It’s creeping round the corner like a seasonal fashion dressed like a bank loan but bloody as the passion and we ain’t figured out what the mania is called that’s got our heads in the clouds but our backs against the wall
Listen when I tell you it gets worse before it’s better defy the…
Why has HLN host Nancy Grace basically ignored talking about the Trayvon Martin (the 17-year-old unarmed teen shot by the yet to be arrested George Zimmerman) case on her show? Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks.
I know that we’re talking about Nancy Grace here (and who really cares about that woman?) but her extreme lack of coverage in the murder of Trayvon Martin is reflective of something I talked about earlier: how we treat non-white, especially Black, victims and that is something that’s important to talk about. The amount of media coverage that Trayvon’s case is currently receiving is a fluke. I’m not sure I can even recall a single case involving a non-white child that received more than a 15 second mention in our media, which seems to always be consumed with missing white girl syndrome. How long did we hear about JonBenét Ramsey, Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, Natalee Holloway, Caylee Anthony, etc.? How many individuals have even heard the names Brisenia Flores, Phoenix Coldon, Stacey English, Bianca Jones, Jahessye Shockley, or Lluvia McCraw?
Crimes such as what happened to Elizabeth Smart are much less rare than the violence which is committed against minorities, especially non-white women, but they still receive a disproportionate amount of coverage and attention, which often increases the levels of fear among white women. When it comes to missing children’s cases, Black children make up over 40% of the cases while only composing 13% of the U.S. population and boys make up a little over half of all cases, yet they don’t even receive a third of the media coverage. We focus on white victims far more than we do non-white victims and our media continues to demonize minorities as criminals instead.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists found that, of 12,000 evening news stories aired annually by the 3 major American Networks, only 1% are about Latin@s or issues concerning Latin@s. When Latin@s are featured in news stories, they are portrayed negatively 80% of the time. Latin@s, especially Latin@ immigrants, are much more likely to be included in stories about crime even though immigrants are less likely to commit a crime than U.S. citizens. Because of the way our media demonizes immigrants, we think of them as criminals when, in actuality, they’re nothing of the sort and this unfair image is reflected by our domestic policies, which lead victims to be afraid of the police, unable to go to law enforcement for help, and the crimes committed against them go ignored.
Visible minorities are more likely to be victims of a violent crime than non-visible minorities and far more likely than non-minorities. Over 70% of racially-motivated hate crimes are committed against Black individuals. The disproportionate news coverage has a profound impact on the way we think about minorities and journalists tell us who is important, who isn’t, and who is creating the mess. Journalists write our villains for us and the fact that they almost always happen to be minorities isn’t exactly a coincidence when news organizations are vastly white. When a minority falls victim to a crime, they’re still partially written off as a villain and some of the responsibility is nearly always placed on them. This isn’t true when a white person is a victim. Minorities are devalued as human-beings and this is reflected in nearly every aspect of our society. It’s why perpetrators who committed crimes against white victims receive harsher and longer sentences than those who committed crimes against non-white victims. It’s why our media, except in rare circumstances, doesn’t pick up stories about minority victims despite minorities making up a disproportionate percentage of victims of crimes. It’s why Geraldo Rivera said Trayvon Martin’s hoodie was just as much to blame for Trayvon’s death as George Zimmerman and it’s why Nancy Grace doesn’t even care enough to pick up this explosive story.