Squires: ‘Negrotown’ journalists are only interested in black victimization if it involves cops, Karens, or white vigilantes

News & Politics

One benefit of the large-scale acceptance of Rachel Dolezal-style “transracialism” would be the potential it could have to revolutionize crime fighting in this country, especially where black victims are involved. The case involving the brutal beating death of Tyre Nichols shows that if you can “identify” a culprit as white, the media will take a lot more interest in the story.

And no one loves a story that fits that racial narrative more than the black journalists and media platforms that claim to cater to the needs of their communities. The guardians of the culture and gatekeepers of information are interested in black victimization only if it involves cops, “Karens,” and vigilantes.

This isn’t an overstatement. Roland Martin has over two dozen “Karen” videos on YouTube – complete with a “Crazy Ass White People” intro – that mostly feature middle-aged white women being rude to black people in public. A search for “Karens” on the Root’s website returns over 100 articles. Similar results come back on the Grio’s site as well.

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It’s hard for me to imagine how disconnected a black journalist would have to be from his community to believe Amy Cooper’s interaction with a black birdwatcher in Central Park was worthy of national attention. What makes things worse is that a toddler named Davell Gardner Jr. was shot in July 2020, a few months after black pundits were writing op-eds about Cooper that invoked the brutal murder of Emmett Till.

So while black journalists and pundits were jumping on the “defund the police” narrative, the cops they would have wanted to fire were chasing down leads that eventually ended in an arrest for Davell’s death. The shooting was allegedly part of an ongoing gang war.

This is a perfect distillation of the information economy within black America. Many black journalists live far away from the types of communities where children are the collateral damage of neighborhood disputes. They have the luxury of ignoring the hundreds of black children who are shot and killed in their neighborhoods every year because the bullets aren’t flying through their windows. As someone who did gun violence prevention work in the nation’s capital, I know that the black residents begging for more police aren’t doing so because of verbal disputes at Whole Foods. The media platforms that claim to speak for these communities are engaged in mis- and disinformation.

They also have a powerful financial incentive.

These platforms have no problem telling white people to abandon their “privilege,” to take responsibility for sins they didn’t commit, or that “silence is violence.” White guilt is a powerful natural resource. Articles like “The 5 Types of Becky” inject a diluted version of racial grievance into the minds of black readers and allow “good” white people to put distance between themselves and the ones standing in the way of progress.

As someone who wrote in the past for both the Root and the Grio, these platforms should be ashamed of themselves. Their writing is shallow and predictable. Every problem known to man is tied to white supremacy and racism. A quote from one former contributor to the Root who has spent significant time covering the war in Ukraine reveals how this myopic view of the world stifles critical thinking.

“When I first traveled to this part of the world, the first impression I got, particularly in Ukraine, was why are these White people fighting each other? I thought White people got along with each other. That’s really the frame that I took, and in reality, that’s what the majority of people in the states think.”

Only someone consumed with a narrow conception of race would think this way. Unfortunately, he is not alone. Stephen A. Smith used his platform on ESPN’s “First Take” to bring attention to Rachel Richardson, the Duke volleyball player who claimed she endured racial slurs during a match with BYU last August. Smith was passionate in his condemnation of BYU and in defense of Richardson. Shortly after that, he acknowledged that there was no evidence the incident actually took place while chastising other people for jumping to accusations of racism too quickly.

The same issue exists in politics. During Father’s Day in 2020, Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent out the following message to NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace after reports that a noose was found in his garage.

“Thank you for standing up for what’s right, @bubbawallace. They want to scare you off. Don’t let them. Chicago has your back. @NASCAR must act swiftly to find the perpetrator and make sure justice is done.”

More than 100 people were shot and 14 killed in Chicago that weekend, but the mayor was more interested in bringing attention to a garage pull in the Talladega Superspeedway than the residents living in the city she leads.

This is contemporary black media in a nutshell: Fake hate crimes are a higher priority than real street crimes.

In many ways, black media platforms are the outlets of record in “Negrotown,” the imaginary utopia in a “Key & Peele” skit where black people live in perfect harmony. In Negrotown, there were no racist police officers, no racist cab drivers, no racist shopkeepers, and no white people crossing the street in fear.

I wish the main threats to black boys in D.C. were rude white women in Starbucks. Maybe that’s what black journalists think about at brunch, but this form of “oppression” means nothing to kids dodging bullets on a daily basis. In the real world, the racial disparity in homicide victimization is so large that the rates for white victims and black victims can’t be shown on the same graph. This is why homicide is both the leading cause of death for young black men and the second-leading cause of black male incarceration.

Black leaders in the past felt an obligation to use their time, talent, and treasure to address the most pressing issues in their community. The people who control the flow of information today are more concerned about being spin doctors than speaking hard truths to their communities. Their discomfort makes them dismiss factual statements about law and order by claiming terms like “black-on-black crime” perpetuate white supremacy. This is why they treat stories involving race hatred like a national emergency but relegate the epidemic of self-hatred expressed through street violence to local activists and outlets. I guess “fragility” isn’t just for white people.

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