America, You're Killing Me: Media Coverage Must Improve

The mistreatment of Somali-American students in Minnesota has been underreported. (Google Images - Minnesota Independent)

The mistreatment of Somali-American students in Minnesota has been underreported. (Google Images – Minnesota Independent)

written by Devona Walker

While CNN ran 24-hour coverage of the “Bags of Poop” boat stuck in the ocean, MSNBC obsessed over Marco Rubio’s unquenchable thirst and Fox News continued its  “Obama is a tyrannical Kenyan socialist meme,” there were a few other American stories that caught my attention.

First there was the drunk old idiot from Idaho who sat down next to a white woman and her black baby. The woman says the guy was drunk and belligerent during the whole flight, but things went from bad to “bat-shit crazy” when the plane began its descent.

The baby gets fussy and dude tells the woman to shut that “Nigger baby up.” Later, he slaps the baby upside his head… Now his lawyer tells us not to rush to judgment. Dude’s lucky he didn’t try that crap with me. I would have rushed to kick his sorry butt back to Idaho. When did this story break? Last week. When did the media start covering it with any intention — this past weekend.

Then, there was this story out of Minneapolis of all places. Apparently more than 200 high school students mixed it up in a food fight turned lunchroom riot that pitted Somalian kids against their white schoolmates.

“This school is not safe for Somali students,” Adnan Farah, a junior, told the Star-Tribune. “Throughout this year, there have been a lot of fights.”

A school district spokesman would not comment but said racism complaints are taken seriously. Obviously, they haven’t been taken it that seriously and neither has the media since there has been scant coverage of this growing problem.

That brings me to the now deceased LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner. We all saw “Black Rambo” pre-empt the State of the Union Address. But not everyone has followed the aftermath. It seems Dormer — fired by the LAPD for allegedly filing a false report against a fellow officer and then went postal on the LAPD, killing several officers, as well as his union rep’s daughter and her fiancee — is still causing problems even after his “elimination” by the LAPD.

I don’t defend Dorner’s actions. But I am unconvinced like many that the LAPD set that fire accidentally. And I am puzzled by the outrage that folks read truth in his manifesto. Prior to his murderous rampage, Dorner thoroughly articulated several problems within the LAPD, outlining issues of racism and corruption. Clearly the LAPD is no more capable of cleansing itself of corruption and racism than some would say the Catholic church is of ridding itself of pedophiles. But instead of addressing any possible precursors, the media clings to this manufactured affront to the family members of those he killed. This was not an OJ moment. It was the LAPD’s inability to deal with its own stuff — whether that be its inability to assess the mental capacity of its own force, racism, police corruption, or the justifiable lack of trust between the department and the black community in Los Angeles.

 

Then there was Wayne Lapierre’s racist “Stand and Fight” diatribe pinned in the Daily Caller.

Here are the man’s words: “During the second Obama term, however, additional threats are growing. Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States. Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world, and though the states on the U.S./Mexico border may be the first places in the nation to suffer from cartel violence, by no means are they the last.”

Will it be unthinkable, out of the blue, and completely “by surprise” when some NRA-card-carrying, gun-collecting nut goes on a killing spree, targeting black kids, Latino immigrants, politicians, or civil servants? Will it be this classic and repetitive “What the F$53K?” American moment? When do we realize from manipulating and occupying weaker and poverty-stricken countries, to pretending racism doesn’t exist except for in the imaginations of black people, to the untold collateral damage of drone attacks, to this incessant “Taking our country back” rhetoric that actions (including actionable words) have consequences. That people — even reasonable ones and especially unreasonable ones — have breaking points. After all nothing is more fragile than the human mind.

Devona A. Walker is the politics editor for The Burton Wire.

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