Jay Nordlinger prints an email he got in his column on National Review Online
Jay, Why is it that everything has to be racialized? Here`s the headline over an Associated Press story: "Texas Black Woman Scheduled for Execution." "Texas Black Woman"? Why not just "Texas Woman"? She murdered her family. What does her race have to do with it?
I`m afraid Jay gets a little carried away with this color-blind thing. While Justice should be color-blind, crime reporting
needn`t be. The NAACP certainly claims they see a link
between race and the death penalty.
But reporters not only "racialize" capital punishment
, for political effect, they "de-racialize"
Frances Newton killed her husband and her two small children
for the insurance money in 1987.
I was able to track down the 1987-88 headlines about the murder in the Houston Chronicle`s
archive and none of them said anything like "Black Woman Kills Her Whole Family."
They said nothing about here race at all.
They said as follows
Woman charged in shooting deaths of husband, 2 children
Mom stood to benefit, says agent/Murder trial lists insurance policies
Wife admits hiding gun, denies killing mate, two children
Woman convicted in killing husband, her two children
Jury finds woman guilty in deaths of husband, kids
Jury gives Newton death in slayings of her family
So, you see, the press can
avoid racializing things: it just depends on the outcome
they`re trying to achieve.