Isn’t it time for the media to be honest and call white supremacists the domestic terrorists that they are?
Source: Yes Magazine/Zenobia Jeffries
In July of last year, after The New York Post ran the headline, “CIVIL WAR: Four cops killed at anti-police protest,” I wrote the column “How We Report on Structural Racism Can Hurt Us—Or Heal Us.” I could have easily written the same article today.
That column recalled the Kerner Report, the findings of President Johnson’s commission investigating the uprisings that occurred throughout 1967, to determine what happened and why, and to provide recommendations to prevent them from happening again.
While reading and watching the news stories unfolding from the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, what I and many others are calling White nationalist race riots, I couldn’t help but recall the Kerner Report again.
A fundamental criticism in the report was that news media had failed to analyze and report adequately on the many incidents of racial injustice in the United States. The report noted that the social ills, challenges, and grievances African Americans face were “seldom conveyed.”
In considering the history of racism in this country, they wrote, “By and large, news organizations have failed to communicate to both their Black and White audiences a sense of the problems America faces and the sources of potential solutions. The media report and write from the standpoint of a White man’s world.” This “White press … reflects the biases, the paternalism, and the indifference of White America. This may be understandable, but is not excusable of an institution that has the mission to inform and educate the whole of our society.”
The commission found media outlets had distorted information and made protests look more racially divisive and destructive than they actually were.
They were not accurate. They were not truthful.
Today, still, not much has changed.