White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death by David J. Leonard
by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile)
Racism is racism. Extreme or mainstream, racism is racism. If it looks like white supremacy, talks like white supremacy and acts like white supremacy, it is white supremacy. What does it mean when the extreme and mainstream trumpet the same tune. What does it mean if white nationalist on Stormfront and Fox and friends similarly lament white victimhood? What does it mean when Skinheads and talk radio similarly rally the white community through fear of black criminals? This convergence and shared ethos has been crystal clear in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial.
Over the last month, the Right\’s endless trolling about Chris Lane and Delbert Belton is yet another instance where facts are tossed aside for demonization and criminalization of black bodies. According to Jamelle Bouie, “If Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Fox News sell anything, it’s white anger and racial resentment. And for them, Christopher Lane isn’t a person as much as he’s a product.” In fact, their response points to three core principles of the Right: (1) white resentment; (2) a sense of white victimhood; and (3) fear and criminalization of blackness. If a story or a reality doesn’t fulfill those prerequisites, they ain’t got time for it.
Either forgetting or ignoring fact that killing of Trayvon Martin did not make news for weeks, if not months, after his death, erasing the specifics of the case, the narrative about the media not covering “Black-on-White” crime with equal vigor as “White-on-Black Crime” is at its core about an imagined white victimhood.
If the Right and the mainstream media wants to have a conversation about media coverage and the impact of race, that is a conversation to be had, yet it will need to start with the muted media coverage of the killings of Darius Simmons, Bo Morrison, and Jordan Davis; what about the systemic failure to shine a spotlight about #every28hours.
Or how about the almost no coverage of the killing of Kollin Elderts and the trial of Christopher Deedy? It will need to account of the recent shooting of Donald Maisen Jr, who one minute was playing tag and another was lying on the ground in a pool of blood. No coverage from Fox and their Friends across the media; no condemnation from John Boehner, James Woods, or Rush Limbaugh
For such a conversation, it might be useful to look at the spectrum of research regarding not only the overrepresentation of news coverage of cases involving black perpetrators (or those alleged to have committed a crime) or the silence when involving victims of color. It might be helpful to not only look at media silence, but also the crickets from the criminal justice and from the populace as a whole when involving victims of color?
If the Right wants to talk double standards, lets talk about Rekia Boyd and Mark Carson; Anna Brown and Islan Nettles. WDD and the efforts to play up white resentment through a narrative of white victimhood is the true story, not media bias, not political correctness, or not the attack on white America.