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Racial Posturing By: Michael Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, December 05, 2002

How ironic it is that as the Supreme Court is determining if affirmative action college admissions policies are constitutional, African–Americans in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Constitution and the Supreme Court, are boycotting a newspaper for publishing a list of fugitive murderers. While African-Americans are complaining they are insufficiently represented in colleges, they are complaining they more represented than they should be among fugitive murderers.

On August 22, 2002, the Philadelphia Daily News published a list of fugitive murderers. The list was gleaned from a report compiled by a law enforcement task force (the mug shots are from the Fugitive Handbook, a report by the Philadelphia Police Department and the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network) and just so happened that all the fugitives except one were African-American, Asian, or Hispanic.

“Black leaders,” complained that publishing the photos of fugitive murderers was the latest in a litany of racist journalism by the Philadelphia Daily News (PDN). These black leaders proclaimed the PDN as being racially insensitive (where have we heard that term before). They criticize the PDN for negative and unfair news coverage of minorities.

B. Crawley, the owner of an advertising and public relations firm formed an organization called Coalition for Fair News Coverage (CFFNC) to coordinate the protest. Appearing on the December 3 The O’Reilly Factor, Crawley said the PDN routinely portrays blacks negatively. CFFNC sponsored a rally in November for the boycott and is organizing an ad    campaign as well. Interestingly all the local black newspapers were at the rally providing participants with free newspapers. This caused Daily News editor Zachary Stalberg to comment that there is a commercial motive to all this.

(Is the Philadelphia Tribune the nation’s oldest black newspaper and other black newspapers driving this issue? The Tribune is a fine newspaper. If they are being opportunistic, they need not be. Unlike other African-American publications it is not Marxist or quasi-Marxist. In fact, their August 23 editorial condemned Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe stating, “If Mugabe wants justice, he'll pay for white's farms. Making scapegoats out of a nation's minority (i.e. Zimbabwe’s white farmers) because of their perceived undue influence is reminiscent of Nazi Germany blaming it's problems on Jews, and in this case is little more than a desperate effort by a desperate man to preserve his own dwindling power.” This is an editorial opinion that the PDN has not stated. The Tribune does not share the concerns of the PDN of being labeled racist. )

Hilariously, while African-Americans are protesting alleged PDN racism the paper received an award in October from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation (PNAF) for its diversity. Why the PNAF did this is subject to speculation. Some boycott organizers claim it is to discredit them.

If so, it was unnecessary. The fact is the Philadelphia Daily News is not a racist paper. A former editorial board and columnist, Linda Wright Moore, was a black woman who frequently wrote about African-American issues. Elmer Smith is a black columnist for them as well.  Indeed, I wrote an op-ed for the PDN in 1990 about one of their journalists who incorrectly and unjustifiably referred to an Italian-American community as racist.

The fact is the protesters are the same racial ambulance chasers and liberal ideologues that participate in all such “protests.” They do not complain that nearly 75% of Philadelphia’s murder victims are black- in a city that is 40% black. They do not call for a boycott of say, black drug dealers. They do not complain that in Philadelphia 90% of blacks are killed by other blacks. They do not happen to mention that within a week of the Daily News piece two of the fugitives were arrested. None of this seems to be important to these “ black leaders” who are in reality liberal Democrats.

As a source at the PDN told me, there is a theory that this boycott is a function of the mayoral election next year. John Street, the current mayor, is African–American. His advocates in the black community want to discredit any criticism of him by the Daily News. Crawley is a friend of Mayor Street and has organized this boycott to do so.

If this is so then it is just another example of liberals and Democrats manipulating a segment of the community for their own self-interest. After all, as my source told me, the fugitives have been published in the past by the PDN. No one complained before. The fact is two murderers of two African-Americans have been arrested as a result of this publication-thereby making black communities safer.

Preventing publication of these fugitives will only contribute to crime in the black community. Publishing these fugitives results in murderers arrested. Preventing publication of the fugitives results in more homicides.

It would be unfortunate if this boycott and criticism were nothing more than political. Unfortunate yet not inconceivable. As I stated before, liberals are a racist’s best friends. Liberals are the self-righteous, led by the self-important, for the benefit of the self-interested.

Michael P. Tremoglie is the author of the new novel A Sense of Duty, and an ex-Philadelphia cop. E-mail him at elfegobaca@comcast.net.

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