Wrestlers and Robbers

The media’s no exception when it comes to institutional racism, especially when it comes to how they report the news. At times when crime has been overly sensationalized and heavily racialized, one can not ignore the association put forth by the news that blacks and crime go hand and hand. Sure, there are white people who commit crimes, but it’s black people who are seen as criminals.

Such is the case with a newspaper in Iowa called The Gazette where it reported two incidents of the same crime with two different groups of men in a noticeably different way:

On March 23, the Gazette‘s Lee Hermiston reported that three University of Iowa wrestlers were arrested after being caught in possession of several items that had been stolen from local homes in Marion, Iowa. The three suspects — Ross Lembeck, Seth Gross and Logan Ryan, all 19 and all white — were shown in the Gazette‘s pages in the their freshman yearbook pictures, wearing matching coats and ties…

On the same day, Hermiston reported on four African-American suspects charged with a burglary in Coralville, Iowa, but this group of suspects — Kwain E. Crawford, 36; Milton Whitehead, 50; Quentin D.W. Eatman, 24; and Curtis J. Johnson, 29 — were all pictured in their police mug shots.

A blogger managed to obtain the pictures of the two groups of men helping to illustrate the obvious. Already, this has caused a stir in cyberspace as people all over gave their two cents on the matter while others decided to use their white privileged mindset to do the talking for them.

Judging by the pics alone, it’s apparent that this was helped to imply that the white males made a mistake, albeit several of them, and that they shouldn’t be punished, at least that’s how the public will likely view them when looking at their pictures. At the same time, looking at mugshots at black males help to persuade the public’s collective opinion that black men are criminals that deserve to be punished. This could have a significant impact when the trial comes and a jury’s selected. The white guys would probably and very likely get a light punishment while the black guys get a much harsher sentence. This helps prove that the media plays a significant role in how the public and the courts see white criminals and black criminals.

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4 thoughts on “Wrestlers and Robbers

  1. This helps prove that the media plays a significant role in how the public and the courts see white criminals and black criminals. – Brotha Wolf

    This is a very good point Brotha Wolf. These United States of Empire is cruel place to be, even more so if you’re black or brown. In any event, this is how this kountry has essentially raped and pillaged the world. They’ve done this through images, movies and the control and utilization of technological instruments. We as black folks need to get our shit together and begin to tell our own stories through our own technological lenses.

    It’s just too darn unfortunate that those who are black and with the financial resources are too darn skurd (country grammar) to speak our own truths and begin telling our stories from our own perspectives and subsequently broadcast our own unfiltered experiences.

    Until this happens, I’m afraid that we’ll continue to see white (Edomites) as perfect people and black and brown people as merely world renowned criminals.

  2. …and, that was NOT the song I wanted in this post – that was for something else entirely! If you would be so kind as to post the following song instead, I’d appreciate it Brotha.

    Otherwise, my bugger-up is my own! I can acknowledge it, LOL… 😉

  3. since they were 19 did people try to defend them and call them kids? I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to blame the age differences instead of race.

    I can see it now, “oh they used the white guys yearbook photos because they are just kids and only graduated high school last year. Their future shouldn’t be destroyed for a mistake they made in their teens. The others are older so they knew better. see it is age not race.”

    If they are of legal age they know right from wrong. The media always coddles grown white males for killing, raping, and robbing, I guess they have to since that has always been their history and how they’ve gotten to where they are.

    We already know the media is biased all these pics doing a side by side comparison of a white male killing or stealing and getting taken into custody alive vs a black person getting killed for the same thing or much less. These things may help bring awareness but the only ones that care and take notice are the ones that are already aware. Others do not care, they can see things and research and still not get it because it does not affect them or their family. These things will not change laws or change the punishment or lack of punishment these suspects receive.

  4. ..Those pix o’ those “wrestlers” in their (ahem) respectable, civilized lookin yearbook photos vs. those of their “robbers” counterpart’s mugshots says it alL, dear ‘Wolf!

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