August 22, 2013 /

Racism Through Headlines

Since the horrific murder of Christopher Lane, the right wing media has tried to seize on the opportunity to portray the African American population of our country has criminal racists.

Racism Through Headlines

So this happened yesterday:

Michael Brandon Hill packing nearly 500 rounds at Georgia elementary school The suspect in Tuesday’s Atlanta-area school shooting took a photo of himself with an AK 47-style rifle and packed up nearly 500 rounds of ammunition — enough to shoot more than half the school’s students — the police said Wednesday. Police said Michael Brandon Hill got the gun from an acquaintance, but it’s not clear if he stole it or had permission to take it.

But everyone was focused on this:

Three Black Teens Kill White College Student; Racial Grievance Industry Silent

Now I’m sure if that CBS headline read, “Black man packing nearly 500 rounds at predominantly white Georgia elementary school”, we would be in information overload with hundreds of posts, tweets and video clips from the right, talking about how the media ignores race. But my headline up there is wrong, but easy to fix. Let me simple change the location of two simple words. “White man packing nearly 500 rounds at predominantly black Georgia elementary school” By switching the location of “black” and “white”, I was able to change a false headline to a factually correct one. While I’m in “headline fixing mode”, I want to look again at the one by the conservative National Review. There headline is rather long, so I’m going to break it down into two parts:

Three Black Teens Kill White College Student

We know that is not correct. It was two black teens and one white. That turns us into a much longer headline and we like headlines short and sweet, so better would be “Three Teens Kill White College Student”. Of course we lose the whole thunder that comes with injecting race, which takes us to the second part:

Racial Grievance Industry Silent

We want to stick with facts here and the facts of the case dictate that race was not a motivating factor in the killing. That means that whole part can go away. So the entire NRO headline should read “Three Teens Kill College Student”. Now we have a 100% factually correct headline. Wait. That new headline just doesn’t posses the punch or gravitas of the first one. In the media world, headlines are the most important part of getting people to your story, and in the online world, people reading your story translates to profits. We are a capitalistic society, so let me tune that headline again while keeping it factual.

Racial Grievance Industry Falsely Claims Three Black Teens Kill White College Student

BAM! We got punch and we’re keeping with the facts. SUCCESS! Did you notice something else I did there? I also correctly implied who the “racial grievance industry” is. The National Review was trying to make us think that would be the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world. Well that just isn’t the case here. The ones grieving about racism here is the right wing media. They have tried to frame the story in Duncan as being about racism, and ironically they have made that true. The only problem is that it isn’t about “black on white racism”, but rather “white on black racism”. See it was the racism of the right that caused them to falsely report not only the race of all suspects, but also the motive in the crime. Sadly they won’t see that or admit it though. Instead they will stay in a constant state of denial and continue to show just how wrong they can be. Ronald Reagan once said “facts are stubborn things”. That is very true and it’s his own party that continues to prove it. If you made it this far in my lesson, congratulations! For all your hard work, I would like to reward you with this link to Mediaite, which has a great piece on this same subject, but showing just how racist Fox News really is. It’s a must read!

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