Something To Ponder…
Does it matter why I am sad? Do you see the facade?
I’m not writing about chanting “Fire Isiah”. That was just ridiculous and self explanatory.
Here are two examples of why Blacks largely dismiss the accuracy and intentions of MSM news coverage.
It’s not just about sports.
Perhaps most interesting is the language used to describe the Africa being saved. For example, the Keep a Child Alive/” I am African” ad campaign features portraits of primarily white, Western celebrities with painted “tribal markings” on their faces above “I AM AFRICAN” in bold letters. Below, smaller print says, “help us stop the dying.”
Such campaigns, however well intentioned, promote the stereotype of Africa as a black hole of disease and death. News reports constantly focus on the continent’s corrupt leaders, warlords, “tribal” conflicts, child laborers, and women disfigured by abuse and genital mutilation. These descriptions run under headlines like “Can Bono Save Africa?” or “Will Brangelina Save Africa?” The relationship between the West and Africa is no longer based on openly racist beliefs, but such articles are reminiscent of reports from the heyday of European colonialism, when missionaries were sent to Africa to introduce us to education, Jesus Christ and “civilization.”
There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one’s cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head — because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West’s fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West’s prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.
Why do the media frequently refer to African countries as having been “granted independence from their colonial masters,” as opposed to having fought and shed blood for their freedom? Why do Angelina Jolie and Bono receive overwhelming attention for their work in Africa while Nwankwo Kanu or Dikembe Mutombo, Africans both, are hardly ever mentioned? How is it that a former mid-level U.S. diplomat receives more attention for his cowboy antics in Sudan than do the numerous African Union countries that have sent food and troops and spent countless hours trying to negotiate a settlement among all parties in that crisis?
Simply the truest….
Something written two years ago by respected journalist Dwight Cunningham. This issue still hasn’t received it’s proper historical reverence.
“Wild gangs” and the “urban menace,” Fox newscaster Bill O’Reilly proclaimed, were hurting search-and-rescue attempts.
The media is cementing those filtered words and images into the nation’s conscious. So that someday, when congressional hearings and blue-ribbon presidential panels are formed, such biased reporting will be used to formulate policy that could prove equally disastrous to Black America.
How many of us here on TSF have stated similar views regarding sports coverage?
Who is monitoring today’s coverage? Is it the National Association of Black Journalists, for example, in a real concise, scientific way? That group and other respected journalistic organizations should be in the monitoring mode. Right now!
This is why I have no problem calling out our own in media and sports.
I worry about who is going to tell the story of the recovery effort and its impact on Black America. Will there be equal treatment, or no treatment at all, when federal and insurance dollars trickle in, whenever that is?
For the media, and left to our own devices, you can believe there will be huge gaps in the information chain.
The reflective pieces Ron Glover has brought to TSF highlight a sentiment that needs consistent documentation. Our kids will be lost mentally regarding our place in sports as well as how we are perceived historically personally.
Yes, sports is minimal compared to these more important issues. I’ve tried to outline how the present media affects future perception every time I’ve ranted in an interview (I wanted to make this clear). We have to stand up and provocatively express our beliefs because it gives respect to those before us who suffered and endured.
Thanks for commenting on the site Dwight. I hope to document a conversation with you soon.