Being an old, white, gay guy, I think on days such as the federal holiday officially designated “Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.” my job is not to try to address issues of racial inequality with my own words, but rather to amplify the voices of people of color. Their lived experience makes anything they have to say on the topic much more relevant than anything I could say.
So today, let me suggest you take a look at Don Lemon’s “An MLK Day challenge to the news media.” I’ll quote a chunk of it here:
“So, on the day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King and his unapologetic truth-to-power approach, let me speak candidly and directly to the people who actively read Playbook — lawmakers and the people they employ, journalists and the people who employ us, and other influentials. It’s what I like to call: WKWW, “What King Would Want.”
This new administration was elected to represent all Americans, obviously. But let’s be honest about the people who put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over the finish line: They were and are Black, brown and Asian, with Black women leading the way, like pacers in a marathon. It is high time we (because I am included in these groups) not only have a seat at the table, but lead the discussion and make some of the decisions.
When our Latino brother and sister journalists wondered aloud and privately in newsrooms why we were giving candidate Donald Trump so much oxygen when he started by calling Mexicans rapists, did we listen to them or did we brush it off as an inability to be objective?
When Black journalists in newsrooms all over America questioned Trump’s history of racism, from housing to birtherism and more, did you stand up for us or keep quiet? Or did you journalistically appropriate us once we provided cover for you and your organization to finally speak or write the words, “The President of the United States is racist”?”
—CNN anchor Don Lemon, writing for Politico‘s Playbook
It’s really good. Read the whole article here.
Meanwhile, we shouldn’t let today pass without acknowledging another issue related to racism and other forms of hate: 44 Trans People Killed in 2020, Marking Worst Year on Record for Transphobic Violence.