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Racial Justice

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  • NRATV ignored the Kroger shooting in Kentucky after backing the store’s open-carry policy

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s broadcast outlet, completely ignored news of an apparently racially motivated shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky that debunked the already discredited “good guy with a gun” myth and left two dead.

    On October 24, 51-year-old Gregory Bush attempted to enter a predominantly Black church in Jeffersontown, KY, before heading to a Kroger grocery store where he shot two Black victims, the first in the store and the second in the parking lot. An armed bystander fired at Bush after he shot his second victim but missed him. Another witness said Bush told him he spared the witness’s life because “Whites don’t shoot whites.” The incident is currently being investigated as a hate crime. 

    The attempted action by an armed bystander further discredits the “good guy with a gun” myth,” a favorite of the NRA’s that has been debunked by both researchers and law enforcement. The “good guy” almost never stops an active shooter situation and actually can create further confusion for police officers arriving on scene.

    On October 25 and 26, none of NRATV’s supposed news shows covered the shooting or developments in the days that followed, instead choosing to spread conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan making its way toward the United States, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the recent pipe bomb spree, and promote athletic clothes with a holster in them.

    The shooting followed a 2014 campaign by the gun safety group Moms Demand Action, encouraging Kroger to “prohibit the open carry of guns in its stores.” NRATV aired multiple segments pushing back against the effort and claiming the campaign was “not about actually reducing violence; it’s about winning that press release victory.”

    UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, host and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch mentioned the shooting during the October 29 edition of NRATV’s Relentless, noting it “raised a lot of questions as to whether or not this killer’s motivations were racial.” A chyron on Loesch’s show also falsely hailed it as an example of a shooting “stopped by good guy with a gun.” While the gunman did exchange fire in the Kroger parking lot with a person with a concealed carry permit, no one was hit in the exchange. According to another witness, who was also armed, the gunman “nonchalantly” left the scene after reportedly telling the witness, “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites,” a fact Loesch herself noted during the segment.

  • The March for Black Women: They stand up, they fight, and they vote, and it's time media took notice

    Blog ››› ››› SARAH WASKO & MILES LE

    During the 2018 March for Black Women, Black womxn and allies marched in Washington, D.C., to protest the systemic injustices they face and to disavow systemic over-policing, gender-based violence, sexual assault, wealth inequity, and lack of political response to securing Black womxn’s basic rights. Protesters also spoke about the media’s failure to adequately cover their causes.

    Black womxn have long been the leading forces in social justice movements. They stand up, they fight, and they vote. It’s about time media start highlighting their invaluable leadership and elevate their voices as they fight for social change.

  • Video: DeRay Mckesson calls out Fox News for painting Black communities as “violent people” to justify police violence

    In his new book, On The Other Side of Freedom, Mckesson wants to challenge audiences in thinking how to advance social and racial justice by “taking the truth with us everywhere we go,” while using hope as fuel

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    During a conversation with Media Matters, activist and author DeRay Mckesson touched upon the ways that local and national media coverage of police violence have improved in recent years, explaining that because of these changes, “now people generally have [the] language” to talk about these issues.

    Mckesson also addressed the role Fox News has played in pushing the false narrative that police violence against Black people is justifiable and the baseless claim that Black communities are violent, suggesting that progressives need to challenge these narratives and “attack the underlying idea” behind these falsehoods. His new book, On The Other Side of Freedom, provides data to combat myths that help perpetuate police violence against Black communities, tackles issues of identity, explores the role of social media, and suggests using hope to fuel the fight towards racial justice. Watch our conversation with Mckesson:

    Video by John Kerr and Miles Le

  • Video: Climate change worsens extreme weather and hurts people of color the most. When will mainstream media tell this story?

    Media severely under-covered Hurricane Maria, which affected mostly Latinx people.

    Blog ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH & MILES LE


    Dayanita Ramesh / Media Matters

    Thousands of people died as a result of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, researchers estimate, and it took 11 months to restore power to all residents. Maria was the worst weather disaster to affect Puerto Rico in 80 years and potentially the deadliest hurricane to hit the U.S. since 1900. But many news outlets failed to give much coverage to the storm and the ongoing recovery efforts.

    Why?

    Maybe because most of the victims of Hurricane Maria were people of color: 99 percent of the population of Puerto Rico is Latinx.

    Extreme weather and climate disasters have the biggest effects on people of color, the poor, and women, both in the U.S. and around the world -- and the media need to be talking about that.

    The first Sunday after Hurricane Maria made landfall, the five major Sunday political talk shows cumulatively dedicated less than one minute of coverage to the storm. When outlets did turn their coverage to Maria, it was because of the president’s antics. Coverage spiked when President Donald Trump got in a Twitter fight with the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, and when he visited the territory and threw paper towels out into a crowd. When the drama ended, coverage dropped significantly and has stayed low even as Puerto Rico continues struggling to recover.

    On top of this lack of coverage is the problem that many mainstream outlets don’t talk to the people who are most affected by climate change, and they also don’t talk enough to scientists or climate researchers. Only 13 percent of guests featured during climate-related segments on Sunday shows in 2017 were people of color, just 29 percent of the guests were women, and no climate scientists or journalists were featured at all -- the second year that scientists and journalists were completely excluded.

    Mainstream media outlets need to talk to the people who are being hurt the most by climate change. They also need to connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather, to help everyone understand that climate change isn’t just something that will happen in the future or in faraway places. It's happening now, and it's happening everywhere.

  • Fox & Friends coverage of Unite The Right protests ignores white supremacists, instead fearmongers about antifa

    While happy to complain about antifa, Fox & Friends completely ignores that white supremacists are planning on gathering again

    Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT

    Fox & Friends Sunday’s only coverage of the August 12 white supremacist rally in Washington D.C. mentioned only that “tense protests” were expected in Washington, and focused largely on an alleged “antifa mob” in Charlottesville, VA. August 12 marks the one year anniversary of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, during which an attendee with white supremacist and neo-Nazi ties allegedly drove a car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one woman, Heather Heyer. White nationalists have planned to mark the occasion with a rally in Washington, organized by the same white supremacist responsible for Charlottesville.

    Fox & Friends Sunday failed to inform their viewers about the assemblage of neo-Nazis in D.C., however. While the show did note that August 12 is the “one year anniversary of a deadly white supremacist rally,” during four nearly identical short reports, the program only explained that “tense protests are expected today.” Ignoring that those protests were again in response to the presence of white supremacists, the show fearmongered about an “anti-police bash led by an antifa mob.”

    The only other mention of the Charlottesville rally during the show came when Fox host Martha Maccallum previewed what Fox News Sunday would cover -- she also failed to mention that white supremacists were rallying in D.C. this weekend.  

    Fox’s decision to castigate anti-racist protesters without mentioning that white supremacists are once again rallying on our streets comes as little surprise to anyone familiar with the network’s coverage of the violence in Charlottesville. Following last year’s rally, Fox & Friends Sunday defended white supremacist protesters, with host Pete Hegseth arguing,  “there’s a reason those people were out there.” A Fox contributor, Charles Hurt, contended that, “there are those instigators on both sides of this fight that was going on in Charlottesville.” President Donald Trump's remarks defending neo-Nazis after Charlottesville were even full of right-wing media talking points.

    In fact, Fox’s coverage of neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville was infinitely more sympathetic than their coverage of protesters rallying for gun control or sports players kneeling in protest of racial inequality.

  • Here are 52 examples of Laura Ingraham’s racism

    Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Fox News’ Laura Ingraham has drawn widespread rebuke following a racist anti-immigrant rant on the August 8 edition of her Fox show. During her far-from-subtle diatribe, Ingraham bemoaned “massive demographic changes, … changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like,” and complained, “In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore.” Later in the program, she questioned whether “Black-on-Black” crime is a larger issue for the Black community than the racism that infects the criminal justice system. Her comments are a nearly perfect parallel of the rhetoric used by white supremacists and were embraced and commended by former KKK leader David Duke. Outside of white supremacist circles, however, politicians, activist groups, and other media figures widely condemned the rant.  

    Following the criticism, Ingraham defended her comments, arguing that the goal of her monologue was “to point out that the rule of law, meaning secure borders, is something that used to bind our country together.” Ingraham’s deflection, however, is disingenuous and undermined by her history of racist commentary and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Her Fox News show, The Ingraham Angle, is less than a year old, but Ingraham has already turned it into a racist, extremist cesspool.

    It isn’t difficult to find examples of Ingraham’s boundless hostility toward immigrants and her obvious apathy towards non-white communities. Here are just a few highlights from over the years (seriously, there are many more):  

    Ingraham has spent years demonizing and mocking immigrants.
     

    • On The Ingraham Angle, she dismissed asylum claims from Hondurans fleeing violence because, according to her, “it’s not our problem.”

    • She claimed that children torn from their parents as a result of the Trump administration policies and who were not yet reunited with their families were being protected by the administration because, “due to domestic or drug abuse, many of these parents are now deemed unfit to care for their children or dangerous for their children.”

    • Ingraham said, “Most people believe that if you come into the country illegally, it's sad when your family gets separated, no one wants to see that, but it's your responsibility.”

    • She hosted John Lott, president of the conservative Crime Prevention Research Center, to defend his debunked report alleging that undocumented immigrants in Arizona commit more crimes -- and more dangerous crimes -- than other Arizonans.

    • During a 2015 appearance on Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, Ingraham urged then-presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Scott Walker to support ending birthright citizenship to “throw something to the conservatives on immigration.”

    • During a 2013 appearance on the now-defunct Fox show The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham claimed that a lot of recent immigrants “have wreaked havoc upon communities.”

    • Ingraham suggested that the United States should shoot deported immigrants who attempt to re-enter the country: “Why don't we ship [imprisoned undocumented immigrants] back home and say you come again, you'll be shot crossing the border?”

    • Ingraham defended then-candidate Donald Trump’s claim that Mexico is “sending rapists” to the United States and argued that Mexicans “have come here to murder and rape our people.”

    • She mocked children detained by U.S. officials after being separated from their families, calling the detention centers “essentially summer camps,” comparing them to “play spaces,” and saying that people’s outrage over children being held in cages is “hilarious.”

    • She claimed that immigration from Mexico would make the U.S. a “hellhole.”

    • She smeared the American children of undocumented immigrants as “anchor fetuses.”

    • Ingraham compared DACA protestors to “wild dogs” and attacked DACA recipients who serve in the U.S. military, saying, “This is the American military. This is not the military of mercenary illegal immigrants!"

    • She once claimed, “Nobody has a right to be here except the people who are born here.”

    • Ingraham blamed Muslim and Latino immigrants for Republicans losing elections in Virginia and added, “It will become increasingly difficult, for sure, for Republicans to win if Republicans don't get a handle on immigration.”

    • Ingraham contended that the middle class is frustrated that “everybody has to bow down to the new immigrant class.”

    • Ingraham celebrated her radio show’s role in blocking comprehensive immigration reform, commenting to viewers, “Guess who helped stop it? You’re listening to one of the reasons it was stopped.”

    • In 2014, she argued that the Hispanic Caucus should be called the “open borders caucus.”

    • She bemoaned that an “all-immigrant population have come and moved into Northern Virginia,” claimed that “we have a mass influx of illegal immigrants in Virginia,” and called immigrant communities “rabid fanatics.”  

    • Ingraham used a drug-related arrest of one man to besmirch immigrants as “trash.”

    • She argued that one way to “enforce our immigration laws” would be to “end birthright citizenship.”

    • In 2014, she derided Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to attract skilled immigrants to work and live in bankrupt Detroit, saying "we can then wall off Detroit" to keep those immigrants from moving to other parts of the country.

    • Later that year, she referred to the thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing from violence in Central America as “an invasion facilitated by our own government."

    Ingraham has demonstrated particular vitriol for Muslim people, especially immigrants and refugees.
     

    • On The Ingraham Angle, she questioned White House chief of staff John Kelly about why Trump is bringing in so many "Islamic" refugees.

    • She was an early defender of the idea of a “Muslim ban” and suggested that Trump’s proposal “isn’t broad enough.” She claimed that she would “go further” and “do a pause on all immigration.”

    • She also said that Middle Eastern countries should be told that “we’re cutting you off,” adding, “You’re not going to come into this country and destroy what’s good about America.”  

    • Ingraham stated that the U.S. should only accept refugees that “we can verifiably say are Christians” and that Muslims should “stay in the Middle East.”

    • She has fearmongered about Muslim women, asking, “What’s under that Burqa, baby?”

    • She questioned why we even allow Muslim immigration when we “can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized.”

    • Ingraham argued that, in contrast to Muslims, Christian refugees do not “try to blow us up.”

    • She compared mosque surveillance to “body cameras on police.”

    • She questioned why "the Muslims" are "never supporting the conservatives on" anti-LGBTQ initiatives.

    Ingraham is routinely dismissive of any language that is not English and frequently demeans languages spoken by immigrants.
     

    • She has insisted that English “should be the national language of this country.”

    • She stated, “You’re only going to be here if you’re speaking our language.”

    • Ingraham argued that multilingual schools are "costing the good people, Catholics, Christians ... opportunities and money.”

    • She claimed multilingual schools make "you think you're in a foreign country."

    • She mocked MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart for translating for a Spanish speaking guest.

    • Ingraham attacked a person who was protesting deportations for speaking with an accent.  

    • She compared someone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic to a “skinhead” reciting the pledge and argued that “most people who love this country love it enough to speak” English.

    Ingraham has a history of making other racist and anti-Semitic comments, as well as disparaging organizations that serve minority communities.
     

    • On The Ingraham Angle, she said that Black NBA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant should “shut up and dribble.”

    • Ingraham called NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality “bratty players” who “disrespect the country.” On a separate occasion, she also stated that “a lot of these guys are punks.”

    • She said that she “would’ve prefered Madea doing political commentary” instead of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

    • On her Fox show, Ingraham praised Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as a “truly great” man, and on Fox & Friends, she decried the destruction of a Confederate statue.

    • During an appearance on Fox & Friends, she accused the NAACP of “becom[ing] a push organization for racist sentiments in many ways."

    • Again on Fox & Friends, Ingraham claimed that terrorism is “the price ... to pay for multiculturalism."

    • During an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham asked, “Are we supposed to hold the bar really low for President [Barack] Obama simply because he’s half-Black?”

    • She once argued that minority voters picked Obama because he was “half-Black.”

    • Ingraham called activist group Black Lives Matter “a complete fraud” and said they didn’t care about Black-on-Black crime.

    • She contended that “affirmative action is "shafting people who are not of the appropriate color, or background, or ethnicity."

    • Ingraham once stated that she doesn’t “think of Jewish people as minorities because they’re so successful.”

    • She attacked Univision and Telemundo as “toxic," "Hispanic-centric outlets," that "revile the American experience."

    • She also accused Spanish language media as a whole of teaching undocumented immigrants “how to avoid deportation.”

    • In 2014, Ingraham claimed that the left wants “a system of racial spoils in place to level the playing field.”