- Speech on New Orleans Statues Goes Viral
- D.C.’s WAMU Boosts Black, Latino Listeners
- Trump Budget Panned for Effect on Latinos
- Jerry Perenchio Dies at 86, Built Univision
- Being Biracial Teaches Activist Not to Generalize
- Nominate a J-Educator Who Promotes Diversity
- Donald Franklin, St. Louis Journalist, Dies at 79
- Short Takes
A speech by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the reasons his city removed four Confederate monuments has gone viral, its text reprinted in far-flung newspapers and landing Landrieu interviews Friday on NPR and Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The reaction is not happening in a vacuum. In Alabama on Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill to prohibit local governments from moving historical monuments on public property that have been in place for 40 years or more.
For good measure, the law applies to “streets and schools at least 20 years old but less than 40 that are named after a historical person,” Mike Cason reported Wednesday for al.com.
“The angry, divisive fight over public symbols of the Confederacy has swept through Columbia, S.C., Birmingham, Ala., and New Orleans,” Julie Bosman wrote Friday for the New York Times. “This week, the debate made its way some 600 miles north, up the Mississippi River, to St. Louis, the home of a Confederate memorial many residents did not know was in their midst. . . .”
Landrieu said in an interview recorded for Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” “I’m surprised as you are that the speech went viral. (video) It was intended for a local audience, but evidently it’s an issue that people across the country are dealing with and I hope they do it in a forthright, honest manner with each other.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board was forthright on Wednesday. “Confederate soldiers fought valiantly. But fighting valiantly for an abhorrent cause does not confer hero status on them. Slavery was wrong. Those who went to war to defend slave owners’ rights were dead wrong. . . .”
Mike Bayham, who wrote Monday for the Hayride in Baton Rouge, which calls itself “Louisiana’s premier conservative political commentary site,” was equally unequivocal.
Bayham said of Landrieu’s declaration, “It was a speech more fitting for a psychiatric institute patient suffering from severe delusions of grandeur than a man charged with running a major city with major problems. . . .”
By contrast, NPR’s “On the Media” interviewed Malcolm Suber of Take ‘Em Down NOLA and Brian Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, two African Americans who said Landrieu did not go far enough. (audio) They said that more of the history of the slavery and Jim Crow eras must be told to visitors and residents from the African American point of view.
Up north, editorial cartoonist Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe tied the controversy to national politics. A Wednesday sketch showed two men with Confederate battle flags on their backs watching a statue being hoisted. One man says, “They’re stripping us of our flag, our monuments, our proud heritage of white domination!”
The other says, “But we still have Jeff Sessions.” The former Alabama senator, now U.S. attorney general, has been accused of having a racist past. In fact, the Riverfront Times in St. Louis suggested on Thursday shipping that city’s Confederate statue to Sessions as one of “10 Completely Serious Solutions to St. Louis’ Confederate Monument Controversy.”
The Dallas Morning News said Thursday that it was not prepared to follow New Orleans. “This newspaper . . . has called for adding context to, rather than removing, Confederate statues in Austin. . . .,” it editorialized.
Still, it called Landrieu’s speech “extraordinary — and historic” and agreed that “as painful as history can be, it does not have to go on defining us against our will. . . .”
The controversy prompted Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, who is white, to reflect on her childhood.
“I grew up in the South, surrounded by ‘rebel’ flags and the legends of Confederate ‘heroes,’ “ she wrote Tuesday. “I learned, as other white children did, that cheering for the Confederacy was an act of local pride, a defiance of the Northern invaders, a way to honor the valiant dead. Slavery was a side story.
“It’s a measure of the era’s segregation that I don’t know what black children were taught.
“I was fortunate to have parents who didn’t share the prevailing racial bigotry, but even so, the paraphernalia of the Confederacy was so ubiquitous that I didn’t recognize it for what it was. Only after I left the South, at the end of eighth grade, did I grasp the full nature of those statues, flags and legends, the history they represented and perverted. . . .”
Campbell Robertson and Katy Reckdahl of the New York Times interviewed New Orleanians, including Topsy Chapman, 69, whose ancestors were on a plantation owned by Jefferson Davis.
“I passed those New Orleans monuments all the time for most of my adult life,” Chapman said in a story published Wednesday. “It never dawned on me that those statues were really honoring those people. But that point was made clear to me by the people who fought to keep the monuments there.
“We know it’s a part of history. It happened. That’s the way things were in those days. But why do you want to hold on to something so evil?
“To me, it’s like a never-ending story. My people are religious. They’re Baptists. When I was a little girl, the white Baptist church hired my father, who was a brick mason, to build a pretty brick building for them. But our church was wooden and it was raggedy. So I remember asking him: ‘Why don’t we just shut down our church and go to church with them? Because God loves everybody, right?’
“He told me, ‘We can’t do that, baby. That’s just the way the world is.’ ”
Landrieu said in his speech, “We have not erased history; we are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations.
“And unlike when these Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy, we now have a chance to create not only new symbols, but to do it together, as one people. . . .
“Instead of revering a 4-year brief historical aberration that was called the Confederacy we can celebrate all 300 years of our rich, diverse history as a place named New Orleans and set the tone for the next 300 years. . . .”
John Archibald, al.com: Monument controversy: Is the South’s best story 150 years old?
Mike Bayham, Hayride, Baton Rouge, La.: Alternative History And Alternative Reality For Mitch Landrieu
Rosalind Bentley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Henry commissioners on Confederate flag flap: We’re working on it
Felicia Bevel, Quartz: White supremacy is a global export of the Confederate South
Frank Bruni, New York Times: Mitch Landrieu Reminds Us That Eloquence Still Exists
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Confederate statues: ‘The monuments were murder’
Mike Cason, al.com: Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill protecting Confederate monuments
Peter d’Errico, Indian Country Today: Northwest Ordinance and Slavery: White Supremacy in the Foundation of the US
Jarvis DeBerry, nola.com | Times-Picayune: Confederate monument removal in New Orleans inspires St. Louis
Editorial, Dallas Morning News: Don’t wait for another hate-warped gun rampage to force action on Confederate memorials
Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Museums and libraries are the proper place to observe Confederate history
Joseph Goodman, al.com: Confederate monuments offend, but there is something much worse in Alabama
Harrison (Ark) Daily Times: June proclaimed Confederate History and Heritage Month
Mark Jacob, Chicago Tribune: Public insults? Chicago’s potentially offensive monuments, street names and other symbols
Roy S. Johnson, al.com: If truly unified, Alabama lawmakers will move Confederate landmarks, too
Garrison Keillor, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Taking down Confederate statues should be just the start
Mitch Landrieu with Audie Cornish, “All Things Considered,” NPR: New Orleans Mayor Delivers Message On Race In Monuments Speech
Robert Mann, nola.com | Times-Picayune: Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech on race was one for the ages
Christopher Mathias, HuffPost BlackVoices: Watch The Speech That Should End The Confederate Monuments Debate For Good
Kevin McDermott, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: As controversy builds over Confederate Memorial, Krewson vows removal plan within three weeks
Steven Newcomb, Indian Country Media Network: Johnson v. M’Intosh: A Paper Monument of White Christian Supremacy
Kojo Nnamdi with Marley Finley, alumna, J.E.B. Stuart High School, Falls Church, Va., and Denise Patton, member, Adhoc Committee On Renaming J.E.B. Stuart High School, WAMU-FM, Washington: J.E.B. Stuart High School Community Debates The Local Legacy Of The Confederacy
Kent Pettit, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Black soldiers who fought for Confederacy are forgotten (letter)
Riverfront Times, St. Louis: 10 Completely Serious Solutions to St. Louis’ Confederate Monument Controversy
Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune: New Orleans mayor made a speech on race and history we all need to hear
John Sims, Detroit Free Press: Why I’m burning and burying the Confederate flag in Detroit
Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe: Monuments for Confederates (cartoon)
Yohuru Williams, Tribune News Service: Put the Confederate past where it belongs
WWL-TV, New Orleans: Take ‘Em Down NOLA calls on Mayor Landrieu to ‘finish the job’
John York, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Memorials to slaves, Union soldiers MIA (letter)
In Washington, NPR affiliate “WAMU’s ratings have risen across the board since general manager JJ Yore started in August 2014 and began reimagining operations,” Andrew Beaujon reported Thursday for Washingtonian magazine.
“Average weekly listeners are nearing a million a week. Buoyed by the election and its news-intensive aftermath, WAMU clawed its way past WTOP to become number one in the market, a status few public-radio stations have managed.
“But the gain in black and Latino listeners has outpaced those numbers. . . . .”
Beaujon also wrote, “One easy reason: general changes to the station’s sound and programming. You know the voice that announces WAMU’s underwriting? It belongs to Heather Taylor, an African-American woman. The station’s ‘Anacostia Unmapped’ project collected oral histories from that historically black neighborhood, and veteran host Kojo Nnamdi has done more of his ‘Kojo in Your Community’ events in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. . . .”
Alicia Montgomery left Code Switch, NPR’s team that covers race and identity, to become WAMU’s editorial director in October.
“. . . Also, this past January, Joshua Johnson replaced Diane Rehm in the 10-to-noon slot following Morning Edition and BBC Newshour. He’s an excellent interviewer, and in February cumulative listenership to his 1A was up over Rehm’s show by about 7 percent.
“That kind of hire doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Another possible reason for the gains is a management committed to diversity. Yore pushed Taylor’s hiring following a suggestion by Richard Prince, a former Washington Post [reporter and copy] editor and longtime advocate for newsroom diversity. . . .”
“Donald Trump has used Latinos as a piñata from the very first day he launched his campaign,” political scientist Victoria DeFrancesco Soto wrote Thursday for NBC Latino.
“If you’re angry about drugs, crime, the economy — blame it on Latinos, Latinos, Latinos. They were a handy scapegoat to beat up on during rallies and speeches.
“But with his budget, Trump takes the verbal abuse and puts it into policy terms. Under the proposed White House budget there are a ton of losers, but Hispanics will be among those hit the hardest. . . .”
On May 19, Andrés Oppenheimer wrote for the Miami Herald, “President Trump’s newly-released budget proposal for 2018 confirms what many in Latin America have long feared: he has a negative agenda for the region, focused on building a border wall, deporting Latino immigrants and cutting foreign aid, including humanitarian assistance to Cuban and Venezuelan independent groups. . . . “
Editorial, Boston Globe: Trump’s cruel budget guts effective antipoverty tool
Editorial Board Roundtable, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Weighing in on President Trump’s budget
Kevin K. Washburn, Indian Country Today: Trump Proposes Hundreds of Millions in Cuts to Federal Appropriations for Indian Country
“Jerry Perenchio, an entertainment mogul who promoted the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight championship fight in 1971, produced television shows with Norman Lear and turned Univision into the dominant Hispanic TV network in the United States, died on Tuesday at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles,” Richard Sandomir reported Thursday for the New York Times. “He was 86.
“The cause was lung cancer, a family spokeswoman said. . . .”
Sandomir also wrote, “Mr. Perenchio had been thinking big for a while about trying to acquire what is known today as Univision only to see it sold instead to Hallmark Cards in 1987. Five years later, though, he led a group that bought the network for $550 million. He did not speak Spanish but understood that Univision had the ability to capitalize on the growth of Hispanic viewership and buying power in the United States.
“ ‘Jerry set out with a mission to serve a community that had been predominantly overlooked and underserved,’ Randy Falco, the president of Univision, said in a statement. Mr. Perenchio, he added, ‘envisioned a media company that would cater to this specific demographic’ and paved the way for Univision ‘to become the leading media company serving Hispanic America.’
“Mr. Perenchio sold Univision to a group of investors for more than $12 billion in 2006. His stake was worth about $1.3 billion. . . .”
Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter activist who writes for the Daily News in New York, used own biography to argue against intolerance of Muslims in light of the terrorist bombing in Manchester, England, this week that left 22 dead.
“My dear mother is a sweet, supportive, 66-year-old white woman from rural Kentucky,” King wrote Tuesday. “I love her without hesitation.
“Yet, on a daily basis, both as a journalist and an activist, I confront white privilege, white supremacy, and the devastating effects of systemic racism in our country and around the world.
“Out of necessity, though, I have always been forced to be nuanced and carefully parse how I approach my feelings about white people in general, in great part because I’ve always had this wonderful white woman, who first taught me to stand against racism, as one of the essential pillars in my life. . . .”
King also wrote, “We should all be upset at what happened in Manchester, but what happened there is no excuse to slide into Islamophobia. Whoever did this is no more a Muslim than those who lynched African Americans during Jim Crow were Christians. Wearing the garb of a faith no more makes you a follower of that faith than me wearing a Steph Curry jersey makes me a Golden State Warrior. . . .”
Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, “On the Media,” WNYC-FM, New York: Rethinking How To Cover Terrorism (audio)
Richard Horgan, adweek.com: New York Times Makes the Wrong Manchester Call
Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Poynter Institute: The endless loop of terror victims: Lazy journalism that lets ISIS run the newsroom
Raffaello Pantucci, New York Times: Why Britain Gets Angry When America Is Casual With Secrets
Scott Shane, New York Times: Leaks: A Uniquely American Way of Annoying the Authorities
Liz Spayd, New York Times: The Bombing, the Crime Scene Photos and the Outcry
Beginning in 1990, the Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually granted a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship — actually an award — “in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism.”AOJ merged last year into the American Society of News Editors, which is continuing the Bingham award tradition.
Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to “further work in progress or begin a new project.”
Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State University (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003).
Also, Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012); Vanessa Shelton, University of Iowa (2013); William Drummond, University of California at Berkeley (2014); Julian Rodriguez of the University of Texas at Arlington (2015) (video); and David G. Armstrong, Georgia State University (2016) (video).
Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, ASNE Opinion Journalism committee, richardprince (at) hotmail.com. The deadline is June 23. Please use that address only for ASNE matters.
Donald E. Franklin, a 37-year journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a co-founder of the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists, died May 20 after a two-year battle with pulmonary fibrosis, his daughter, Nicole Franklin, said on Saturday. He was 79.
Franklin, a native of Marianna, Ark., grew up in East St. Louis, Ill. He worked at the Post-Dispatch from 1967 to 2004, earning a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship at Columbia University in 1970, covering the Metro East and later becoming an assistant city editor.
“Don pursued daily assignments as award-winning opportunities to expand coverage on civil rights, voting rights and exposing police brutality,” his daughter wrote in an obituary. “Near the end of his career Don went back on the streets as the homicide beat reporter. . . .”
The Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists commemorated its 40th anniversary in December.
Franklin also moonlighted as a home renovator.
A celebratory service and “Evening of Jazz” are scheduled for June 24. The service takes place at 11 a.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 1648 Tudor Ave, East St. Louis, Ill. 62207. [Added May 27]
April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and newly named Journalist of the Year of the National Association of Black Journalists, appeared with Stephen Colbert on CBS-TV’s “The Late Show” on Thursday. “The AURN reporter described the White House and its communications team as ‘manic,’ suffering from the administration’s insistence on throwing ‘away the script,’ “ Jon Levine reported on Friday for Mediaite.
“A majority of people in the United States believe President Trump is abusing his powers, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday,” Rebecca Shabad reported for CBS News. “The poll found 54 percent believe Mr. Trump is abusing his presidential powers and 43 percent said he isn’t. . . .”
“Intelligence expert and author Malcolm Nance put Jared Kushner’s alleged request to establish a secret channel with the Kremlin in perspective for average viewers Friday night,” Kerry Eleveld reported for the Daily Kos. “ ‘Had any individual other than these individuals, who worked immediately for President Trump, performed these actions,’ he told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, ‘they would have immediately had their clearances pulled. They would have had their jobs terminated.’ . . .”
“America’s local journalists are disappearing. But nobody knows exactly how quickly,” David Uberti wrote Thursday for Columbia Journalism Review. He also wrote, “So, journalists, consider this a call to action: CJR wants to make public the information your corporations will not. Please ping us with any news of newsroom staff reductions at email@example.com.”
“Now that federal regulators have released their official proposal to repeal the government’s net neutrality rules, Democrats are vowing, Churchill-style, to fight that measure in the courts, at the Federal Communications Commission and in the realm of public opinion,” Brian Fung reported Thursday for the Washington Post.
“Bill Cosby, who has chastised black people roundly and loudly over the years for claiming victimhood … is claiming victimhood,” Allen Johnson, editorial page editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., wrote on Monday. “Cosby said in a radio interview last week that racism may be a reason he is on trial for sexual assault. . . . even before his trial begins, his hypocrisy is an open-and-shut case.”
“Michael D. Bolden is the new managing director, editorial and operations, for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford,” the program announced on Friday. He is to manage the editorial, operational and alumni elements of the program, director Dawn E. Garcia said. Bolden, who worked at the Washington Post for 13 years, joins the program from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he has served as the foundation’s first editorial director for the past four years.
The Atlantic assembled Vann Newkirk, Adrienne Green, Gillian B. White and Ta-Nehisi Coates on May 17 to discuss the first season of Netflix’s adaptation of Justin Simien’s 2014 critically acclaimed film “Dear White People,” a satirical portrayal of race relations and black identity at the fictional Ivy League school Winchester University.
“As more reporters and activists contact companies that advertise on Sean Hannity’s television show, more companies are yanking their support for the conservative host whose coverage of a murder last year has irked liberal pundits,” Paul Bond reported for the Hollywood Reporter. “By midday Thursday, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Cars.com, Ring.com, Leesa Mattress, USAA, Peloton and Casper have declared they’ll not advertise on Hannity, which airs weeknights on the Fox News Channel. . . .”
For 60 years, until 1970, Australian government policies “rounded up Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children deemed to be part-white and sent them to boarding schools and church-run missions,” Evelyn Nieves reported Wednesday for the New York Times “Lens” blog. “Like the Canadian First Nations’ and the United States’ Indian boarding schools that served as its model, Australia’s program aimed to beat out all traces of indigenous culture, often literally. . . .” In ‘Generations Stolen,’ Matthew Sherwood, a Canadian photojournalist, “documents the fates of children kidnapped from their families in Australia’s Northern Territory by letting them tell their stories in their own words. . . .”
“When the news broke Wednesday that the former home of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com would become headquarters for the Philadelphia Police Department, it transported me back to that grand white tower that still dominates the corner of Broad and Callowhill Streets,” William K. Marimow wrote Friday for philly.com. “To many of us who worked there in the three newsrooms, the business offices, and, at one time, the mail room, the pressroom, and on the loading docks, it also was known as the ‘Tower of Truth.’ . . . ”
Brendan Morrow of heavy.com provided “5 Fast Facts You Need to Know” about Judge Roger Gregory of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday. Gregory is an African American “who ruled that the president’s right to block people from entering the United States is ‘not absolute.’ He also ruled that the revised travel ban does not seem to be about national security and is instead about targeting people of the Muslim faith. . . . “ Richmond Free Press profile
“Family, colleagues and former students celebrated former dean and Medill Prof. Loren Ghiglione on Thursday before his retirement in June,” Julia Esparza reported Friday for the Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper. “Ghiglione, who served as dean of the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications from 2001 to 2006, will retire from Northwestern in June after 45 years in the journalism industry. . . .” Ghiglione, who was also celebrated at the event for improving Native American representation in journalism, plans to move back to Massachusetts.
Assistant News Director Kelley Dickens has been promoted to news director of WBND-TV in South Bend, Ind., Ashley Beatty reported for the station on Tuesday. “Not only is Kelley one of a handful of women working in this important leadership position but she is the first African American news director for the City of South Bend. . . . “
Grace Holliday of Britain’s Guardian profiled Ayshah Tull, a black BBC presenter, or anchor, on Wednesday. “Tull has had several high-profile mentors, with the latest being the BBC’s head of diversity, Tunde Ogungbesan,” Holliday wrote. “ ‘I dream big, and he helped me start to figure out how I was going to get there.’ The big dream is to become the BBC’s Washington correspondent. It’s an aspiration that ties in with her ideal mentor, Michelle Obama. . . .”
“Egyptian authorities have blocked nearly two dozen news websites, targeting publications that have been critical of the government, a move local journalists say is aimed at controlling the coverage of the regime ahead of next year’s presidential elections,” Maged Atef reported Thursday for BuzzFeed. “The country’s state-run news agency MENA announced on Wednesday that 21 websites were being blocked in the country because they were ‘supporting terrorism and extremism’ and ‘spreading lies.’ . . .”
The National Union of Somali Journalists on Thursday welcomed the release of Somali journalist Abdimalik Muse Coldoon from prison. He was sentenced to a two-year jail term and first jailed on Feb. 15, Dalsan radio reported from Mogadishu. Coldoon was accused of violating the sovereignty of Somaliland and offending the prestige of Somaliland leaders. The release “came a day after 100 journalists met with Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, who demanded the government to respect freedom of speech and freedom of media. . . .”
Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.