Sorry, We Can’t All ‘Get Along’
Published: Sep 17, 2009
I wrote my review of the LeBron James memoir, Shooting Stars, the morning after Fox News, Drudge, Limbaugh and others of that ilk were having a field day over the beating of a white student by two African Americans on a St. Louis school bus. Police later decided this beating was not racially motivated — a fact of little interest to these pundits and networks. Why? Because dividing Americans by race is a core strategy in their campaign to de-legitimize Barack Obama.
My pledge, ever since I launched Head Butler in 2004, has been to keep politics off these screens; why did I write about “a few million aging whites who categorically demonize young black males as thugs but who don’t have a fraction of the character of LeBron James and his friends”? Because that, friends, is not a political observation. It’s a moral one. The sad fact: Very cynical people in the media are working stories like this without regard for the collateral damage that’s sure to come when some of those riled-up whites turn their anger on African Americans.
As a kid in the ‘60s, I got involved in the Civil Rights movement. As a journalist, I occasionally wrote about race (see the New York Times story about the last lynching in Alabama
). Now I believe I can be useful by endorsing a “shame and shun” policy — avoid media that promotes hatred, don’t buy products from companies that support these people, and call hate speech by its rightful name.
I don’t intend to write about this often. But I refuse to hear "I want my country back" and pretend I don’t know what they’re talking about.