Donna Edwards Will Make You Think About Race, Politics and Media
US Representative Donna Edwards D-Md. is criticizing the media Coverage of the armed group in Oregon. Edwards said in a statement that the media has called Black Lives Matter protesters “thugs,” “criminals” and “drug users,” but has referred to the armed group as “occupiers.”
Since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, activists protesting the deaths of an unarmed 18-year-old on a city street or the tragic death of a 25-year-old in the back of a police van have been referred to variously as ‘thugs,’ ‘criminals,’ and ‘drug users…But in Oregon, a group of armed men illegally occupying a federal building have been referred to as an ‘armed militia,’ or simply ‘occupiers,’ as though that behavior is acceptable in a nation of laws.
One could not imagine a group of armed black men taking over an unoccupied federal building as they have in Oregon. It is time to tell that tough truth. These moments cry out for leadership – by political leaders, the media, and the public.
I’d like to go a step further than representative Edwards who is of course correct here. Terrorism is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as the use of violence or intimidation in pursuit of political aims. An armed group takes control of a federal building and threatens violence until the government caves into their demands. These seditious traitors have committed an act of terrorism. Let’s call them the terrorists that they have shown themselves to be.
I hope we are not the first that are thanking Representative Donna Edwards for her rank candor and honesty. Putting this and other examples under the microscope, analysts say, can reveal the deeper beliefs, values and biases not just of some parts of the news media, but the larger society as well — particularly when it comes to race.