Churches are burning and no one is saying anything about it. It was brought to my attention that numerous churches, black churches to be exact, have burned within the past few weeks. I didn’t really know much about it happening because I didn’t see the mainstream media talking about it. But why is the mainstream media not talking about it?
I am a public relations major. I have my masters in corporate communications so most of the time when situations happen, I see the way in which they are reported differently from others. So why is the burning of predominately black churches not important enough to give the same attention to as that of marriage equality, Caitlyn fucking Jenner (seriously I am tired of hearing about her), what Beyoncé wore while walking the streets of NYC or what Kim Kardashian is having?
I am happy for gay people, more power to the newest Jenner and yea yea, beyonce and Kim, the attention whores, but why can’t we as consumers of information, demand that the media give us more of other things that matter. For the record, I am sick and tired of the media’s agenda setting.
While they are giving us the oversaturation of one thing, they are purposefully not giving us anything (or hardly anything) of something else. And for those reading this who say I am hating on gay people or transgendered people or white people, NO that’s not the case. I felt the same damn way with the oversaturation and hype of Lupita Nyong’o (a black woman… I am black) and Tess Holiday (a plus size model… I am a curvy girl).
It’s not always about color or lifestyle or other touchy subjects that most people try to steer clear of for me. It’s about addressing the clear and present bias of certain stories in the media. And those subjects just happen to be what they are negligent in caring about.
When I am in this headspace, I think to myself, “Okay Rasheda, is the situation really what you are making it?” Maybe churches burn all the time and because of what happened in Charleston, SC, people are making a big deal out of it. OR maybe it doesn’t happen all the time and these kinds of incidents have increased since the Charleston Massacre, thus it is a big deal.
Why are churches in the south burning and hardly any attention has been given to the situation? I know without a shadow of a doubt that it has everything to do with agenda setting.
I wish things were different. I wish the conversation on race in America was different… so different that there is no conversation about race in America. The media, just like the political system, has gotten to a place that it does not do the good and justice it once did or was intended to do.
I am going to be honest here and play devil’s advocate to my own consternation. There is no getting around the fact that what Dylan Roof did, killing nine black people in church after spending an hour praying with them, has indeed done a number on the way black people and white people think. I mean it has caused so much of a controversy that officials in several states have made the move to even rid themselves of the confederate flag, a symbol, despite what people try to explain about heritage, of one of the darkest moments in our history as a country. With that, maybe the scale of the story has given certain low-key media outlets the opportunity to make a ruckus about burning churches. I mean, they could be events that happen on the regular because ya know… shit happens.
I have always been the type to give people the benefit of the doubt because in my heart of hearts, I believe that people are good and everyone is just trying to make it. But I would be lying if I said that in the past few years, the stories and situations that have happened with black people being the butt of the joke (very sad, unfortunate, fatal jokes) hasn’t changed my view of the world. And I know, that the media and the way that they do shit has played a role in doing that as well.
So here is my charge to you because this is not a For the Record about black churches burning (I mean kind it kind of is but… ). Let us start holding the mainstream media accountable for their lack of fairness, their double standards and their biases (against minorities, women etc.) because damn it, if there is a church burning in a down trodden community full of black folks, I want to hear about that just as much I want to hear about Donald Trump being an ass… something I already was well aware of.