Apparently, the white hosts on Fox News just can’t stop lecturing black folks about what should concern them. And surprise! It’s not the subject that African Americans are talking about these days, i.e. Trayvon Martin. No, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace joined his colleagues today in whitesplaining to Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Dr. Benjamin Carson that they and other African Americans should put aside the shock, horror and grief that an unarmed teenager was shot and killed while walking home from a convenience store – with nobody being held accountable – and focus, instead, on why so many blacks are violent killers.
Wallace brought up the subject of black crime at about eight minutes into the nearly 13-minute discussion (video below). Shaking his head with disbelief and disapproval, he said, “As I looked into this, the numbers are just staggering.”
Then he posted a graphic that he just happened to have at the ready:
After going over the numbers, Wallace asked, “Congresswoman Edwards, should the African American community be focusing on that, the black-on-black crime, the carnage in our inner cities, and not on George Zimmerman?”
To drive the point home, Fox News producers posted a banner on the screen “asking” if African American focus is “misplaced:”
Wallace added, "…You have people demanding, ‘Let’s go after George Zimmerman, …hate crimes, economic boycotts of Florida.’ That isn’t talking about the real problems in the inner city."
Later, to Dr. Ben Carson, Wallace asked, “I understand the concern with racial profiling but is that the real threat to young, black men?
Predictably, Carson said he didn’t think so.
Then, as Wallace interrupted Edwards' rejoinder to Carson, in order to give him “the last word,” Wallace "asked," “Is George Zimmerman a diversion from the real issue facing – the real threat facing young, African American men?”
As I posted previously, this meme really amounts to "blame yourselves, not Zimmerman." In the first place, it denigrates and delegitimizes mainstream African American sentiments as somehow dishonest. It also suggests that they’re trying to get away with some kind of sleight-of-hand when, in fact, the attempts to distract are being made by Fox News. But the worst part is that it suggests that African Americans are trying to blame whitey, or Zimmerman, when, in fact, they are the “real” criminals. Or to put it another way, if they weren’t such thugs, Trayvon would never have been mistaken for one and/or acted like one.
As Media Matters noted in its own post about this segment, Wallace didn’t just ignore “crucial social and historical context” when he brought up the subject of black crime, he, along with his Fox News colleagues, also “ignore(d) the fact that black men are excessively targeted, arrested, and incarcerated in the American criminal justice system.”
In my previous post about Fox News’ obsession with black crime rates, I found it more than a little suspect that the hosts always seem to present the issue as an accusation more than one of concern. Funny how that pattern was repeated with Wallace, too. But, as I also wrote, there’s the question of timing. “Fox’s enthusiasm for this issue, just as many other people are in the middle of grief and mourning, is more than tone deaf, it’s mean spirited and hostile.”
I believe that last part bears repeating.
This is like the Tea Party complaining about dems in congress voting to raise taxes on the wealthy. Then having a dem come on TV and point out the injustices the Tea Party supports that disadvantage certain minority or low income groups.
In both cases the opposition is using diversionary tactics to change the subject.
Hey Chris, it’s not working! At least not outside of the conservative media.
We see right through you and your other Fox News colleagues.