The mainstream media has been flooding television sets and computer screens with images of burning and looting in Baltimore. But our citizen journalists have repeatedly documented that these have been the exception, rather than the rule.
By and large, protests in Baltimore have been peaceful. Whenever and wherever there has been “looting,” it has included black and white alike. At no point has this become a “race riot” as Internet trolls and the mainstream media fear-mongers alike have tried desperately to make us believe.
Black West Chester reports that Karen DeCamp, a director at the Greater Homewood Community Corporation, a nonprofit advocacy organization, said: “A number of protesters were concerned that Baltimore—nicknamed ‘Charm City’—was being treated unfairly in the media after the trouble on Saturday. Baltimore was not out of control.”
DeCamp was demonstrating outside the funeral home where Freddie Gray was buried, earlier this week.
“Baltimore was not burning. A very small number of people made some trouble, and it was completely blown out of proportion.”
AJ Woodson adds that “10,000 people from across the country peacefully protested in Baltimore in support of the seeking of justice of the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the fact that 100 of the 10,000 acted up and approximately 35 people were arrested after the peaceful protest, (that’s about 1%), much of the mainstream media used attention grabbing words in their headlines like ‘Protest Turns Destructive, (USA Today)’ ‘Scenes of Chaos In Baltimore… (NY Times), Dozens Arrested After Protest Turns Violent (WBAL TV). One website BreitBart.com’s headlines read: 1,000 Black Rioters In Baltimore Smash Police Cars, Attack Motorists In Frenzied Protest.”
Woodson notes that there were over 10,000 people coming together peacefully protesting and only a tiny fraction were actually ever arrested. Most of the alleged “bad behavior” on the 11 o’clock news was being carried out by less than 1% of those protesters. So why did the media chose to focus exclusively on this?
The answer is simple and sad: because fear sells.
But even Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admitted that 95% of the protesters were respectful but a “small group of agitators intervened.”
Again, when even the mayor admits this, why won’t the mainstream media?
Time.com even admitted that the demonstration was aimed at police, but the characterization of the burning and stone throwing makes it seem indiscriminate and primarily targeting local stores and homes.
Frank ‘Sha’ Francois, a local organizer notes: “What they don’t report was there were, ‘Muslims, Christians, Jews, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Young and Old, Rich and Poor people all united and standing harmoniously against common oppression.”
President Obama even acknowledged this media tactic at press conference on Tuesday, saying: “One burning building will be looped on television over and over again and the thousand of demonstrators who did it the right way have been lost in the discussion.”
So the question is: why do we keep falling for this? If you agree that something has to change with the media representation of these protests, help us SPREAD THE WORD and share your comments!
(Article by Shante Wooten and M. David; image via Black West Chester)