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Sympathetic Language for an Accused Killer

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November 30, 2015

Media outlets again accused of racial double standards; writers debate why so many give R. Kelly a pass; Annenberg to spend $5 million to boost J-school diversity; younger, older whites largely live segregated lives; conferees say blacks gain from reversing climate change; ProPublica finds blacks ignored in gun control debate; Geraldo loses radio show on New York's WABC-AM; open letter in Ebony warns black ministers about Trump; John H. Hicks dies, first black reporter at Post-Dispatch (11/30/15)

Media Outlets Again Accused of Racial Double Standards

Writers Debate Why So Many Give R. Kelly a Pass

Annenberg to Spend $5 Million to Boost J-School Diversity

Younger, Older Whites Largely Live Segregated Lives

Conferees Say Blacks Gain From Reversing Climate Change

ProPublica Finds Blacks Ignored in Gun Control Debate

Geraldo Loses Radio Show on New York's WABC-AM

Open Letter in Ebony Warns Black Ministers About Trump

Ebony magazine posted an open letter from 100 black leaders Friday urging African American clergy to be wary when they met Monday with Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

"We write to you as fellow clergy, community organizers, scholars, socially aware Christians, and/or concerned voters who are deeply confounded by your decision to participate in an upcoming telecast meeting with Presidential contender Donald Trump," the message began.

"Mr. Trump routinely uses overtly divisive and racist language on the campaign trail. Most recently, he admitted his supporters were justified for punching and kicking a Black protester who had attended a Trump rally with the intent to remind the crowd that 'Black Lives Matter.' Trump followed this action by tweeting inaccurate statistics about crime prevalence rates in Black communities — insinuating that Black people are more violent than other groups.

"Those statistics did not reflect the fact that most crimes are intraracial, meaning that most people do harm to people of their own race. They also did not speak to the crime of neoliberalism, capitalism, and white supremacy which kill thousands of black and nonblack people each day. . . ."

On Monday, "Dozens of African American pastors gathered behind closed doors with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump at his office in New York,"Alice Ollstein reported for ThinkProgress. "The Trump campaign originally told press the pastors were going to endorse him, despite the fact that they had never promised to do so, which organizers chalked up to a 'miscommunication.'"

"Following the meeting, Pastor Mark Burns from South Carolina told reporters that while he identifies as a 'strong supporter' of Trump's, he wasn't yet ready to endorse. . . . . The pastors' meeting was going to be [live streamed] and open to press, but the Trump campaign clamped down following widespread backlash from others in the black faith community. . . ."

John H. Hicks Dies, First Black Reporter at Post-Dispatch

"John H. Hicks didn't think it was a big deal that he made journalism history in St. Louis,"Valerie Schremp Hahn reported Wednesday for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He hadn’t planned to work at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and when he interviewed for the job, he didn't think he would get it.

"Mr. Hicks was hired in 1949 as the newspaper's first black reporter. He went on from the paper to become a diplomat to several countries, including Germany, Vietnam and Liberia. He died of pneumonia on Nov. 18, 2015, in Washington, where he had retired." He was 87.

"Mr. Hicks grew up in East St. Louis during the Great Depression. He played tuba in the high school jazz band with Miles Davis, who played trumpet.

"In 1993, he was inducted into the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In an interview the same year with Post-Dispatch columnist Greg Freeman, Mr. Hicks recalled enrolling as a pre-journalism student at the University of Illinois. One friend jokingly asked him, 'What are you going to do with a journalism degree? Work at the Post-Dispatch?'

"He got an interview with the paper through a college job connection. Nobody ever told him the paper wanted to hire a black reporter, though he suspected that was the case, he told Freeman. . . . "

A son, Jonathan P. Hicks, "followed in his father’s footsteps and was a reporter at The New York Times for 24 years. He died last year, at age 58," Hahn reported.

Funeral services are to be held Wednesday in Washington.

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