Lately, I have become obsessed
how so-called traditional media report crimes differently based on race and
identity in this country. This obsession led me rabbit hole to figure out
reasons behind this biased reporting. For example, MPR news posted an article
on their website titling “Man allegedly flashed gun at Somali-American teens in
Eden Prairie McDonald’s” and when I read this article it upset me so much that
I abruptly ended my donation to the station. It bothered me not that grown man
decided to pulled gun on teens but how MPR news chose to report the news. The
title of the article as well as reporting identifies the identity of victims
but not the perpetrator of this horrible crime which tells me that the
perpetrator is one of us, but these kids are not part of our community. I was
confused that what made that man Eden Prairie man but not these kids. If Man
was not white or these teens happen to be white, what would the article titled?
Would it be “Man allegedly flashed gun at
Somali-American teens in Eden
Prairie McDonald’s”. This is not one incident that slipped away in their
reporting, it is standard way of reporting crime classification at MPR news. If
you routinely listen MPR news, you will be forced to become aware the identity
of perpetrator or victim if they happen to be part of the minority community.
Its calculated decision to label minority communities so dangerous in this
country. Studies show that most American’s believe that black and brown people
are dangerous, and we quickly dismiss the outcry of minority victims and police
are quick to shoot them to contain their so-called violence behavior. You
wonder where this cognitive belief that black and brown folk are so dangerous
come from? Wonder no more, it come from decades of media wrongly reporting how
dangerous we are without shred of evidence.
One study by Color of Change found that 51 percent of people arrested for violent crimes in New York city are black, but 75 percent of news reports are arrests highlighted black perpetrator. In the incident at McDonalds in Eden Prairie in Minnesota, the narrative behind that story is that what made an elderly man to pull his guns at black obnoxious kids, was he afraid of his life? I think the media is driving this false narrate of black people are dangerous whether they are victims or perpetrator to divide the communities in this country.
You have got to listen this amazing audio about how Racial Bias in Crime Reporting by WNYC by following this link.