Oh, no, not another "blacks in America" news special! One of the cable networks recently put together another one of these "specials" on what it's like to be black in America. The network asked a conservative friend of mine to participate. He sent the following letter; and I wrote back.
OK, Larry, I grew up a bit last night. Those (unflattering descriptive deleted) at that news network on cable used me like a two-dollar whore! I interviewed with them for almost 10 hours, and all that talk was whittled down into five-second sound bites that put me in a rather negative light. Part of our talk was about the crack epidemic. I spoke about the way we are fighting this drug war, which we should approach as a health issue as opposed to a law enforcement problem. I talked about the impact single parenthood has on crime rates. … I talked and talked. They edited it all down to, "If you don't want to go to jail, don't sell crack." I am really angry.
The "wretched blackness" slant was so clear. I was on live for the half-hour preceding the beginning of the program. They ran a long segment with a black comedian/actor, talking about how he tells his son each and every day about how to talk to the police and how black men must be wary of cops. They cut to me, and I said that I was certainly in agreement that we need to talk to our children about respecting authority, but I also wondered if the comedian/actor talked to his son about the proper color shirt to wear in case some knuckleheads have a dislike of the color red or blue. The truth is that his son has more to fear from other young black men than he does from the police. I then quoted a homicide statistic: 94 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other black people. It was dismissed by the moderator so we could focus instead on how racist the cops are. Unbelievable.
It should not surprise me, then, that producers and editors would give liberal, hypersensitive blacks room to make their points -- even if they were factually untrue. They spoke to a professor from Columbia, who was droning on about how the legacy of slavery is to account for blacks' out-of-wedlock birthrate. Slavery?! This nonsense was seconded by another panelist. When I corrected them and said that the out-of-wedlock rate was lower during Jim Crow … eyes began rolling, and my point was ignored in order to move on. And I was reduced to sound bites.
Had to vent a bit.