Wendy Bell was a reporter for WTAE in Pittsburgh for 18 years. She won 21 regional Emmy Awards. She was one of the most respected journalists in the entire region.
And her entire career was destroyed because she made a post on Facebook, which some experts say simply stated what everyone already knows.
In response to a March 9 shooting in the adjacent borough of Wilkinsburg that left five women and an unborn child dead, Bell said: “You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday… They are young black men likely teens or in their early 20s.”
Bell went on to describe the likely killers as young men who come from broken families and have been involved in the legal system before.
Since her termination, Bell has blasted her old employer for not giving her a “fair shake” and said the entire episode “makes me sick.” She told the Associated Press: “What matters is what’s going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country. … I live next to three war-torn communities in the city of Pittsburgh, that I love dearly… The problem needs to be addressed.”
One black civil rights leader says she is absolutely right. Jesse Lee Peterson, a WND columnist, has tried to combat black-on-black crime for years through his nonprofit organization BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny). He argues silencing people like Bell only makes the situation worse for black Americans.
“Wendy Bell didn’t do anything wrong,” Peterson told WND. “She simply told the truth. She told the truth because she cares about black people. We’ve allowed things to get out of control and political correctness now says whites don’t have the right to tell the truth about crime and immorality. This is terrible for blacks and for our country. We’ve seen countless examples of whites being punished and fired for expressing their opinions and obvious truths about blacks.
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“Silencing whites hurts blacks and society. So many whites have been punished for telling the truth that they’re afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. Until whites overcome their fear, these firings and public humiliation will continue.”
Peterson, author of “The Antidote: Healing America From the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood,” says Bell was fundamentally right about the causes of black crime.
“There’s a problem with the breakdown of the black family and a lack of moral character that brings on the crime,” said Peterson. “It’s not offensive to tell the truth. Only people who are wrong and don’t want to admit or be reminded of their wrongdoing get angry at whites that speak the truth. They want to attack and punish whites for speaking up because they want to remain in denial. These people are angry, and they hate and blame others for their problems.”
As of this writing, there have still been no arrests in the Wilkinsburg shooting, though police say they have suspects. Twenty-nine-year-old Cheron Shelton, who is African-American, has been questioned about the Wilkinsburg shootings, though he has so far only been charged with unrelated crimes.
According to the 2014 report from the Pittsburgh police, the vast majority of those arrested for homicide, rape, and robbery are black males, although the city is majority white and has been characterized as one of the least diverse cities in the United States. In recent years, the city has seen protests by black residents against urban violence.
Colin Flaherty, who chronicled black violence nationwide in his book “White Girl Bleed A Lot,” noted the irony of Bell being fired even though the purpose of her post was to try to defend black people. He observed Bell’s now-deleted post contained tributes to young African Americans who were working hard and being productive.
Flaherty called even Bell’s initial post “apologetic.” Nonetheless, he said, Bell was still fired.
“Pittsburgh has an enormous problem with black mob violence, black-on-white crime and black-on-black crime,” Flaherty said. “Pittsburgh also has an enormous problem with reporters and public officials who ignore, deny, condone, excuse, encourage and even lie about it. What this country really needs is some hard-hitting reporting, where we don’t spend most of the story apologizing for offending the people who support criminals.”
Flaherty said though many black activists may bemoan black crime, they still mobilize to shut down anyone who talks about it.
“A few years ago, you even had a campaign where activists said covering black criminals was making black people feel bad, and was thus creating more crime,” he said.
Pittsburgh resident Damon Young, a columnist for Ebony magazine and the founder of the website “VerySmartBrothas,” had earlier characterized Bell’s Facebook post as a “screed” that served as an example of white privilege. Reacting to her termination, Young said he had not intended to get her fired but did not feel bad for her. He wrote: “She very much deserved to get fired. She earned this.”
Jack Cashill, a WND columnist and the author of “Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism,” characterized the entire episode as yet another example of the misplaced priorities of the mainstream media.
“The media elite are more comfortable letting black people die than making them angry,” he told WND. “In Pittsburgh, they proved that by firing Ms. Bell for an informed speculation about some killers of black people that will almost assuredly prove to be true. The station was within its rights to fire her, but the move was cowardly and ultimately self-defeating.”
And Peterson sees not just the usual media distortion, but a deeply sinister and harmful racial double standard.
“It’s what we see all the time,” Peterson said. “You see it with black comedians, politicians, and the most of the media. Blacks are able to say whatever they want about whites, but whites aren’t allowed the same freedom.”
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