Dig Baton Rouge

VICIOUS CYCLE

By Nick BeJeaux

Very few journalists do not pride themselves on being objective, at least not publicly. But if the coverage of the situation in Baltimore shows anything, it’s that objective media—the cornerstone of good journalism—is more elusive than it should be.

On every news channel, there is always that question: are these burnings, lootings and riots justified? Of course they are—at least in the eyes of the perpetrators. Apart from revealing absolutely nothing, this question has divided our nation into camps once again on the issue of racial discrimination. Black Americans are angry—and they should be—and white Americans are—for the most part—denying any responsibility whatsoever. Need proof? Look at the query in question; it is always asked by white reporters. When you shake up a Coke can and it explodes as you open it, whose fault is it? The soda? Or you? There is your answer.

Apart from propagating divisive rhetoric, the media is also telling half the story. Segments of peaceful protests are few and far in between, but there is cold, hard business logic behind this disservice. The reality is that media makes money on race riots, and are all to happy to skew the story to support this helter skelter race war BS that keeps this vicious cycle turning.

Case and point, outlets like Breitbart and Fox News use words like “warzone” and “violence” to describe the protests in Baltimore—“thug” is basically the N-word now. Yet, words like “violence” and “thug” were never used to describe the six police officers that were charged with the murder of Freddy Gray, or in any case of unwarranted police violence.

The function of the journalist is that of an observer—all they do is watch and report. But, not being born yesterday, I know that there is no money in ethics; especially in the field of news media. The naive me wants to believe that after criminal justice reform is forced, media reform will be worked towards as well. But being on the inside, I know that isn’t going to happen.

When I espouse the moral failings of the media, I am addressing only a symptom of the disease. Our media is a reflection of us as a society, and if the last few weeks of coverage are any indication, our future looks pretty dark. America’s sick fetish for racial tension and conflict of all kinds is becoming tiresome, and I, one among many, are ready to grow up.

Get ready to hear something uncomfortable.

It is time, white America, to wake up and take responsibility for the system that has unjustly buried so many of our black brothers and sisters. This isn’t about apologizing for slavery, or affirmative action, Obama, white guilt or anything other than taking responsibility for the injustice that we have allowed to persist and change it. We must look over the massive chasm driven between us by the media and pundits on both sides and see that in the end we are all the same, though different in our own ways. Lack of vision is something we cannot afford.

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