Heed our silence or hear our wrath!
ELINOR TATUM Publisher and Editor in Chief | 6/27/2012, 4 p.m.
Thirty thousand people marched and did not make a sound. Because of that, nary a mention was made of this historic procession down Fifth Avenue.
Thirty thousand people marched, on Father's Day, and the "mainstream media" basically ignored them. Fathers, mothers and children marched together in silent solidarity over the subject of stop-and-frisk, and they were ignored.
If 30,000 people marched in a parade, there would be coverage. If 500 people protested for animal rights, there would be coverage. Because this march was silent and peaceful, the coverage was slim.
The lack of media attention to this march is indicative of the lack of coverage of issues that are important to people of color. The truth remains that for the mainstream media to cover communities of color, the story must be negative. Shootouts and murders, drug deals and prostitution are still what get their attention when it comes to portraying minorities in the media.
When we come together as a unified body--when we stand in solidarity--we are ignored.
The wholesale omission of this historic march shows the complete disregard for communities of color and our issues. The fact that nearly 700,000 people get stopped and frisked in New York City is not something that can be easily swept under the rug, yet somehow it is. How is it that there are more stop-and-frisks of young men of color in certain neighborhoods than there are young men in those communities? The statistics are startling.
If 30,000 people rioted, there would be media coverage and the NYPD would be on full alert. If people were masked and brandishing firearms, there would be coverage. If there were skirmishes with the police, there would be coverage. If they did anything illegal, there would be coverage. Because it was peaceful and the incidents minuscule, coverage was null and void.
The media believe they only need to cover people of color at their worst. Here we were at our best, coming together brother to brother, sister with sister, walking in silence.
If the NAACP, the National Action Network, 1199 UFT and hundreds of other organizations declaring in silence that we will not take this anymore isn't newsworthy, nothing is. Better you heed our silence than experience our wrath. If you wait for our collective screams, it will be too late.
New York City, you are on notice. Mayor Bloomberg, you, too, are on notice. Stop these tactics. Our communities deserve better. And even in our silence, we deserve to be heard.