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Mother Jones has an article from Rebecca Solnit about unsolved, uninvestigated murders and shootings of black men during Katrina in 2005. This follows a report in The Nation by A.C. Thompson, investigating a black man who was shot, and a widespread pattern. It turns out the hysteria over "hoodlums" precipitated some whites to use the cover of vigilantism for their own motivations.

A.C. was told that they turned themselves into an informal militia after one of their number was brutally carjacked by a black man, but another source told me that her relatives were gleeful about the chance to fight a race war against African-Americans and encouraged to do so by law enforcement. Like Rahim, she calls what went on "hunting" and spoke of a photograph she was sent of a vigilante posing like a big-game hunter next to a black murder victim. Which suggests the catastrophe of Katrina was just cover for getting away with a Klan-style killing spree.

A local ABC television station has a story titled "Racial tensions over LA school name". The story copy inserts the qualification "racial tensions may be the subplot..." but the damage is done. When a city council makes a decision without consulting the local residents, and the local residents (or council representitives) want to discuss it more, then why does the media portray it as an inter-race war?
12th-Aug-2008 06:46 pm - yellow journalism is alive and well
The flurry of news articles decrying fake fireworks and lip-syncing at the Beijing Olympics is replete with sensationalism. The lip-syncing story remained the top story for Yahoo! News all day. After all, it's a slow news day, with Russia winding down its war operation. The popular opinion seems to be of apathy, much like that when it was revealed that Pavarotti lip-synced his last performance. However, comments are laced with the common stereotypes.

I will not reproduce these comments because I trust your imagination can figure it out. The subtext in those comments and news stories is not only about counterfeit and cheap, knock-off goods, but of deception. Disregarding the fact that these "deceptions" were fully disclosed by the government and producers of the opening ceremony, comments center around China's secrecy and mystique.

How infuriating it is to see a stereotype over a century old continue to thrive. How aggravating it is to see the media continue its spiral into mindless entertainment by forcing this story upon the public. How predictable it is to see the commentary devolve into racial stereotypes. If I ever needed a reminder how powerful the Fourth Estate is, it was delivered today. With that power comes responsibility, and they are failing it.
From News Hound's account of the June 4 Hannity & Colmes:
“John McCain is not ever going to be an operatic orator but he is not the Chinese dinner that Barack Obama is. You never know what he said an hour later. Just like you never know what you ate when you have a Chinese dinner.
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