(Image courtesy of the Associated Press)
It has been a week since a Grand Jury decided not to press charges against the killer of Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. There have been protests in every corner of the United States, most peaceful, a few not. But regardless, the national media corporations seem to group all protests together and only cover them in only one way and from only one perspective. The perspective of the authorities, and the perspective that the protests are destabilizing society.
Below are a few headlines from various mainstream national news websites that spell out this theory, with links to the recent articles from over the weekend:
For those that may have been unaware of the articles above, five St. Louis Rams players exited the tunnel with their hands up last Sunday, November 30’s game, in protest of the whole situation in Ferguson. The St. Louis county police chief said that the Rams issued an apology, but the Rams contend it was more a statement. This is the statement that Kevin Demoff, Rams’ executive vice president and chief operations officer said: he “regretted any offense their officers may have taken [by the Rams’ players gesture.”
He continued, “We do believe it is possible to both support our players’ First Amendment rights and support the efforts of local law enforcement as our community begins to heal.”
But of course, the country police chief got his chance to fire back, and in an open letter to his staff, articulated that he believed that the Rams’ statement was an apology.
In case you are wondering, we now live in an America where you have to apologize for using your First Amendment rights, but not apologize for shooting an unarmed person.
Furthermore, if you are wondering what the perspective of peaceful protesters are, you’ll be lucky to find it anywhere in the media. The media, as I said earlier are just not covering it, as they had more important interviews to cover, like that of the murderer, Darren Wilson. Even more so, the perspective of white police officers is being covered, and all other police perspectives are being all but discredited.
Below is a screenshot of an article from ABC News, citing that the St. Louis Police Officers Association, a primarily white group, is disappointed with the St. Louis Rams’ protest.
Note that the ONLY perspective covered in that article is that of the St. Louis Police Officer Association.
Now let’s look at what happens when a police organization that is not a white-majority organization speaks out on their view of the St. Louis Rams’ gesture, in this article:
(Click to enlarge image)
In the subtext of the headline, it says, “Other police groups blasted the move,” as if the “Ethical Society of Police” which represents African-American police officers in St. Louis is not credible enough or knowledgeable enough to have an opinion on the Rams’ gesture. It is also worthy to note that the New York Daily Post was the most mainstream source to cover this article, while ABC News, CNN, and most other mainstream agencies covered the prior article.
Even more, the Daily Post article referred to the “Ethical Society of Police” not by their name, “The Ethical Society of Police,” but as “black cops” and used the word “blasted” when the organization simply issues a statement, much like the St. Louis County police organization did.
Regardless of which police group you would want to side with, even with all that thrown aside, the fact that cops who are black in St. Louis feel the need to organize to advocate their rights as police officers says that there is something very wrong going on in the St. Louis police force, very wrong going on it St. Louis, and very wrong going on in America.
Because the fact of the matter is, if the Ferguson police had had a good relationship with the city of Ferguson, a relationship where views and issues could be discussed and a relationship where the police are there to “protect and serve,” then this situation might not have ever happened. If the police force of Ferguson reflected the demographics of Ferguson, then this situation might not have ever happened. However, because of these two reasons above, something tells me this situation was a long time coming, and the same goes for the dozens of cities across the United States with similar injustices perpetrated by the police forces.
The mainstream media can be used as a tool to force social and political change. It was not until the “Birmingham Campaign,” organized by the SCLC in the Civil Rights movement, that the nation as a whole, not just blacks but whites as well, began to see the injustices facing blacks around the country, specifically in Birmingham, Alabama. In this case, the media showed the horrifying images that were the authorities shooting water at protesters and using police dogs to assault protesters. The general public was alerted of the injustices through the media’s coverage of the malicious acts of the police in Birmingham, and this became one of the most momentous events that sparked a nationwide outrage at the way segregation was and enlightened white people on its veracity.
But, in this case, the media has changed since that time. The national media is not a driving force for social change, giving the protesters the same amount of airtime or a balanced forum to calmly explain why they are protesting. For that would challenge the authorities and challenge the elite of society. Rather, the media seems to be acting as a mouthpiece of the authorities, to spread whatever message that the police or the elite please.
The problems we can take away from Ferguson are numerous and extremely pressing. Scores of unarmed blacks are being gunned down by the police, by a police force that often does not represent the community demographically. Our justice system is allowed to be manipulated by one federal prosecutor. Our juries do not contain unbiased individuals, or as close to unbiased as there is, and do not represent the communities in which the crimes occurred. These are some of the most pressing issues we, as America, face, along with countless others across various facets of society.
But, I can say now, these problems will not be fixed if the national media remains in its current state. And these are issues that could be fixed, for we have faced much more grave problems in the past. These issues can be fixed because regular American citizens, of all races and ethnicities are on the ground in the hundreds of thousands across every city in America, peaceable assembling for what they know to be just.
But these problems do not stand a chance of being fixed until the media stops being a mouthpiece of the authorities, and starts the unbiased news source of current events that it is supposed to be, that it supposedly prides itself on being. Much like it was up to everyday citizens to protest the police of Ferguson for their unjust treatment of blacks in Ferguson, it is up to everyday citizens to protest the media’s lack of regard for us, for almost all of America.
The media may favor certain racial groups over others, it may favor West European values over others, but in the end, the media favors the police and authorities over any racial and ethnic group in this country. And it’s the citizens of America that must force the change.