I watch Good Morning America faithfully every morning. I turned it on Thursday morning waiting to see commentary on what happened to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I was waiting to see correspondents share the voices of the people living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Sterling was shot and killed by police, and Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Castile was gunned down by an officer while his fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, livestreamed the event.
What I saw angered me. I saw Robin Roberts talking to a medical expert about sunscreen. Two Black men were murdered in less than 24 hours and they were reporting on sunscreen? I quickly turned the channel to the Today show. Nothing. I turned to CBS. Again, nothing.
Now, on Friday morning, after the news of the shooting of Dallas police officers, I turned on Good Morning America and they were talking about the shooting deaths of five officers by a deranged gunman in Dallas, Texas. Producers interrupted Good Morning America to provide in-depth coverage of the shootings and show the press conference featuring Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Police Chief David Brown.
In that moment, I realized that Black lives really don’t matter – not just to the law enforcement officers who continue to murder our men, women, and children, but they also don’t matter to news producers, government officials, presidential candidates – anyone who considers themselves privileged, Black or White.
Not that I don’t care about the lives of law enforcement officers, but the disparity in news coverage demonstrates the lack of care and concern about Black lives. When two Black men were murdered by police in cold blood, mainstream news media did not provide a voice for the community. Further, the media failed to utter a word about the two lost lives. Instead, they talked about sunscreen.
When the lives of the police officers were taken, the mainstream media provided coverage and allowed the voices of the government and police officers to be heard. Reporters and producers failed to share much information about the suspects or the investigation, but they made sure to paint the picture of the attacks as a heinous crime by reporting some of suspect Micah Xavier Johnson‘s last words before he died. Words that, in essence, paint Blacks as terrorists.
“He was upset at White people and wanted to kill white people, especially White officers,” Dallas Police Chief Brown, who is Black, said at a news conference.
It showed me, a Black woman, professional, and mother of a two Black teenagers, that Black lives really don’t matter to the mainstream media. In that moment, I decided to become even more steadfast in my position to change the conditions of the Black community by starting an economic revolution.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty