In the past few years, our country has been ravished by images of unarmed black men losing their lives at the hand of police officers. At first these high profile cases would simply garner the attention of the media, people would debate whether or not prejudice played a role, the officer involved would either not be charged or get a slap on the hand, people would be shocked and life would continue as normal. As these images became more and more frequent, people have taken notice and taken a stand against such brutality. As in tradition in the United States—from the Tea Party, the Revolutionary War, the Woman’s Suffrage Movement to Civil Rights—Americans of all races have united and marched against injustices. Thousands gathered together to peacefully protest.
But let the news tell it…
I don’t know if media is even trying to be accurate in reporting or if they are simply going for ratings. Everything seems to be over sensationalized. I can’t tell if I am watching a tele novella, TMZ or news.
There are so many issues with the way news outlets have chosen to cover the victims of police brutality and the subsequent protest. Let’s start with the first issue. Victim shaming—generally when a black person has been apprehended (and in this case killed) by police officers, media outlets begin to question the victim’s motives and history. Often times, these victims are labelled as thugs- which often translates to a bad person not worthy of living. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/media-black-victims_n_5673291.html
If this reporting was standard across the board, I could accept the language used. However, it has been proven that white serial killers are treated better in media then other people of color. There is usually no speculation as to whether they are given respect—a dead man can’t get the same love.
There is also an issue in how media treats the uprisings. Instead of covering the powerful peaceful images—news channels are quick to cover the small majority of individuals causing havoc. Again if the news treated all fire starting, car flipping, and couch burning incidents were covered the same way. But sadly, they aren’t. When these same exact events happen after sporting events it is just chalked up to being passionate about sports. Talk about double standards.
So people can be passionate about their sports team winning or losing but you can’t be outraged about the increasing numbers of unarmed people being killed by policeman? Our priories are screwed!