How Would The Tulsa World Grade Themselves?
The Kansas City Star is looking within their organization to see if they played any part in the civil unrest and racial divide tearing our nation apart. The answer was yes, and after months of examining their coverage published a series of articles that detailed how they have “disenfranchised, ignored and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citizens.” The top editor apologized to the readers, in particular the Black readers. Would the Tulsa World do the same in examining their coverage?
The Star found after comparing their coverage with the local Black press that if they were not tinging their coverage with racially charged descriptions, they were all but ignoring important Black events. This contributed to negative relations between the races in the area. The Star is like the New York Times of the Midwest and is one of the better papers in the country. The World has certainly been a silent witness to the pain on the streets and biased treatment of Black Tulsans. They have also bent coverage that upon self-examination could be seen as distorting the truth in a racist way.
The Star is making moves to improve their coverage by hiring an editor to focus on racial issues including the Black Lives Matter movement. This includes coverage of other races like Native and Hispanic Americans.
The World can start with examining their Black Lives Matter coverage and making the distinction between BLM the group and the movement. They can examine their role in the Race massacre and land development in the Greenwood area. They can look at their crime coverage and trials involving Black suspects. The Star said, “reporters were frequently sickened by what they found.” The World can look at what they are doing about the disparity in Covid 19 virus coverage. Has the World looked at problems in Oklahoma prisons and lack of transparency on who is getting treated and how it disproportionately effects people of color because the justice system still unfairly imprisons Blacks and other groups more often than White Oklahomans? DO they see how the race to put people to death in Oklahoma is unfairly targeting Black convicts? Has the World really looked at the Julius Jones case where a Black man is ready to be executed and he may very well be innocent?
Will the World add a person of color to their editorial board, or an editor to oversee race coverage? The Kansas City Star faulted not only their poor coverage, ignoring relevant news and cruel indifference to the pain in their community. The have overlooked contributions in the Black community and were late in covering the loss of famous icons like Charles “Bird” Parker and even in an obit misspelled his name and listed the wrong age.
Local television stations should also come to terms to their role in a city with not only scars but wounds from poor coverage. 2021 will mark the 100-year remembrance of the Race Massacre. We should all thrive to do better and recognize when we fell short in order to start the healing process.
Black Women Suffer Humiliation During Police Busts
Being arrested is stressful under any circumstances; however, it is worse when police come to the wrong house, and make you stand naked while they go through your home, then arrest you anyway. Such is the predicament of Anjanette Young, a Black female social worker who in 2019 was alone in her apartment when Chicago police department officers raided her apartment. Nothing appeared routine in this pre-George Floyd incident. Details of the event have been covered up. Young and her attorney are gathering information for a lawsuit against the city. Chicago PD was involved in making changes because of the raid but fought to keep police videos of the raid private. The city law department moved to stop the videos from being released and were planning sanctions against Young and her attorney for violating a court confidentiality order. It’s a mess to be sure.
Now it remains to be seen if she receives justice from the city that violated her rights as a person and dignity as a woman. A White woman in Fremont County was involved in a similar raid and she too was arrested naked and in her case was strapped to a chair and tased. She was awarded $2.4 million in damages for her suffering.
Police tactics are being challenged over the validity of search warrants and it is being done as law enforcement wrestles with guns and drugs on the streets. Perhaps as is suggested in many other areas of police reform is that police departments hire better human beings and train them better. There are too many bad cops and a rush to investigative judgement based on poor witnesses.
Under the Joe Biden administration he has not called for defunding police departments, but he has called for some commonsense solutions. Perhaps hiring fewer cops most likely to denigrate females would be a good start.
Black Disparities Involving Covid In Prison And Infection Rates
Some suggest the very day President Donald J. Trump found out who was more likely to die from Covid-19 was the day he decided the country needed to open back up after the largely successful lockdown. Early reports show that Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans were more likely to get infected and die. So, begun the march of indifference from the White House to where we are today with 330,000 dead. In the justice system those numbers are even more startling.
According to a report by FWD.us, a national advocacy group says Black Oklahomans were for reasons passing understanding admitted to state prisons between March and June at increased rates. While Blacks in Oklahoma make up 8 percent of the population, they account for 27 percent of the prison population. Accordingly, they account for 25 percent of deaths in prisons because of Covid.
A major outbreak at the state female prisons Mabel Bassett and Eddie Warrior revealed hellish conditions inside the prisons. One prison saw an 82 percent infection rate. Guards received an extra $2 per hour and told prisoners they hoped more prisoners were infected.
The Governor and legislature need to prioritize the health and safety of prisoners and purposely endangering people of color in their custody.