Are we making light of concerns about hate speech and racist remarks in our community? “I went to the Republican Lady’s Luncheon today and could have sold 4 cartoon prints if I has some with me. It was an easy sale. Everyone wants a framed one,” writes hard right blogger Russ Steele referring to The Union’s cartoon on the topic.
But concerns about hate speech in the media continue to be expressed here — more than 40 signed comments from post alone — “How The Union makes light of racism in our community.”
“Our media provides this platform for hate speech under the guise of freedom of speech. Hate speech is not protected speech,” writes Truckee resident Steve Frisch in one of the comments. “Speech which incites violence or prejudicial action against a group should not be condoned, and is not protected through media outlets–it may be protected individual speech at times, but media outlets are not required to protect hate speech. These outlets do so AT WILL and this action should be rejected by our community.”
As I wrote before, NPR apologized for its “Dark Continent” commentary, which some listeners found offensive. The details are here.
Hate speech in the media is a national debate.
•”This kind of racist rhetoric is endemic to the mainstream press and requires urgent attention,” says National Hispanic Media Coalition president Alex Nogales. “(The group) hopes that with heightened public awareness and criticism, media corporations will choose to distance themselves from the personalities espousing racist views.”
•Added a letter sent to the FCC by media watchdog groups including Free Press, the Media Access Project and Common Cause: “The current media landscape is a safe haven for hate and extremism.” It has asked the FCC to track Internet hate speech.
•”Although the Internet gives the illusion that news sources have increased, in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before its inception,” according to the National Hispanic Media coalition. “Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye.”
“We’re the second whitest county in state, but change is afoot, Census Data shows,” I wrote the other day. It’s good to see our community discussing the issue here, rather than laughing it off.
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