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Personal Column: Racial profiling through crime coverage

Staff writer Franklin Mejia
Staff writer Franklin Mejia

Last Wednesday, there was a mass shooting in Detroit, killing 3 and leaving at least 7 injured.  Shocker, right?

Recently, there have been a lot of mass shootings, with the most popular ones being the Boston shooting, Sandy Hook, and the Colorado Batman movie premiere.

The shooting in question happened in Al’s Place, a local barbershop known for it’s backroom gambling. That afternoon, two Impala’s, one black and one white, came to the barbershop and two men walked inside. One of them started firing a high-powered rifle, scaring all of the customers and the other started exchanging gunfire. The gambling men tried to run, some hitting the floor and crawling outside , while others  that were carrying guns started firing back. The firefight was intense and police arrived two minutes after being called.

The three men who died at Al’s Place on Wednesday were Elaine Williams’ son, brother and nephew. But national media outlets haven’t profiled Williams. Her story hasn’t been widely shared yet, and it probably won’t be, because the shooting happened in Detroit.

ThinkProgress, an American political blog states “Gun crimes often occur in low-income neighborhoods with largely non-white victims, but, from the news, you’d think every shooting put the white and affluent at risk of violence. There’s an obvious reason from a producer’s perspective: They want traffic, or viewers, and think they can get more if more well-off news consumers are self-concerned with the story. But it doesn’t reflect the reality of gun violence in the United States, where black people are far more likely to be victims of gun homicides compared to their white counterparts.”

While it may sound like a simple racist rant, it is a proven fact that not all mass shootings are reported. And most of the shootings that are not reported are crimes that have little to no Caucasian involvement.

Last week, a gunman fired rounds in a New Jersey mall before firing one on himself. There were no casualties but the story made headlines all around the nation. Yet, there were triple homicides in Detroit last week. Before the barbershop homicides a gunman killed a nine-months pregnant woman and her brother, killing her unborn baby and injuring a 75-year-old relative in the process. Two days after the barbershop incident, police responded to a call and found two men and a woman shot to death inside a home in Detroit’s west side, but no arrests have been made.

I don’t want this to escalate into a racist topic. However, I feel that situations like these shouldn’t go unnoticed. People and their crimes shouldn’t be filtered by their race nor by their economic situations. A person doesn’t stop being a person just because they’re economically unstable. A person doesn’t stop being a person because they live in low-income, minority filled neighborhoods. Everyone, without exception, should be treated equally and fairly. And that’s the problem with us. We as a society always single out people. We always unfairly discriminate people, not only by the color of their skin, but also by appearance, by “popularity”, by their material possessions, and many more.

Before we go around judging and discriminating people, why don’t we put ourselves in their shoes? Instead of singling them out and making them feel even worse, why not try emphasizing with them. Most of our problems such as, bullying, war, drug addicts, alcoholics, and so much more. All of these problems can be connected somehow to discrimination. If we stopped and though about it, a lot of problems are caused because of us and our discrimination against others.

There are a numerous amount of people who do their very best to get rid of discrimination. But it’s just not enough. With the media also influencing the way we treat other people, there is just too many people causing problems. Too many causing problems and not enough people preventing them. So instead of parading around, announcing that we have problems and that we need to prevent. Why not actually do something to prevent them? Why not actually help others. It may seem as if it’s not worth it, but if you don’t try, then who will?

Just think about it.

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