I'm a night owl. If I don't have to be up early (and sometimes even if I do), I'll usually be up until 4 a.m. doing absolutely nothing. Last night — or should I say morning? — proved more eventful than most late nights. My Facebook "trending" reel informed me that a NAACP office in Colorado Springs had been bombed. Want to know what's crazy about this whole thing? The bomb had gone off nearly 12 hours earlier. The Denver Post wrote about it at 12:19 p.m. Tuesday, yet people weren't talking about it until Wednesday. That doesn't sound right to me.
However, another huge news event emerged this morning. Twelve people died today. Eleven others were injured. Terrorists attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine based in Paris. This is a pretty big deal, especially to a journalist like me. I mean, freedom of speech is at stake here. Journalists were killed today in their place of work. For what? For doing their job! It's crazy and pretty fucked up.
But does that mean that the media should just forget about the black community who feels in danger right now? Sure, no one was hurt in the bombing of the NAACP office, but that's because the bomber's plan failed — this time. When I first saw media outlets like the L.A. Times at least wrote about the happening, I felt satisfied. I thought, "That's enough," especially with other media outlets like the New York Times failing to write anything about it. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't find anything written by the NYT on the bombing. I'm disappointed.
So, at first, I thought coverage of the event was enough. So I tweeted about it.
— Yessenia Funes (@yessfun) January 7, 2015
But one Twitter user disagreed. He tweeted back, "@yessfun uuuhhh if you say so.." I felt offended, attacked and annoyed. "Who the fuck is this dude?" I thought. We went back and forth a couple times, and you know what? This guy had a point. He said, that in context of public reaction, the L.A. Times story I shared was "weak, lazy and ahistorical. Not kudos worthy." The story has since been updated and is now a little less of all that, but he had a point.
Now, I feel offended, attacked and annoyed at the media. I'm a part of the media, and I just don't understand the business I've gotten myself into sometimes. Racial tensions are fucking intense right now in the United States. It freaks me out. I've written about it in a former blog post on the Ferguson case. Things are getting worse. Cops are getting shot. And now, historical black organizations are being targeted. Yet a major event is being ignored. American media is covering something that happened on the other side of the world more than something going on in its own backyard. WTF?
The Charlie Hebdo shooting was a tragedy. I'd call it a massacre. It deserves the media's attention. However, so does the NAACP bombing. Things don't look any brighter between the black and white communities in America. They don't look much brighter between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio either.
I'm trying to stay positive (as I always do), but can the media just get it together? Quit being racist assholes and give a shit about the black community who feels marginalized, belittled and threatened. Give a shit about our country's stability. Give a shit about peace. Give a shit about something besides money and click bait. Give a shit about humanity for fuck's sake.
May all the lives lost today rest in peace — and to the lives who have been spared, may the universe keep protecting you and yours.
Photo courtesy of Flickr // Valentina Calà