Channel: The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
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A Black "Human Powder Keg" Needed Help

August 26, 2015

Va. shooting raises issue of race, mental health . . . a live shot is an "exercise in vulnerability"; Sharpton losing daily MSNBC show, moving to Sundays; Spanish-language media vent rage at Trump; Asian men, black women underrepresented in magazines; canister-thrower in iconic Ferguson photo is charged; survey finds racial divide on recovery from Katrina; answering critics, Dr. Dre says misogyny is behind him; press in Indian Country operates under different rules (8/26/15)

Va. Shooting Raises Issue of Race, Mental Health

. . . A Live Shot Is an "Exercise in Vulnerability"

Sharpton Losing Daily MSNBC Show, Moving to Sundays

Spanish-Language Media Vent Rage at Trump

Asian Men, Black Women Underrepresented in Magazines

Canister-Thrower in Iconic Ferguson Photo Is Charged

Survey Finds Racial Divide on Recovery From Katrina

Survey Finds Racial Divide on Recovery From Katrina

"This week marks the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in New Orleans,"Abby Phillip reported Sunday for the Washington Post. "By all accounts, the city has made enormous strides since the 2005 calamity.

"But how much residents think that's true depends largely on their race.

"A new Louisiana State University survey found that black and white people in New Orleans had starkly different assessments of their community's strides since the storm.

"Nearly 80 percent of white residents of New Orleans say that Louisiana has 'mostly recovered' since the storm, according to the survey from LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication's Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs.

"But nearly 60 percent of black people say the opposite — that the state has 'mostly not recovered' in their view.

"It isn't just that white residents think things are better now than the day after the flood waters receded. Most white residents also believe the city is better than it was before the storm arrived. Most black residents, on the other hand, think the opposite.

"The responses reflect a truth about New Orleans that became impossible for the rest of the country to ignore once the levees broke: The city's black residents were disproportionately affected by flooding. The African American population in New Orleans lived largely in the city's low-lying eastern areas, which suffered massive flooding.

"Blacks accounted for 73 percent of the people displaced by the storm in New Orleans. And more than one-third of the black people in New Orleans displaced by Katrina were estimated to have been poor, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. (About 14 percent of the city’s non-black population displaced by the storm was poor.)

"This survey and others — including one from the Kaiser Family Foundation — indicate that the city's recovery is viewed as being largely lopsided along racial lines. . . ."

Answering Critics, Dr. Dre Says Misogyny Is Behind Him

"For Dr. Dre, this summer was meant to be a victory lap in a successful career. 'Straight Outta Compton,' a biopic about his hip-hop group, N.W.A., topped the box office last week with a $56.1 million opening,"Joe Coscarelli reported Friday for the New York Times.

"'Compton,' his first album in 16 years, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart. Last year, the music company that Dr. Dre helped establish, Beats, was sold to Apple for $3 billion, making him the self-proclaimed 'first billionaire in hip-hop.'

"But critics charge that the movie, which was co-produced by Dr. Dre, glosses over N.W.A.'s record of misogyny and ignores Dr. Dre's history of physically abusing women. In a sign that the uproar was threatening not only his reputation but also his business dealings, Dr. Dre, who has previously spoken dismissively or vaguely about the decades-old episodes, confronted them on Friday in a statement to The New York Times. While he did not address each allegation individually, he said:

"'Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I've been married for 19 years and every day I'm working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.' . . ."

Press in Indian Country Operates Under Different Rules

"Joe Martin had never worked for a newspaper or owned a handgun when he took the reins of the tribally owned Cherokee One Feather in 1995,"Holly Kays reported Wednesday for the Smoky Mountain News in Waynesville, N.C.

"But when the first changed, so did the second. Then a 26-year-old whose only job experience since graduation from college was as a cage cashier at the casino, Martin found himself fast-tracked to a steep, steep learning curve.

"'I've gotten death threats here and there,' he said. 'I don't know how many times I've had somebody say they were going to go to the chief or council and make sure that I got fired.'

"Eventually, he did get fired. Martin hasn't worked for The One Feather since 2007. . . ."

Kays also wrote, "While Cherokee is geographically located in North Carolina, it's not actually part of the state. Like all other federally recognized Native American tribes, The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a sovereign nation. That means that it makes and enforces its own laws, so the fact that the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees all citizens the right to a free press and free speech doesn't have any bearing on how things work on the Qualla Boundary. . . ."

The Qualla Boundary is the band's 100-square-mile sovereign nation and encompasses parts of five Western North Carolina counties.

Furthermore, Kays explained later in the piece, "Indian tribes are different from other newspaper coverage areas in that they're not just another county, another town, separated from the neighbors by arbitrarily drawn political lines.

"Indian tribes are their own nations, pockets of culture thousands of years old. On the Qualla Boundary, for example, everybody who's enrolled traces ancestry back to someone whose name is on the 1924 Baker Roll, a census of the Eastern Band of Cherokee people alive at the time. Many enrolled members are related to each other through some tie of marriage or birth from the last 100 years — it's a community of blood, as well as geography.

"That can further complicate things when it comes to reporting the news.

"'Me and my brother grew up and we beat each other up every single day, but don't you dare let someone else jump on him,' said Councilmember Brandon Jones by way of explaining the dynamic.

"'We can fuss and fight and not get along, but then when something happens and there's an outside opinion versus the Eastern Band, we all come together.'

"On the one hand, people deserve to know what their government is up to. But would you want to publish your family secrets for anyone to read? For many in Cherokee, that's a hangup when it comes to endorsing a free press — does giving media free rein equate to exposing what is the equivalent of family business for public consumption? . . ."

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