The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.
el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcom X)
January 7, 2015. Two gunmen forced their way into the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, and killed 12 people. Charlie Hebdo has attracted worldwide attention for its regular depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
January 9, 2015. In anticipation of presidential elections Boko Haram massacred up to 2,000 (reports now are estimated at ~200) innocent women, children and men in the northeastern Nigerian city of Boga.
Two tragedies in the span of two days and yet only one was reported around the clock by the media. Only one was actually called a terrorist attack. I wondered the same thing last week when an explosive device was detonated outside the NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. Why did it take CNN more than 16 hours to even mention anything about it on its website? And even longer to mention it on air? That bombing wasn’t labeled a terrorist attack. Is it because no one was harmed in the bombing?
The bombing of churches, meeting places and homes of prominent Black people and/or organizations as a means of intimidation and retaliation is a decades old practice in this country. It’s rooted in hate, bigotry and terrorism. Yet what happened in Colorado Springs wasn’t labeled a terrorist attack. It wasn’t even reported.
I’m tired of the media having carte blanche to label what they want terrorism. Twelve people were killed at a newspaper and it’s a terrorist attack because the perpetrators of this crime were Brown, Muslim people. I don’t remember James Holmes being labeled a terrorist in 2012; he also murdered twelve people and injured 58 people. Also, in 2012 when 26 people (including 20 children) were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School questions were asked about the mental well-being of the killer instead of calling it a terrorist attack of great cowardice.
I can’t help but notice that the criminals in those two mass murders were White males. When mass murderers are Anglo-Saxon they are always described as lone wolves who are disturbed and needed the help that we failed to provide them. Even when the authorities do label a crime as “domestic terrorism” it’s often under reported and placed on the “back page”. When a Black man loses his job and cuts the head off of someone at his job no one questioned his mental-well being but instead it was reported that he recently converted to Islam.
What does this have to do with genocide that happened last week in Boga, Nigeria? The media narrates a story to a demographic to get ratings in order to generate advertising revenue. The general public is enamored with what happened at Charlie Hebdo because it looked like something out of a movie and people tuned in. Not too many people in this country care about what happens in “third world” countries until it actually effects what happens here (read: ebola). Its willful ignorance that allows media to tell us what is important and what is not.
This is why I’m more prone to seek out independent or international media to find out what’s going on in the world. More than likely mainstream media is slow on reporting stories that the Black community actually cares about. I found about Michael Brown’s murder through twitter and Eric Garner’s murder through tumblr. Once these mainstream media outlets check their social media accounts they’ll be late to the party in reporting what they should have been on top of in the first place. This same thing happened when Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in Chibok. The media was slow to report and once the celebrities stopped speaking about it, the media followed suit.
I’m weary of main stream media and its bias. I usually expect such shenanigans from Fox News but CNN is just as biased as well as incompetent. Even MSNBC is problematic in its own right. I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon so I will continue to get my news from independent media.