Media Ignored NAACP Bombing Because it Doesn’t Understand Reality of Black Life in America

FILED TO: Headline Articles

The terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters that killed 12 people has completely dominated the news since Wednesday morning, understandably so. Aside from the cold newsroom calculus about what leads, the apparent motivation for the attack was a uniquely offensive one for Americans, particularly for American journalists, and fed into an already-roiling American debate over Islam and terrorism. But other things did happen yesterday and today, and they got reported at least a little bit.

Not so the bombing of an NAACP field office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at least not for most of the first two days following the bombing. I watch a lot of news, but I only found out about the NAACP bombing when someone on Twitter asked me when/if we might be writing something about it. Outrage over the lack of coverage became evident when the #NAACPBombing hashtag became a top trending topic on Twitter, even as the mainstream media shut the news out almost completely.

The bombing happened on Tuesday, and as of this afternoon, neither Fox News nor CNN had mentioned the story even one, while it took MSNBC until Wednesday afternoon to even mention it. When I was confronted about the story, I was in the middle of juggling a personal emergency and a background piece on the Charlie Hebdo attack, but I took a look at it because it sounded unbelievable that a story like that would just go unreported.

So, here’s what happened: On Tuesday morning, an explosion went off outside the building that houses the local Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP, although according to reports, “The building also houses Mr G’S Hair Design Studios, and the explosion happened closer to the salon’s end of the building.”

No one was killed or injured, and there was only minor damage to the building because a gas can that had been placed near the device failed to ignite. Neither the FBI nor the NAACP would say whether the civil rights organization was even the target of the bombing, although the FBI did release a description of a suspect:

Tuesday evening, the FBI was searching for a possible suspect, described as a white, balding man about 40 years old, driving a newer model white but dirty pickup with a dark bed liner.

Two days later, that’s about where things stand. The group’s volunteers are returning to work, but not much more is known about the attack. I like to think of myself as a very conscious liberal, and at least as down as a feather pillow, but my initial reaction to the story, engulfed as I was by the misery of the Charlie Hebdo story, was to excuse the lack of coverage. I gave it a pretty thorough going-over in my mind. No one was hurt? Barely any damage? No one in custody, no motive, no art? Okay, I thought, they could have squeezed it in somewhere, but from an editorial standpoint, is this really a federal case?

That’s really the whole ballgame, though, isn’t it, because “editorial standpoint” is in the eye of the editorial beholder. To me, the question was “would I even be reading this story if it were a no-injury, no-damage bombing of some building that wasn’t an NAACP headquarters,” because even the most conscious white news editor who is cognizant of the historical context of an attack like this doesn’t live in that context. To a white person (well, to this white person), this is a story that could become news with a little more meat on the bones, maybe a political peg like the vandalism of Barack Obama’s campaign offices in Denver in 2008 and 2012, or maybe the white McCain volunteer who carved a “B” into her face and claimed she was attacked by a Scary Black.

But to someone with a different point of view, this is the manifestation of a lived fear, and a very real threat in the person of an at-large bomber in a country where it’s easy to get guns, in a state where it’s easy to find people to fire them at. This is why we need a diverse news media, because the one we have is not getting the job done, even when it wants to, and especially when it doesn’t.

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  • Jerry Graf

    A suspect has been arrested, and the latest information regarding the bombing that is the subject of this article indicates that the NAACP office was not the target. I was looking for an update to this story here on The Daily Banter, but I can’t seem to find it. I can’t imagine why The Daily Banter would not be reporting on such an important story. Hmmmmmmm???

    • Jerry Graf

      It’s been a week now, and still no update on this story. WOW! I hope Tommy Christopher isn’t ill…….what other possible reason could there be for not following up on this incredibly important news story??????

  • This-Is-Crazier

    Turns out the bombing had nothing to do with the NAACP. Buffoons in the media.

  • allison1050

    It’s just more of the same actually. I watched a M-F show on MSNBC Wednesday give over a grand total of 5 whole minutes to this. It’s ironic since it was just last year that MSNBC took pot shots at CNN for talking hour after hour about the downed Asia Airliner and speculating about where it is. So now here’s MSNBC is doing the same..I gave up listening to televised so called news quite some time ago and would rather read.

  • Jerry Graf

    FOX News covered it the day it happened (multiple reports), and has been updating the story just about daily since. If your news source is not covering it, maybe you should all switch to FOX News.

  • xServer

    Great point about the need for diversity in the field, Tommy. The unconscious filter of “what matters” is very different depending on your life experience and perspective. Even people who consciously try to break that pattern are going to fail a certain percentage of the time.

  • Jezzer

    Let me applaud The Daily Banter for finding room to even mention the NAACP bombing in the midst of its umpty-eleven hot takes on Charlie Hebdo.

  • cablejunkie

    if its black its in the back

  • D. Alexander

    This is the state of the media now, they are pretty useless.

  • imongo

    Blacks have a greater chance of being killed by another black then they do by the Klan or any supremacist group. And it’s not in the news because nothing is known yet about who planted the explosive device. Seen the Chicago murder totals for 2013?

    • Christopher Foxx

      Blacks have a greater chance of being killed by another black then they do by the Klan or any supremacist group.

      And whites have a greater chance of being killed by another white then they do by the Miami Heat or Black Panthers.

      What’s your point?

      • i_a_c

        What’s your point?

        To distract, though certainly that was a rhetorical question.

      • http://www.lauriebethsgrotto.com/ Lauren

        Holy shit, I swear I typed my response in anger before I read this. Jinx, man.

    • Vincent Blake

      Concern troll much?

    • That River Gal

      White women, especially pregnant ones, are more likely to be killed by their partners than any other cause of death. White men are most likely to molest kids. Was there a point you really want to make with statistics? I can start gathering my reputable links and pour a glass of wine if ya like.

      • Lady Willpower

        He has no point. It’s all eugenics in disguise.

        • That River Gal

          Yeah, every time one of these idiots brings out a comment like that and throws in “OMFG TEH CHICAGOAZ!!” that’s their deal.

          • Lady Willpower

            Every time. They don’t give a fat shit about black lives. Black lives only matter to them for the amount of time they get to use black-on-black crime as some sort of “gotcha” moment.

      • Christopher Foxx

        I can start gathering my reputable links and pour a glass of wine if ya like.

        She shoots. She scores!

        ( I am so going to plagiarize that one one of these days. Nicely done!)

        • That River Gal

          Thanks! Feel free to steal it :D

    • tracey marie

      poor inbred white supremacist

    • http://www.lauriebethsgrotto.com/ Lauren

      The vast majority of all murder victims are killed by someone of their own race. White people have a much greater chance of being killed by another white person than by the Black Panthers or any other group that makes you shit your pants. What’s your point?

    • aynwrong
  • aynwrong

    This seems very similar to the media’s reaction to the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Jr day parade in Spokane, Washington on Jan 11th 2011. There was little coverage and in that coverage there was a real reluctance to call it terrorism.

    • Jason E

      I found it terrifying. I’m starting to judge all middle aged/old whites. Which is tough because I resemble them.

      • aynwrong

        Unless human beings make some extreme medical advances very, very soon, I’m fairly certain middle age is a thing I am fast approaching. Or in.
        Oh… and by extreme, I’m talking Star Trek.
        :-)

  • captkurt

    It’s no surprise that this wasn’t, and my never be, covered by Fox News. Because, domestic terrorism committed by whites does not exist, right? I would not be surprised if some of the yahoos over there believe that Timothy McVeigh was a Muslim.

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