Friday, April 25, 2008

Racism?

It's amazing how skewed one's views are by the media. A few months ago, when I heard about the terrible tragedy that took the life of a young New York City man on the eve of his wedding, all I heard about was how this was a case of racial profiling. And today, when the verdict came in and the police officers were acquitted, I was enraged to hear the news. I could understand why some people reacted by yelling, "KKK!"

I have no doubt that this country still has a racial divide. It saddens me deeply. Though we have come a long way, the unfortunate reality is that far too often, African-Americans are still treated as second-rate citizens.

What frustrates me, though, is how the liberal media often distorts the actual facts and uses stories like this for propaganda. Imagine my surprise, for example, when I looked up the three police officers who were acquitted, and found out that two of them are black! Some how I didn't get that memo when the story first came out (though I cannot claim that I keep up with current events very closely).

I think that when the media distorts the truth in order to further their own agenda, they are actually being counter-productive, and doing more harm than good. Such misleading reporting turns someone like me - a person who is very sympathetic to the challenges of racial inequality in this country - off a great deal. I wonder how many others feel the same way. We don't like being misled, and even if we are eager to champion the cause, we don't like to feel like we are being used as pawns for someone else's political agenda.

I think it is a terrible tragedy what happened to this 23-year old man. I don't know all of the facts in the case, so I cannot speak authoritatively as to whether the police officers should have been acquitted, but I think it is probably unfortunate that they did get off. But, hopefully this will at least teach them to be a little more gun-shy.

7 comments:

Corey said...

I, too, was saddened to see this verdict. I read an article about it and I must say, it left me perplexed. But as you said, there must be more to it than what the article said.

As far as headlines that are misleading, I also noticed that last week and it made me upset. The headline read "Praying man kicked off flight." Of course, that leads you to believe that he was removed because he was praying and someone had a problem with religion, etc. In reality, he was removed because he wouldn't go to his seat for take off. The fact that he was praying really had nothing to do with it - he could have been in the bathroom or doing whatever. Uggh, I hate it when they purposely mislead you like that to get attention. And it worked.

Joel said...

'Liberal Media'

This term actually does not implicate the 'media' any less than it implicates you for choosing a source of information. It is your responsibility to get the facts, and by the nature of the media, all facts are not in order.

I can construct a list of my perceived 'Conservative' media outlets who present wrong information.

This week I received the same 'powerpoint forward email' from my dad and an older aunt who are both very conservative. I was about a great white shark ( 14 ft, >2000lb, machine of death) which was freed by a fisherman from a net. After being freed, the shark felt such gratitude for the man, that for years afterward he would follow him in his sea kayak. Even letting the fisherman rub his belly. It was such a beautiful uplifting story as presented in the email.

The only problem is that it isn't true. But to some people that doesn't matter, after all it is uplifting.

The point is that what you perceive in the news is entirely YOU, you define the news you watch, you define the parameters of attention, you define your reaction.

So, the liberal media is inside you. Stop blaming outside sources for your choice of attention.

These type of blanket statements are attempts to validify some peoples need to say that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket...

Kyle said...

Shawn I just have to say that I agree with your judgment that in this case the media downplayed the race of the two black officers to imply racial injustice. However I would also like to respond to what your friend Joel said. He believes that we are the arbitrators of news. However most intelligent individuals that I know acknowledge their limitations and personal bias. However the media does admit it's partiality. What's wrong with that you might ask? Well in the 1800s it was commonplace for news papers to associate themselves with a certain ideology and be open about their affiliations. Today's media on the other hand deludes the American people into believing they are the traffic cops for informations and simply direct information in an orderly way. Yet in a wide reaching poll of news media in both 1992 and 1996 around 90 percent of the media voted for Bill Clinton. Less than 50 percent of the general public voted for Clinton. So does media have bias? Yes just like everyone else. The two things wrong about this is that the media denies this and that they do not proportionately represent the American people. I'll leave it at that.

Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle said...

I meant to say the media doesn't admit it's partiality.

Bulworth said...

The issue in the Sean Bell case was race combined with police over-reaction, which has a record of happening in NYC.

Anyway, here is a story from the so-called liberal media, about what Obama volunteers have encountered this year:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051203014.html?hpid=topnews

At least the racists in this story are upfront about it.