Accuracy in Media

On NPR’s All Things Considered Wednesday, commentator and writer Daisy Hernandez expressed her relief that the Tucson gunman Jared Loughner wasn’t named”Ramirez,Gonzalez or Garcia” sparing the Latino community a nasty debate on immigration policy.

It’s safe to say there was a collective sigh of brown relief when the Tucson killer turned out to be a gringo. Had the shooter been Latino, media pundits wouldn’t be discussing the impact of nasty politics on a young man this week — they’d be demanding an even more stringent anti-immigrant policy. The new members of the House would be stepping over each other to propose new legislation for more guns on the border, more mothers to be deported, and more employers to be penalized for hiring brown people. Obama would be attending funerals and telling the nation tonight that he was going to increase security just about everywhere.

In short, the only reason the nation is taking a few days to reflect on the animosity in politics today is precisely that the shooter was not Latino.

I’m sure that was the first thing on the minds of Latinos across the country was whether or not the shooter had a Hispanic surname.  Ridiculous. Hernandez also apparently thinks that the mainstream media is actually interested in whether or not a suspected criminal is Latino.  In fact I think the opposite would have happened.  The media would have done all they could to not make the shooting about immigration if the shooter had carried a Latino surname. She closed her commentary with the following statement;

I admit sadly that it was only after I saw the shooter’s gringo surname that I was able to go on and read the rest of the news about those who lost their lives on Saturday and those who, like Rep. Giffords, were severely wounded. I admit also that I felt some small relief in knowing that at least this shooting wouldn’t be used as a reason for yet another backlash against immigrants, or at least that’s what I’m hoping. In this political climate, it’s hard to tell.

What?  She was so concerned about the possibility that the gunman was Latino that she put that bias ahead of any concern for the fate of the victims.  It’s this type of mentality that divides the country and not any supposed right wing political rhetoric as the media would have everyone believe.





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