January 15, 2008

Even when there's a surveillance photo the News Journal refuses to note hue

This is just beyond comical. Even when the News Journal prints PHOTOS of police suspects which CLEARLY show the race of the person, it STILL refuses to mention race in the corresponding article:

Wilmington police released surveillance photos today of a suspect in the robbery of the PNC bank at 901 Market St. on Friday.

The bank was robbed about 1:40 p.m. by a man claiming he had a gun.

A man in his mid-30s wearing a black leather coat handed a teller a note saying he had a gun and demanding money.

The suspect fled with cash.

No one was injured.

The suspect was described as, 5’5” to 5’9” tall, weighing 150-160 pounds, with a light beard, blue jeans and a black baseball hat.

Not that one needs the mention in this case because of the photo, but you'd think that would be the Journal's "excuse" for FINALLY mentioning a suspect's hue! That being said, we once again have to go elsewhere for the non-P.C. version:

Wilmington police release a full description of the man wanted in connection with the PNC bank robbery on January 11th. Surveillance photos reveal the robber's identity.

He is described as a black man in his mid thirties, between five and a half feet tall and five foot nine, around 155 pounds with a light beard.

Police say he was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans and a black baseball cap.

Some commenters at the News Journal have the mistaken notion that the paper only omits race if the suspects are minorities. Not so! The Journal's "policy" appears fairly consistent for all hues of people. Still, the Journal has already admitted it's fearful of "stereotyping" folks. I can hear the editors now: "Is public safety really that important?" And what does 'race' really mean, right?" Once more, Journal-speak for you:

There are good reasons those descriptions never see the light of day. They generalize. They stereotype. And they require that everyone who hears the description has the same idea of what those folks look like. All Irish-Americans don’t look alike. Why, then, accept a description that says a suspect was African-American?

As we've mentioned before, this is just ludicrous. When's the last time you saw a police description stating "Police are seeking an Irish-American male ..."? You'd actually see something like "Police are seeking a white male with red hair ..." And people with common sense know what a description of an African-American is. Instead of omitting any mention of race at all, why doesn't the Journal enhance the specificity of police descriptions?

Two reasons why they don't: 1) It offends their P.C. sensibilities, and 2) it makes too much sense.

Posted by Hube at January 15, 2008 06:14 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

So which one is accurate and who did the describing? I mean, if the police described the man as "a black man in his mid thirties, between five and a half feet tall and five foot nine, around 155 pounds with a light beard" then TNJ got it WRONG.

Posted by: Alan Coffey at January 15, 2008 07:43 PM

Hey, you racist! Not all Irish have red hair! Don't forget about the Black Irish. Oh crap, did I say "black" Irish? Am I a racist now? But wait, I'm part Irish, so I can say that stuff. Yeah, me an' my Micks are gonna represent! Paddy Pride!

Sorry. All that to say I agree with you.

Posted by: Bronwen at January 15, 2008 11:36 PM

For quite a few years, I described myself as

Olive drab Green, shade 106.
Size Medium Short.
A 'Follow Me' patch and a Gold Bar.
And 9 1/2 Endicott Johnsons with an aftermarket Vibram Sole. Spit shined of course.

Posted by: Paul at January 17, 2008 12:43 AM