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Expelled and Reinstated TN Reps Don't Get How Race Is Favored in the Media

AP Photo/George Walker IV

Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones (D) gave a revealing quote when interviewed by MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell about how he views the news coverage and the country's reaction to the shooting of Ralph Yarl. 

Yarl, a 16-year-old black teenager, was shot by 84-year-old Andrew Lester of Kansas City, Missouri, after coming onto Lester's property late at night to pick up his brother. While he survived, it is unknown at this time whether race officially played a factor, though the Department of Justice is looking into it. Lester said he shot through the window, but Yarl says Lester opened the door and then shot him.           

Jones said this attack must be viewed by the country as if it was a young white person being shot. 

"Until this attack against a young black man is treated as abhorrent as [an] attack if it was a young white man, that we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes," he said. 

This must mean Jones views this incident as not having received enough attention and justice because it is not a white teenager who was shot. This is, of course, patently absurd. It's because Yarl was shot by a white man that the situation is receiving wall-to-wall coverage. It's the only reason two lawmakers in another state are being asked about the issue during a primetime cable news segment. It's the reason why he has been invited to the White House by President Joe Biden. To my knowledge, the families of the victims of the Nashville shooting in the Christian school have yet to receive such attention from Biden. 

As the situation would have it, there is an example of a young white person being shot and killed for coming onto the wrong property. Kaylin Gillis and a group of her friends went down a wrong road leading up to a house in New York when the owner fired on them. While her death has received news coverage, her name has not been nearly mentioned enough as Yarl. There are countless examples of white people or Asians being attacked or killed by black people, which don't garner nearly enough attention when the roles are reversed, even though it happens more often.

That is the sad state our nation is in. Race has become the end-all-be-all when it comes to things like news cycles. For Jones to believe the law is not being carried out in Yarl's case and large parts of the country are unaware of what happened is delusional at best. It's hyping people up over an already tense situation the country is dealing with regarding race, all because they are in it for their 15 minutes of fame.


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