Abbreviated pundit round-up: Polarizing discourse on race; a pair of hucksters—The Donnie and Newt

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Demonstrators dressed as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George Bush Jr arrive with painted red hands and in hand cuffs outside the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre on July 6, 2016 in London, England. The Iraq Inquiry Report into the UK government's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War under the leadership of Tony Blair is published today.  The inquiry, which concluded in February 2011, was announced by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009 and is published more than seven years later. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Demonstrators dressed as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President George Bush arrive with painted red hands and in handcuffs outside July 6 to greet the release of the Chilcot report on Iraq.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve made many forays into what I call the Heart of Whiteness – meeting Klanspeople in a blizzard; interviewing Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio about his desire to start a border war with Mexico; and to a white church that threatened to disinter the body of a dead mixed-race infant.

It was a double-dare I set myself: first, could I actually get the story; and second, could I do so with compassion? […]

Listening to extremists and people with casual resentments and prejudices was the easy part, though. Because the Heart of Whiteness that has disturbed me most over time is that within the American media, which have stubbornly refused to integrate even as America has become more diverse. While more than a third of Americans are Latino or non-white, they only make up 13% of radio and print journalists. (That figure is better – 22% – among television journalists.)

This has affected how we see the battles over policing in America. When news organisations did not provide adequate coverage that included perspectives of black communities (they’ve also not been great at covering poor white communities), organisers such as the three female founders of Black Lives Matter created their own channels, leveraging the power of social media and mobile technology.

Share With:
Rate This Article