“Dear CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, Good Morning America, the Today Show and whatever other news organizations professing to employ people who refer to themselves as Journalists:
cc: all Facebook Friends (as promised)
FYI There is a flood in Louisiana.
You’ve met us before. You came and camped out over here during a very painful period in our existence about a month ago. You went into a neighborhood you’ve never been in, in a state it’s quite possible that you’ve never visited (despite that you are ‘very well-travelled’). Although, I realize you are sophisticated, and accepting of ‘other’ cultures, you managed to pass judgment on an entire community in your own country, who were mourning and struggling to figure out – what the hell just happened – and where do we go from here – all of us (well most of us) – in good faith. You didn’t offer help, you didn’t offer support, you offered criticism – and then you left.”
“Oh you came back, a few weeks later, a lunatic, who also had never been here, showed up and murdered three of our finest citizens. In broad daylight. In the middle of town. You came back. With more criticism. More speculation. More side taking. When in the community I live, we were basically all on the same side. We’re all in this together. I hate to pull a hashtag, but seriously #unBRoken.
Not one person I watched on the national news during the weeks following Alton Sterling’s death, or the murder of three police officers gave my friends, my family, my neighbors – any credit or the benefit of the doubt. Nope. The entire news media looked for someone to blame. Depending on what network you watched the target of blame was Sterling himself, the cops, the South, the guns, the whatever. Not one person I watched on the national news assumed that the whole city was by and large, and in good faith, just trying to wrap our brains around what happened, and trying to make our city whole again.
I think you people are stone cold silent about this flood, because really, there’s no agenda to push. There’s no side to take. There’s nobody to blame. So even though you don’t seem in the least bit curious, here’s what’s been happening around here since you left.”
“While it was still raining, a spontaneous, private, and well-meaning navy of ordinary people assembled themselves. They were black, white, Asian and otherwise. They weren’t protesting anything. They got into their own boats, spent their own money, spent their own time, risked their own lives. Black people saved white people. White people saved black people.
Nobody asked what color you were before knocking on your door. These are not first responders on some list somewhere. These are a bunch of guys who like to hunt and fish and as a result own flat bottom boats and they assumed that the actual police and other first responders, not to mention their fellow citizens – could use a little help. So they just showed up. Nobody told them to. They wanted to.”
“The neighborhoods that people live in are gutted. Mansions to simple, middle class homes — rich and poor — are all affected. It’s not like you can live in a house which got inundated with water. It smells terrible, there’s no sheetrock, it’s literally dangerous.
Lots of them, and I mean lots, [of homeowners] did not have flood insurance. And these are RESPONSIBLE homeowners. They did everything right. They didn’t have the insurance because they weren’t in places that ever flooded.”
“What the media could do in the future, when covering any aspect of the South, would be to put their preconceived notions about it aside. To maybe not start with a hypothesis about what it’s like to live here, but instead, to meet the people who live here, and give them the benefit of the doubt, and then develop the hypothesis.
There are definitely racial issues ongoing in the South that need attention, I’m not saying ‘don’t talk about it,’ I’m just saying that we have come a long way and most Southerners are in good faith.”