverage of the Brown story. My question to you is, how should news media outlets have responded? Should they have mentioned Brown’s race, or continued to ignore it? Couldn”€™t THAT have been seen as racism and denial on the part of the media?

Not a word in response from Ms. Kohn.

Ah, HuffPo’s Torraine Walker. Surely he”€™ll be up to answering a question! My email to him:

You wrote: “€œIf a beef between Crips and Bloods (instead of the bikers) had erupted into open warfare in the same way, the media coverage would have been apocalyptic and continuous 24/7.”€ But if the violence had involved Crips and Bloods, wouldn”€™t there have been African American activists and spokespeople driving the continuous news coverage with complaints about the mass arrests (about 190 people, according to HuffPo), the pre-event staking out of the restaurant by cops, and the reports that the police had asked the restaurant not to serve the brawlers in the first place? Isn”€™t “€œ24/7″€ coverage driven by debate? Are you aware of any mainstream white media personalities, activists, or politicians who came to the bikers”€™ defense in the first 24 hours after the shooting? With the event over and no one taking the bikers”€™ side, what would have driven “€œ24/7″€ coverage?

No response at all. Say it with pride, he’s black and tongue-tied.

And so it went, a dozen more times, with pundits from Salon, Vox, and several more from HuffPo. The snipers had taken their shots, and now they sought cover, desiring anything but to be spotted, as they reload for their next volley of indefensible race-baiting drivel.


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