There’s been a lot of outcry over how the media has handled the situation in Baltimore. Is thug a racial slur? Why aren’t we seeing more images of the positive things that are happening, like the boy handing the officers bottles of water? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I did have my own moment of outrage last night while watching CNN’s coverage of the situation.
While waiting for a Baltimore Town Hall to start at an area mega-church, CNN’s cameras panned to a group of African-American women waiting for the event to start. CNN anchor Erin Burnett, while discussing the agreement between the Bloods and Crips to help quell the violence in the city, casually mentioned, “You’ve got the gang members right there,” referring to the women. Except that the women are not gang members at all – they were members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., which is part of a larger society commonly described as The Divine Nine.
The ladies were wearing their traditional royal blue and white and a number of them had their Greek letters visible on their jackets. It was pretty clear to me that these women were members of sorority, but it could be pointed out that Erin may not have been looking at the same video that was being shown on our TVs when she made the comment and was simply listing the groups that were scheduled to participate in the town hall. But even if we make that allowance, shouldn’t a major news organization be a little more careful?
Check out the video and judge for yourself:
Big mistake. Huge. .
Image via Youtube