White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

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.

Continue Reading at White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile).

4 thoughts on “White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

  1. 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.

    A lot of research that I did has drawn that same conclusion, and just viewing news programs, reading news articles or just by checking out the front page of local newspapers, there has been a drive – when it comes to the black community or black people – to mostly focus on crime, especially violent crime. Personally, as a black man, it’s highly depressing to only see people who look like you more likely as violent criminals way before being seen as achievers.

    I was wondering, why do you think that is so? What do you think is the reason why black people in the news is mostly featured in crime stories while positive, uplifting stories are very limited giving the impression that black people are more into criminality than community service?

    Forgive me for asking these questions. I’ve been frustrated by the media’s biased representation of blacks.

    • As you note there is a lot of research that demonstrates the disproportionate and biased news coverage, one that not only focuses on news stories featuring African Americans accused of committing crimes but frames the story in terms of that are flat and dehumanizing. And while news in general tends to focus more on crime stories and not those uplifting stories, the racial bias is clear. It reflects the power and profitability of stereotypes, it reflects the racism within the criminal justice system (“New Jim Crow”), the lack of diversity within news rooms, the implicit and explicit biases and so much more. Clearly, the normalization of “black criminality,” whether from news or from political sphere, is ubiquitous and its consequences can be seen with the PIC, school-to-prison pipeline, and countless other issues

      • So, there indeed exist racial bias in newsrooms regarding crime reports and which stories to feature.

        So, if the findings are correct in concluding that blacks are overrepresented as criminals, does that mean that the opposite is true and whites are underrepresented as criminals? And so, if a white crime occurs, is there a chance it will not get covered, or at least get the same amount of coverage newsrooms spend on black crime?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s