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America, You Still Don’t Get it

The Coronavirus, Racial Hatred & Discrimination

I have always objected to the term, “Black Leaders.” Not out of disrespect, but because it is so restrictive. White America approves of such labels because it allows for a select few African Americans to speak for all – as well as give the false notion that many African Americans are incapable of speaking for themselves. This, in turn, limits the amount of coverage given by America’s white-owned and operated news rooms to the important issues directly affecting the African-American grassroots community and people of color.

It also helps explain why today’s journalism is basically, “Celebrity Journalism,” where America’s news rooms are more inclined to focus on the famous and well-connected. For example, the health care status of actors like Tom Hanks; authors pushing the sales of their books; and Politicians, Ivy League Professors and organizational and Mega Church leaders. The focus is largely on the opinions of white Americans, despite the fact that African Americans and people of color are most adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, some black leaders and journalists tend to “soften” these types of stories – and their input is often guarded, less raw and less blunt – than the voices of the African-American grassroots. Why? Perhaps it’s because these more understated views and opinions are driven (and more “acceptable” and “manageable”) by America’s white news rooms. For some, it may also call into question the possible suppression of Freedom of Speech and/or the violation of the African-American grassroots community’s right to exercise their First Amendment Rights.

When I watch TV coverage or read the printed news, I see a disproportionate amount of attention centered on Host Anchors and printed news media opinion that present, largely, “white American input.” My eyes grow weary and tired as I look for this (missing) input, and end up placing these articles in the trash and using my remote to shift to other programs.

Yes, we have seen significant gains with the historic election of the first African-American President, and the passage of the Affordable Care and Equal Pay Acts. That said, a series of declines have followed these gains; most significantly, the election of the most blatantly racist president to ever occupy that office. One step forward, two (or more) steps back.

Unfortunately, too many elected officials have become political opportunists, masters of compromise and complacent; satisfied to simply name drop and pursue and gloat in their acquired status. They often adopt pretentious rhetoric as a way of expressing their concerns for African Americans and people of color, who, after all is said and done, continue to face the same racial hatred, discrimination, health care disparities and voter suppression. Not to mention deplorable housing conditions, unemployment and mass incarceration, under the guise of “law and order.”

At the same time, these elected officials ignore their constituents’ inquires, while flooding their e-mailboxes with endless requests for campaign contributions. This form of politics has led to little or no progress for African Americans and people of color. This is why I will not allow my vote to be taken for granted. And when I do vote, I will . . .


By Delener McCamey, Ph.D.



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