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Why is it so difficult for the mainstream media to mention the word racism? Reviewing the national headlines and news of the latest massacre – this time in Charleston, S.C., I find no mention of the word. I checked the AP stylebook just to be sure and saw no problem with the word “racism”. So what is this reticence to mention it? With massacres of this type happening almost every five weeks, has it perhaps become a dirty word? Not even the President had the guts to spell this word out. Too bad. We are not going in the right direction.
If we want to start the much needed national debate, we have to first call these horrendous actions by their name, racist murders. Orwell at his best. If we continue rummaging the dictionary to sanitize as much as we can or if we continue swallowing the pill of the “lonely guy” or the “bad apple” we will continue, perhaps forever, asking “why.”
Instead, what I found in the national news was “a hate crime.” But that term really doesn’t go to the heart of the matter. Any killing is a hate crime but a racist lynching is not just any killing. Not even “terrorism” is the most appropriate word because terror is what these massacres cause us to feel but it is not, deep inside, the perpetrator’s aim.
And it is not the just the Confederate battle flag, or any other symbol, it is the state of mind, the education system, the media, the capitalist/market system, the craziness of gun ownership, coy politicians, TV’s biased images and references, Hollywood, the alive and kicking underground organized racist mobs (my list goes on and on), that have perpetuated racism since the first slaves touched ground in Jamestown.
For the Bay Area’ media the grieving will take more than a basketball celebration parade to sweep it under the rug. I realized this when on a street near Solano avenue in Albany, Ca. I saw a white woman crying out loud in her parked car… her radio was broadcasting details of the massacre. My most sincere condolences to this heart-broken women. We are not a color-blind society, we are a squint society unable to focus and the truth is that we still live in a racist commune where race matters, a lot.