Black Lives Matter’s image distorted by skewed reporting of news outlets

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Americans have recently become more aware of the race issues affecting the equal administration of justice by police because of the movement Black Lives Matter by its organizers. 

Some Americans have rallied against the movement, claiming that criticizing police has led to more violence and connected the movement to police deaths. 

Officer Darren Goforth was fatally shot from behind while pumping gas in Harris County. The suspect was arrested the following day and was ruled mentally handicapped. Local officials openly blamed Black Lives Matter during nationally televised press reports.

After the shooting Harrison County Sheriff Ron Hickman made a statement that led to national outlets blaming Black Lives Matter for the murder.

“We’ve heard black lives matter; all lives matter. Well cops’ lives matter too; so why don’t we just drop the qualifier and just say lives matter and take that to the bank,” Hickman said at a press conference.

News outlets were all too eager to jump on the bandwagon, despite these claims having absolutely no merit.

“Fox and Friends,” took the liberty to call the movement a “murder movement.” Bill O’Reilly, a Fox host, called it a “hate group,” while Katie Pavlich referred to it as “a movement that promotes the execution of police officers.” A CNN report reduced the Black Lives Matter’s advocacy to nothing but “anti-police rhetoric.”

The mission of the Black Lives Matter movement is to demand an end to racial profiling, police brutality, mass incarceration of African-Americans and the militarization of police. 

The movement in no way supports the killing of police officers and calls for nonviolence in the wake of frustration over these police killings.

All of these news outlets pointed to a recent Black Lives Matter demonstration, in which a group of demonstrators chanted “pigs in a blanket” and “fry ‘em like bacon,” as evidence of the entire movements “anti-police rhetoric.” 

In reality, those who chanted the phrase were only a small group of demonstrators at the event.

Taking into consideration how large this movement is, it is not surprising that a few of its followers chanted reckless things without considering the image of the movement. 

When a news outlet focuses on an isolated incident such as this, they are ignoring the vast majority of peaceful, somber followers of the movement

Hickman publicly stated that there was no motive nor the slightest link to the movement. 

By asserting that the movement inspired the shooter, he allowed these news outlets to construct a false narrative around the killing which only damages the group’s reputation and avert attention away from the core message of the movement.

What message does it convey about American media when those who call for justice and equality are framed as pro-violence? 

Not a very good one, especially for a nation that prides itself on justice and equality.