Wednesday, December 06, 2006

DDT Editorial on Racial Profiling

Excerpt from DDT Editorial...

"As a matter of editorial policy, we do not identify suspects or victims by race. When a suspect is in custody or has been charged, a description is generally unnecessary. Absent other details, such as age, clothing, scars, tattoos, hair styles, approximate height and weight, facial hair or lack thereof, and complexion, identifying a suspect by race serves no purpose.

Yet our editors must be on constant guard to make sure the words “black male” don't get into print.

While we in the news media have a responsibility to not contribute to negative perceptions, we believe the law enforcement agencies whose reports are the basis for most crime stories also have a responsibility. They must end the casual practice of identifying criminal suspects by those words.

Given that the majority of law officers in Washington County are black, we doubt racism is a factor. Still, if we fail to edit comments such as, “She said she was awakened by a black male,” many of our African-American readers would complain that we're creating or adding to the perception of black men as criminals.

They might be correct. Just because the police say it doesn't mean we have to repeat it. Do victims see armed thugs or do they see black males? To read a typical police report, one would believe the latter. Examples: “The victim said four black males entered the store and demanded money.” “She said she was awakened by a black male.” Enough already."

Right... Enough already!

God forbid that we describe a suspected criminal by their race! Age, weight, height, clothing and gender are fair game, but let's not play the race card... unless of course you happen to be "law-makers", musicians, or members of civic organizations... then it is okay to use the term "black"!

This editorial only reinforces my earlier comments... our "color-blind" society sees clearly in black and white.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why did you take over the scoop if you are not going to do anything with it?