Intent? Result’s the same

JGFitzgerald -- December 14th, 2007

The DNR ran headlined stories in 2001, 2003, and 2007 when white males were elected chair of the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee. If such a story ran when Cheryl Talley became the first female African-American in that position in 2005, I’m still looking for it.

The phrase “still looking for it” is a very careful construction. I don’t remember seeing it, I can’t find it using the DNR’s search function, and I don’t remember anything but sarcasm in response when I twice suggested the story to a DNR writer at the time.

Furthermore, on those rare occasions when the current DNR political writer talks to someone besides Bob Roberts, the writer has talked to a series of past chairs who are all white males. The paper did branch out after the most recent election and interview a white female, so that’s some progress, and Larry Rogers, an African-American, was a frequent source for the newspaper. But neither I nor the other Democrats I’ve spoken to can recall Cheryl being asked for her opinion or analysis of any of the elections or political events of the past two years.

Obvious racism, right? Actually, the DNR has a defense, and I’ll not only state it for them, I agree with it. They’re not racist, they’re sloppy and insensitive. Their current political writer talks to people he’s comfortable with, and people he already knows. The result may be the same news over and over, but it’s safe and it’s antiseptic. Not racist.

Not racist or sexist in intent, anyway. But the result is another matter. The Shenandoah Valley may be one of the most racially tolerant parts of Virginia, it may be more Baja Pennsylvania than Virginia, but it is still on the edge of the map of the old South. The first woman or African-American elected or appointed to anything should be news.

And when the views of an African-American woman in such a position are consistently discounted by omission it is a tacit return to the days when some of our neighbors were expected to be seen and behave as if they were part of the wallpaper, and were expected to act as if they were honored by the privilege – if anybody asked.

Again, perhaps Cheryl Talley’s election was reported and I missed it or it didn’t make it into the paper’s on-line archives because of a technical glitch. Perhaps the same is true about any stories where she might have been asked about local politics. And perhaps we will eventually reach a point when the first appointment or election of a woman or an African-American, or both, is no longer notable. We’re not there yet. But maybe the DNR, owned by the family that invented Massive Resistance, has always been there.

16 Responses to “Intent? Result’s the same”

  1. republitarian says:

    Pretty much right on Joe.

    I know Mike Meredith gets quoted more and that is probably because we have all republican legislators who obviously win all the elections.

    Didn’t you use to work for the paper?

  2. Justin says:

    “Their current political writer talks to people he’s comfortable with” because they are white.

    That was fun.

  3. JGFitzgerald says:

    Read it again, Justin.

  4. Dave Briggman says:

    Joe, unless you think you know everyone’s country of ancestry, why not try to be consistent and call whites “white” and blacks “black”?

    I think it’s well within the realm of political correctness to refer to blacks as such, given that they apparently still find “negro” and “colored” OK — as long those names are used when discussing either the United Negro College Fund or the National Association for the Advancement of liberal Colored People..

  5. JGFitzgerald says:


    I’m so politically correct, I refer to jerks as Juvenile-Americans. Don’t know what made me think of that just now. Do you?

  6. Draegn88 says:

    You could ask why does the media report on certain stories yet ignore others?

    DNR has never mentioned the murders of Channon Christain and Christopher Newsom.

    DNR went on about the murders of the doctor’s family in Conn..

    One involves black suspects, the other white suspects. Why is one mentioned and the other not? Are not both equally the same?

    When it comes to missing persons why is it that only the attractive (could be a model) females are discussed? You never hear about ugly people missing.

  7. JGFitzgerald says:

    “You never hear about ugly people missing.”

    Didn’t know there were any ugly people missing. Thought they were all posting on self-pitying white supremacist blogs.

  8. Dave Briggman says:

    Better to be thought of as a Juvenile-American, as opposed to Stupid-American, huh, Joe?

    Of course, we on the right don’t feel so insecure or are so against the individual that we have to hyphenate everyone to include everybody into a little group.

  9. Gxeremio says:

    Draegn, interesting perspective. Name a few white-on-black hate crimes that have been overblown by the liberal media for me. I can’t remember any hate crime that was talked about for very long other than the Matthew Shepherd case(which was white-on-white, over sexual orientation) and, depending on your definition, the Jena 6 story. Most other stories come and go, blips on the media screen like so many other sad tales of shocking violence. There are a few possible hate crimes in the news now that will likely be forgotten in a month or two – a Baltimore bus attack on a white woman covered by the NY Times, AP, and Fox News among others, and a subway attack on some Jewish guys in New York by a group of white kids.

    I had to look up the Newsom-Christian case because I hadn’t heard about it before. According to the prosecuting authorities, “It was a terrible crime, a horrendous crime, but race was not a motive. We know from our investigation that the people charged in this case were friends with white people, socialized with white people, dated white people. So not only is there no evidence of any racial animus, there’s evidence to the contrary.” Why do you believe this case merits special attention among the 17,000 murders or so that occur annually in the US? Simply BECAUSE it was black-on-white?

  10. republitarian says:

    Dave and Joe, trading barbs is useless…..

    talk about the issue.

  11. republitarian says:

    Joe, you may have missed it but I thought you worked for the paper.

    Editor or something else?

  12. Draegn88 says:

    Gxeremio, you ask for white on black crime…

    Duke Lacross rape hoax case

    James Byrd, (in Texas?) was dragged to death

    Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom; this is why the prosecution is asking for the death penalty:

    If those reasons are not racial hatred, what is?

    I work with blacks, that is a form of socialization. If I go out and kill a few blacks does that mean it’s not a hate crime simply because I worked with a few?

  13. Gxeremio says:

    No, I asked for white-on-black HATE crime that’s been overblown. The Duke Lacrosse case wasn’t a hate crime. I don’t think I’d heard of the James Byrd case (which is from what, 1998 or 99?), but it was committed by white supremacists so it’s safe to say that was, in fact, a hate crime.

    The Christian-Newsom link you gave says nothing about “racial hatred” – so how is it a hate crime? Remember, by definition, a hate crime is “a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.” Do you think these sick killer/murderers wouldn’t have done the same if a black couple happened to own the car they were trying to carjack?

    Maybe we should stick to calling them bias crimes because some seem to want to twist the meaning of hate crime to include any crime where the perps didn’t act with love in their hearts.

    A quick question for you: what do you think non-whites should do differently in general?

  14. Draegn88 says:

    Gxeremio, if Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom had been black it would have received the same local attention and lack of national attention that it has received. However, if Channon and Christopher had been black and the accused white, the case would have been nationwide 24/7 with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and everyother group calling for hate crimes and the death penalty.

    That is today’s media bias. Where only certain stories are reported on so that readers/viewers can be attracted. This means that the media can then charge more for advertizing space. It is the same reason for super bowl commercial time costing millions. The more people that watch, the higher the fees that can be charged.

    Rather than hate crimes or bias crimes, they should just be crimes period. Are there any telepathic detectives and police who can know what a person is thinking and feeling without fail? I think not.

    You ask: “what do you think non-whites should do differently in general?”

    A vague question. I can only say to treat others as you would want to be treated and to not ask for special considerations simply because one is not white. Stop forcing multiculturalism and diversity.

    This in part explains how I feel:

  15. JGFitzgerald says:

    “the case would have been nationwide 24/7”

    “Are there any telepathic detectives and police who can know what a person is thinking and feeling without fail?

    Are there telepathic bloggers who can know what the media will do without fail?

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