Activist Deray Mckesson has been one of the most active voices among the police brutality protests in support of movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and similar groupings. Mckesson was a guest on CNN this weekend discussing recent reports, and once again checked the news network on how race is presented in mainstream media.
Mckesson appeared on host Brian Stelter’s Reliable Sources show, discussing the indictment of the six police officers said to be involved in the death of Baltimore man, Freddie Gray. The discussion moved to how the media handles issues of race and how movements like #BlackLivesMatter are categorized during such broadcasts.
From the transcripts page for Reliable Sources:
[MCKESSON:] So, what you saw in Saint Louis is, like, the police were literally attacking protesters. And that wasn’t always the narrative that was like put out by the mainstream media.
What you saw in Baltimore sometimes, is you saw people focusing on sort of the property damage, and not actually focusing on what caused the unrest in the first place.
STELTER: I wonder, are you saying the press should automatically assume the worst about the officers, about the authorities?
MCKESSON: I’m saying that there should be balance in the way that the critique is spread. And there isn’t.
Stelter pushed back by challenging Mckesson’s assessment that the police narrative of when Black protesters mobilize, the tendency is to assume the worse of their character thus prompting often violent responses. Comparing Baltimore’s coverage to the situation of what occured in Waco, Texas and the biker gang shootout, Mckesson gave the clearest example of the disparity in fair reporting.
More from Reliable Sources:
MCKESSON: Yes, I think that Waco’s fascinating. Right?
So, what we didn’t see were any dead bodies. Right? They kept — nine people were dead. There were 18 people injured. And, like, there was no — the media didn’t show any of that spectacle of blood. Right?
And not that I want to see bloody bodies, but there was a stark difference. And you also saw, like, the bikers chilling. Right? They are like — they are in gangs. This is organized crime. And they are just, like, hanging out at the police line after nine people are killed, and they’re now saying that they might have recovered 1,000 weapons.
That never — that context would not happen if those bodies were dark- skinned. What was interesting about Waco is that it was — there was all this nuance, suddenly, right, because whiteness gets nuance in the media and blackness doesn’t.
Watch Deray Mckesson’s discussion with CNN’s Brian Stelter on race and the media in the clip below courtesy of Raw Story.
Photo: CNN/YouTube/Raw Story