Monday, August 25, 2014

Fox News View of Race in America

Looking at Fox News’ coverage of the Michael Brown killing, it appears that it is okay for white officers to shoot unarmed black youth (or men) because 1. A black officer shot a troubled white homeless kid who claimed he would rather die than spend time in prison (The New American; Fox 13) and because a black kid was just convicted of shooting and killing a white officer (The Ledger) . Makes sense. Of course, following this logic, police officers should be able to shoot troubled young white loners who like video games whenever they see them acting weird, as they are the ones shooting groups of innocent people and kids at schools, in malls and on the street, right?

The reality is that Fox News always comes to the defense of anyone engaging in racist behavior or killing black men and children. They seem to be arguing that it is okay for innocent victims to die – if they are black – and that racism should be celebrated as free speech, or “telling it like it is.” This and related racism can be seen with the Trayvon Martin case, both Obama elections, their positive coverage of Cliven Bundy and Phil Robertson, their uproar over the immigrant children illegally in the U.S.A. and now the Michael Brown case (see this interesting compilation on Fox News racism). The facts? As useless and unimportant as they have always been to Fox News (see Jon Stewart on Fox News Lying). One can also look at the way Fox News keeps on message, no matter what (as with their constant critique of Media Matters (ad hominem only, of course) or ACORN).

One might ask why? Well, it fits the Fox News model – the same model employed by far too many conservatives in this country. The model is based on sleigh of hand and playing off white male anger by attacking affirmative action, feminism, religious “victimhood,” illegal immigration, abortion, gay marriage and the like. They are selling the idea that it is not Corporate America or the party encumbered to their interests that is causing the worsening situation for working class and middle class families in America, but all of these other groups and the very government that is really the only one that can stand up to those interests. Racism is the key playing card in this sleigh of hand strategy though, as it draws back to the very foundation of this country and adds the extra spice of triggering white male panic of perceived black male virility. Fox News is at the epicenter of this battle, but in a broader sense it is the heart of the GOP strategy since at least Ronald Reagan (and really Nixon, though other key issues like the Vietnam War were in play then). To reiterate, use white male panic and white male anger to stir up votes for the very party that will only stoke that panic and anger even more, as they screw them in every way possible.

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