Written by @kristenshylin_
Next Saturday will mark two months since the tragic police killing of George Floyd. Following Floyd’s death, millions of people gathered in unity to protest against police brutality.
According to Vox, public records from the Crowd Counting Consortium revealed that Americans across all 50 states and multiple cities worldwide joined the Black Lives Matter movement in a fight for racial equality.
As the protests progressed during the first week after Floyd’s death, looting and destruction events occurred. Although most protests were peaceful demonstrations, the media wasted no time flooding the news with images of burning police cars and buildings.
In an interview with Vox, Kanisha Bond, the assistant professor of political science at Binghamton University, described the beginning news coverage as “breathless.”
“But that is not an unfamiliar tone when it comes to media coverage, specifically of urban uprisings involving both violent and nonviolent protest activity, and particularly when people who have been historically excluded from the traditional centers of American power are engaged in any sort of unrest,” she said.
The majority of stories regarding the destruction during the protests were reported out of context. Morgan State University politics and journalism professor Jason Johnson said in a statement to Vox that much of the damage attributed to protestors is often the result of police action.
“Sometimes buried at the end of post-protest reports by local authorities is the fact that police munitions often start fires at protests, but this is seldom reported by the press, and there have been surprisingly few protesters arrested for arson relative to the fires that erupted during the unrest,” Johnson said.
The journalism professor also addressed the “run-of-the-mill opportunistic criminals” who jumped on the opportunity to raid local businesses for reasons non-related to the movement.
As long as the cities stayed engulfed in flames, television coverage continued, but when the chaos subsided and peaceful protests sustained, the media coverage vanished.
Now, According to Vox, activists are concerned that the lack of protest coverage weakens the movement.
“Some people do get their political cues from what makes its way into the general public discourse, which is largely shaped by what’s in the news, so media blackouts or withdrawals can give them the impression that either the ‘newsworthy part’ of the protests has expired or that there are simply no more events to be covered,” Bond said.
If you heavily rely on national news as a primary source of information, you’d be under the impression that protests have come and gone, but that is not the case. Nothing has changed; news outlets have stopped reporting it.
Americans, including public figures and celebrities, have continued to protest the corrupt justice system.
On Tuesday, a protest took place outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, where hundreds of participants demanded he charge the police officers responsible for the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.
According to the event organizer, Tamika D. Mallory, over 100 protesters were detained for trespassing, including Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams.
Yesterday, Williams blasted the general attorney for upgrading one of her charges to a felony.
“This is sad that this is the world we live in!! It’s simple don’t kill us as we sleep in our homes, don’t kill us for sleeping our car, don’t kill us from walking to a store, and don’t Kill our spirits and further oppress us when we stand up to say you are Wrong!” Porsha said in an Instagram post.
If you are interested in joining protests in your area, search Facebook groups and events, check twitter hashtags, and contact your local BLM chapter to find out where the next rally will be.