Today’s piece is less of an analysis and more of a good, old-fashioned rant. I simply have nothing profound to add to the discussion surrounding the McKinney, TX incident; the video above more than speaks for itself. But I feel it necessary to share a few thoughts on fairness and balance - two concepts Fox News claims to pursue in its news coverage, though we all know they're about as balanced as a peg-legged pirate standing on a seesaw!
As I wrote my perspective on the Duggar Family scandal, I did my best to implement my analysis through the lens of fairness and truth. In the end, my views on the matter fell counter to popular opinion. From a Christian perspective, I took the stance that we should not gloat in the Duggar’s shame, and I believe it is incumbent upon those of us who claim to be Believers in Christ to not cast stones at Josh for past sins, especially those committed in his youth. I continue to stand by that perspective.
But as I wrote that piece, there was yet another perspective nagging me in the back of my mind: Me as an African American. I prayerfully decided not to include that point of view in the original piece because, frankly, it was not relevant. If I attempted to speak from that vantage point, it would have not only clouded my objectivity, I would have been forcing it upon the issue just to prove a point - God wasn't going to let me corrupt the Truth with my personal opinion.
Nevertheless, as I watched how Fox News’ Megyn Kelly handled the Duggar coverage, I wondered if she might be as gentle and compassionate if the family, specifically Josh, had been Black. I hate that I even had to think that way. It’s sad that I even had to consider it. But I did wonder – and if I’m honest, based on previous experiences with that network, I decided in my heart that Megyn would not have been.
The Duggar coverage was laced with terms like, ‘child’, ‘juvenile’ ‘mistake’, ‘forgiveness’ and, my favorite, ‘over the clothes’. Each time I heard them, my spirit groaned, because I knew similar dispensation would not have been afforded to anyone who looked like me.
Sadly, I was right! (BTW: I'm right pretty often, but it doesn't always feel good!)
Not even a week later, we've moved on to the 'McKinney Melee', as I'd like to call it. (Mind you, 'Melee' is used here only to evoke the image of confusion...the only person running amuck, it seems, was Officer Eric Casebolt - or, as one Twitter user humorously referred to him, 'Paul Blart' - who acted as if he'd chugged a case of Red Bulls before arriving to the scene. Turn down for what!?!) Even though Josh Duggar's and the bikini-clad Dajerria Becton's 'offenses' are worlds apart - one, at worst committed a felony; the other, at worst, was being unruly, the Fox News coverage played out just as I'd suspected. Somehow, yet another case involving Black youth was covered in a way that made the child an adult, and it was implied she brought the officer’s excessive actions upon herself.