Yesterday while writing about Jena, and Paris, I noted the role of the black media (talk radio, journalists, black bloggers) in rendering rural racism transparent. (As an aside I’d like to check on whether there has been an attempt to differentiate between rural, suburban, and urban racism.) I argued that the white progressive blogosphere are disincentivized to ignore domestic racism, and when it cannot be ignored to use exceedingly high standards in evaluating claims brought by blacks.
In writing about this I made a mistake that is worth acknowledging (and covering in other blogs).
The writer who broke both the Paris and Jena stories, is named Howard Witt. He’s the (white) Southwest Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune. I mistakenly assumed that Witt was an African American. I’m betting that mistake gets made a lot given his writing.
There has been a significant decline in investigative journalism over the last twenty five years, as well as a decline in stories about racism (as opposed to race relations). I’m glad to see there are a few writers who are still fighting the good fight. And that some of them are white.
On that note, I missed Witt’s latest. This is the type of thing that transparency can aid us in uncovering but inevitably what is needed here is a different level of organizing than that used against old-fashioned rural racism.