Media Misrepresents Facts

Dear Editor

Several months ago major media outlets wrote about an African American student reported to campus security by another student for sleeping in a lounge.  Deep reading into the articles demonstrated that this person made several similar frivolous complaints to campus security about other unidentified students.  This may have been a case of a tightly strung individual who too frequently calls security brought to the public’s attention because claims of racism sells advertising space.

More recently, an African American male was pinned to the ground at Columbia University.  Campus security requested an ID. The student admitted he initially refused. He showed the Columbia University ID after being pinned.  The report did not mention the student’s age. In the accompanying video the man appears to be in his mid-thirties. Shave the beard and he will probably look like he’s in his late twenties.  He was pinned down on the Barnard College Campus of Columbia University, which is all girls. The student claimed no other students were ID’ed after he was thrown to the ground.  Is this because they were all Caucasian so campus security is racist? Or was this because all the students were women in their early twenties? Were these female students not ID’ed because this was a building where the majority of congregates have been ID’ed several times prior and therefore were well known to security?  So, individuals who do not live there or are new there have access with ID? Or, did security stop ID’ing because the incident sabotaged the security process?

This same news agency reported that during the 2018 Georgia elections a bus carrying African American voters was harassed and stopped to infringe on voters’ rights.  There was no description of the bus. A picture of the bus made the action more understandable than the original article. The bus had wording, art, and pictures on the side that could have been considered a campaign endorsement.  Many states have laws preventing campaigning within certain distances of polling places. If a bus owned by the NRA with NRA written on the side dropped off voters within these geographic limits, many would complain about this rule being broken.  It should be stopped as well.

Racism does sadly exist.  This is a reason why the policy of profiling is horrible.  However, misrepresenting facts to increase ratings makes everybody more suspicious of each other.  It destroys relations. Worse it makes actual incidents less believable.

Alan Burke