- Leonard Pitts is one of my favorite columnists. He’s an excellent voice against racism, one that’s sorely needed in this country. But for the last couple of weeks I’ve been fuming over a comment he made in his coverage of the Democratic National Convention: “the only thing standing between us and the apocalypse that is Donald Trump is a grandmother in pantsuits.” (If you don’t see the sexism in that comment, probably you should move along to the next blog.) So when I saw his column today that seemed to be apologizing for the earlier words, I was sorely disappointed. His assessment of the many complaints from both male and female readers? “While I appreciate my critics’ sensitivities, I think they’re misplaced. It was a joke, not meant as a serious assessment of Clinton.” Meaning he TOTALLY MISSED THE POINT. If you can brush off concern by saying “it’s a joke,” you are absolutely guilty of ignoring unconscious bias. There were plenty of hideous trolls in the last eight years who depicted President Obama as a monkey – a clear racial slur. Surely Mr. Pitts would not let them off with the comment, “it’s a joke!”
- I recently wrote to a local news writer about another instance of unconscious bias against females in his summary of Mrs. Clinton’s speech at the DNC. Trying to soothe my blood pressure, I explained to him that saying “Clinton has a problem with raising her voice when speaking to large crowds” was entirely sexist. Almost every single speaker, male and female, at both conventions, shouted in to the microphone. Seriously not okay to call out the first female candidate for president by a major party for something almost every male did, as well.
- BAD REPORTING!!!! Last week after our state primary elections, in which a significant number of extremist incumbents were voted out, our local paper did a brief rundown of both candidates in every contested race. The reporter mistakenly stated that one of the incumbents was a former police officer. WRONG. I happen to know the candidate in question, and a slimier scumball was never sent to our legislature. For the past six year he advertised himself as having “formerly worked in law enforcement.” Obviously his intent was to make voters believe he’d been a brave police officer. Nope. He was a junior college campus security guard. It’s a perfectly legitimate job. But he consistently tried to mislead the public, and this lame reporter fell for it.
Maybe I should take a break from the morning paper?
Or maybe maybe male journalists should check their privilege and reporters in general should check their facts.