Carolyn Sackariason: No media bias here, except for the following
Last week’s news about the convictions for the racially motivated murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia carried I am sure into many living rooms, dinner tables and bars over the Thanksgiving holiday.
It did for me on Thanksgiving eve at the J-Bar when a friend opined on why news outlets had to include “white” in their headlines about three men found guilty. He found it to be media bias.
It’s not. Not even close. The inclusion of the word “white” is one of the reasons the story is even a story.
Three good ol’ boys saw a Black man running through their neighborhood, chased him in their trucks and “trapped him like a rat,” as some of them described.
Media bias would have included words like SOBs and racists. And since this platform I am writing in is opinion, the use of those words flies for the purposes of argument.
Because, in my opinion, they are SOBs and racists. Travis McMichael and his father Gregory and William “Roddie” Bryan deserve everything they get.
You can’t just go around chasing Black people and then shoot them dead because you think they may be up to no good.
The lead prosecutor and senior district attorney for Cobb County, Linda Dunikoski, pointed out to the jury that there was absolutely no empathy exuded from those men.
Did they stop for one second to think that this kid may have a mother or a father, or that he is a human being like they are? Nope. Because they are white racists, and they believe the color of their skin makes them dominant or somehow better.
The lowest form of life is racism, and these lowlifes I hope are starting to understand what they’ve done. Hopefully, they have the rest of their lives to think about it behind bars, trapped like rats themselves.
The banter at the bar with my friends, who are much more on the conservative side than I am in our politics, had a short but healthy debate about the use of the word “white,” but luckily I get the last word.
Many news outlets, including The New York Times, The Associated Press and Washington Post described the killers as three men in their headlines but the online teasers, subheads and first paragraph, also known as the “lede” in newspaper speak, included the defendants’ skin color.
It’s an important fact in the case, because it was a modern-day lynching.
We also debated about why news outlets had to keep pointing out that the jury was comprised of 11 white people and one Black person.
That also is an important fact because in the Deep South, where racism is prevalent, people wondered if a jury of these guys’ peers would actually convict.
Dunikoski said it best in her statement after the verdicts were handed down: “The verdict today was based on the facts, on the evidence, and that was our goal to bring that to that jury so they could do the right thing because the jury system works in this country and when you present the truth to people and they can see it, they will do the right thing.”
The media, for the most part, also did the right thing by pointing out for the entire country to see that racism is very much alive and there are consequences for it.
While Ahmaud’s family couldn’t have him at the Thanksgiving dinner table, they can be proud they fought for justice and his death was not in vain.