“If we are to be honest, Eligon’s profile perpetuated some of the most toxic stereotypes about Black people—marijuana smokers, “vulgar”, thieves, academically below average—in a way that most would find utterly appalling were it applied to someone with power. It’s worth noting the New York Times is the same newspaper that took years to begin calling the crime against humanity that is torture “torture.” But when a young Black man is ruthlessly murdered by a white police officer it only takes a few weeks before he is very matter-of-factly described as “no angel.” Whether conscious or not (I think it’s conscious) this double standard nurtures deeply ingrained prejudices which allow atrocities like the Mike Brown murder to continue with impunity.”
Seriously, in this day and age we have to encounter such outright racism by a popular newspaper? So, as one tweeter user, zoe samudzi, said that the rapping, the drugs and the street life are all “racially codified activities” . So Iggy Azaleas can be a silly little tramp and go sprouting racism left, right and center like a porn orgy but one young African American man facing life will be codified. I have not seen anyone outright say that Iggy’s bleached and toxified appearance with her huge buttocks is reminiscent of a Loony Tunes blueprint gone wrong. I am happy that Xavier Best took the time to write this article.
— Africa is a Country (@AfricasaCountry) August 25, 2014
“Throughout history, the powers of single Black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world rightly gauged their brightness.”
—W.E.B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
New York Times journalist John Eligon has come under intense scrutiny after he published a profile of slain Missouri teen Mike Brown in which he declared he was “no angel.” Several reports have since been published critical of this description. This report from Vox is of particular significance as it exposes some of the persistent double standards that have long been a part of American media discourse when it comes to how they treat white killers as compared to Black victims.
But more troubling than this one line is…
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