"Race-profiteers, some of whom put what remained of their credibility on the line agitating against Zimmerman, are determined not to let the verdict be the end of the polarizing case." wrote Alex Newman of The New American. Newman's was one of many voices from the right trying to spin the Justice For Trayvon Movement as something less than legitimate; manufactured as opposed to grassroots outrage. The notion that anyone who cries racism is somehow a race-monger, is nothing new for the right wing which constantly downplays America's race problem, or denies it outright, all the while inciting it.
This trend is exemplified in the reporting on the post-verdict demonstrations, nationwide, by conservative sources. The only city they focused on was Oakland, Calif., because it was the only city in the country to see notable incidents of violence; the only one to fit the narrative. The Blaze and Breitbart in a celebratory frenzy, provided their readers with numerous articles containing video and pictures of protesters burning American flags. However, they were, by no means, the only conservative outlets to do so. Conservativevideos.com, freepatriot.org, and a slew of others got on board. The imagery potent, the emotional appeal palpable, such reporting is yet another attempt to frighten older white audiences with unruly black youths. By not providing the context behind the actions, these presentations are meant to delegitimize the black protesters, and beyond that, Trayvon Martin.
The trouble with reporting flag burnings as stories in themselves is that they are not stories; they are part of a larger picture, a legitimate racial controversy, which was strikingly absent from any of these articles from conservative sources. Because racism is fundamentally detrimental to democracy and society, the media has a responsibility to at least provide context when covering racially charged events. Without it, the coverage only serves to reinforce people's prejudices, as made apparent by the comments sections of some of the articles:
Comments from The Blaze: "Chaos on Third Night of Trayvon Martin Protests in Oakland, L.A."
Comments from The Blaze: Oakland Demonstrators Burn Flags, Smash Cop Car After Zimmerman Verdict (PHOTOS)
Comments from Breitbart: "Oakland Anti-Zimmerman Protesters Burn American Flag"
The ironic part about conservative sources saying Zimmerman protesters are created by media is that the kind of hate their readers exhibit is not grassroots; its manufactured by people with an agenda. Conservatives have long exploited racial prejudice to mobilize white voters. This is known as the Southern Strategy, and I have covered it in multiple articles. Breitbart, The Blaze, The New American, etc .,all exist for the sole purpose of helping those on the right get elected without any regard for the division they are causing. It is shameful.
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