Media played role in mayhem

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2014

From a column by Bob Ray Sanders of Fort Worth:

I hereby indict the collective news media, especially the broadcast wings that for months stoked the fires in Ferguson and Monday night added to the negative hype that practically invited rioting in the streets. …

For the record, the thuggery portrayed on television Monday and Tuesday nights in Ferguson put a blemish on the memory of Michael Brown rather than shine a spotlight on the ills of a racially divided community.

But there were two other events Monday that I’d rather remember. … In Cleveland, demonstrators peacefully protested the weekend killing of a 12-year-old black boy by a police officer. Tamir Rice, who had a toy gun at the time, was shot outside a recreation center.

And at the White House, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 18 individuals, including three of my longtime heroes: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, three young civil rights workers murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi in 1964, when they were trying to register people to vote.

One of the people convicted in the slayings was a deputy sheriff.

Michael Brown is not likely to ever receive a Medal of Freedom, but his memory deserves to be honored by something other than looting and rioting.