Monday, November 2, 2015

Yes, We're Still a Nation of Cowards

Back in 2009, Eric Holder got in a lot of trouble for saying that - when it comes to talking about racism - we are a nation of cowards. His analysis came to mind as a theme developed in some articles I've been reading lately.

For example, Marc Fisher interviewed a group of Donald Trump supporters and attempted to draw some conclusions about what animates their attraction to his slogan about making America great again. There were a variety of responses, but the theme expressed here seemed pretty common.
Cimbal, a loyal Republican, wants people to think about how to curb illegal immigration and protect Second Amendment gun ownership rights, but she’s mainly drawn to Trump because she thinks his plain talk can get things done. Her goal is to restore a time “when there wasn’t as much animosity toward each other, when everything wasn’t about race and people just got along.”
Hmmm...when was that time "when everything wasn't about race and people just got along?" That is an assumption we've heard from white people for decades - things were better when people of color knew their place and didn't get so uppity in demanding equal treatment.

Then there's E.J. Dionne, who spent some time with a focus group of Republicans in NH watching the last debate and gathers some conclusions about what is dividing the GOP.
But the most instructive part of the evening came toward the end when Ross Terrio, a Manchester school board member, took the conversation to a different place, describing his response to President Obama’s time in office. “I have gotten so pessimistic,” he said. “I used to be such an optimistic person. Maybe Obama just sucked the life out of me.” Terrio, who works as a pharmacist, has no complaints about his personal situation but wonders how his neighbors with much more constrained incomes can make it.
So Terrio is doing fine economically. But having Obama as president turned him from being an optimist into a pessimist and just sucked the life out of him. Kinda makes you wonder what that's all about, doesn't it?

Finally comes Sarah Wheaton who - in reporting on the release of 6,000 non-violent offenders this weekend due to the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act - couches the concerns she heard from critics in the mold of a potential repeat of the racist Willie Horton ad of the 1988 election.

What blew me away in reading all three of these articles is that nowhere in any one of them does the reporter/pundit attempt to explore the role of racism exhibited in these situations. Not once!

Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that all of these stories can be ascribed to racism 100%. But to not even discuss the possibility of racism as a contributing factor is to be consciously blind to a glaring reality.

This does not portend well for the coverage of the 2016 election. Greg nailed it on twitter.

1 comment:

  1. The mainstream media promotes bigotry. It's no accident that certain people get tv time. So of course they are going to cover it up and play games.