Last year, when I was hired to launch HuffPost BlackVoices, one of my driving forces was to create a place where certain headlines simply did not exist —the ones that either suggest we have just entered into the ranks of civilization, or that we are doomed to die an endlessly slow, health-challenged and impoverished death. Turns out, these sorts of headlines drive traffic, which makes them even more depressing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these issues are not important to cover and write about— I’m just not seeing the fruits of their monotonous labor. If anything, they keep very specific assumptions and stereotypes at the forefront of our socially collective mind. It’s about language.
Some days are worse than others. Some weeks are worse than that. You be the judge.
Top 10 Racially Depressing News Headlines of the Week
1. Them: White Americans Have 22 Times More Wealth than Blacks (Business Insider, 6/22)
Me: 22 times more? It couldn't just be 10 times more?
2. Them: African Americans Less Likely to Receive Kidney Donations, Study Shows (CNN, 6/25)
Me: Dear Study, you and your showing things think you're so great.
3. Them: Greater Segregation for Region’s Black, Latino Students (WBEZ, 6/28)
Me: What region? Doesn't matter — just your general run-of-the-mill region.
4. Them: Black America’s #1 Civil Rights Issue: Violence (Politics365, 6/25)
Me: You think?
5. Them: Shackle Sneakers the Latest Assault on Black Dignity and the Black Psyche (FinalCall.com News, 6/28)
Me: The latest assault, as opposed to the previous or future assault on Black dignity and the Black psyche.
6. Them: Black Female HIV Rates Double in Washington, DC (Inland Valley News, 6/28)
Me: Probably because they don't use birth control.
7. Them: First African American Marines Recognized with Congressional Honor (CBS, 6/28)
Me: 70 years after the fact. What, congressional honor people were busy!
8. Them: Racist NYPD Cop Sentenced to 4 Years for Falsely Jailing Black Man (News One, 6/23)
Me: Here's a headline you never see.
9. Them: Three Ways to Save America’s Black Boys, Pt. 3 of 3 (Huffington Post, 6/27)
Me: Save us, white America! How many times and ways do we need to show you how badly we need saving?
10. Higher African Ancestry Predicts Increased Harm from Smoking (Examiner.com, 6/23)
Me: Black people: just as insidious as nicotine.