Saturday, August 29, 2015

Equity

Some people have been putting memes (I use that for lack of a better word) on Facebook implying that the tragic murder, on air, of the reporter and cameraman in Roanoke by a gay black man is "equal" to the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, MO, and that the media's lack of reporting on it as a hate crime, etc. is an injustice.

Well.

All murders are equal; all murders are unequal.  All killings are equal but are also unequal.  We cannot measure pain and loss of human life in mathematical terms.  And we should have a long time ago stop expecting the media to report fairly and justly and equitably ON ANYTHING.  I understand the frustration of the persons posting these memes, but they miss the deep complexities of the two. 

One person was killed because he was in the process of being arrested and a policeman felt threatened, perhaps justifiably or not; he was left to lie in the street for hours that night.  It is the tip of the iceberg of a long, long problem in this country not just about black people and the police but the role of police in general, the vast majority of whom are dedicated public servants the media is on a campaign to malign.  Which is not to say there are no mentally ill, racist police officers out there.  The policeman's life and career are greatly altered by that one encounter; he will probably never get past that night.

The other murders were intentional, planned, public, immediately mourned, followed by a suicide of a truly disturbed, pitiful individual.  They are equal in death, but not in circumstances. 

Stop trusting the media.  That is my lesson over and over.  Use multiple sources, sift facts from conjecture and opinion, recognize gaps and inconsistencies. 

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