As I sit watching the wall to wall coverage of the events that are taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, I can’t help but wonder how different things might be if an African-American police officer had shot and killed an unarmed white teenager. If there were video evidence showing a hypothetical white teen stealing merchandise and strong arming a clerk in a convenience store prior to being shot, would the media coverage be anywhere close to what we are seeing?
I think not. The coverage would not be nearly as rabid. First of all the racial element would be non-existent. You would not have white civil rights leaders rushing to the scene and making statements and claims that hadn’t even been investigated. You more than likely would not have a rush to judgment, screaming for the police officers head before any of the facts were known. In a reverse scenario, I can envision that the teen would be identified as a punk or thug that had a troubled history and was a menace to the community and the police officer portrayed as just doing his job trying to protect the town.
The old saying in journalism, “if it bleeds it leads,” is what we are witnessing today. In a desperate play to grab ratings, the networks are exploiting every angle they can to create the most sensational stories. They are reporting hypothetical information that has no basis in fact and playing on the viewers’ emotions.
Camera coverage of looting and riots and night after night visuals of cops in riot gear with armored vehicles backing them up dominate the story of Ferguson. We see and hear clips of angry mobs and visions of Al Sharpton with his hands in the air, shouting for justice.
The president has weighed in just as he did in the Trayvon Martin case, and the attorney general has not only spoken personally to the parents of the slain teen, but has promised that the federal government will do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this. This situation gets top priority – but lost lives in Benghazi or the deaths over gun running doesn’t?
Yes, this is a terrible tragedy, and none of us ever wants to see anyone killed, but we need to let the justice system work. The media, the administration and the race hustlers are repeating what happened with Trayvon Martin, and it looks to me like they enjoy the division this situation is causing. When I watch the reports I just see anger, hate and a wedge being lodged between people that is extremely destructive.
This is not good for our country, and it sets our progress back decades. You have to ask yourself why situations like this take the spotlight. Why, when 25 or more young black men and innocent bystanders are killed every weekend in Chicago and Detroit, is there not wall to wall coverage by the media? Why does Eric Holder not visit the family of a white police officer shot in cold blood by an African-American criminal?. Why do you not know the names of these victims but you know the names Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown?
If this attention is meant to inflame and incite more division between the races, then it is despicable. If it is done for political gain, they should be ashamed. The media and agitators should be more responsible and not fan the flames of hate.
I wonder, if Martin Luther King were alive today and on the scene in Ferguson, would the media even cover what he had to say?
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