How Mainstream Media Encourages Discrimination Through Biased Rhetoric

How Mainstream Media Encourages Discrimination Through Biased Rhetoric

The media’s constant refusal to label these people as what they are, rather than by their accomplishment, is more than alarming

I am sick of them; sick of headline titles referring to criminals as honor students, cheerleaders, phenomenal athletes, and loving individuals incapable of ever committing a crime.

Take the following very real article from ABC News as an example: "Bay Area Honor Student Accused Of Rape At Boston University." Right underneath the title is a video of this so-called honor student standing in front of the judge with a clean shaven face in a brand new suit. Moving on to the article itself, the writer made sure to let the audience know how people who knew this student, notice how they still haven’t even mentioned his name, thought these allegations “were inconceivable.” Because of course, what article about a criminal would be complete without knowing how amazing he was to everyone but the innocent human whose life he decided to ruin.

As if the readers already didn’t know, the article states, “It's the story of a bright young man and star athlete who lived in a house in Tiburon gone bad,” followed by repeating that he was, “an honor student and basketball player formerly at MIT,” like mentioning these would make the charges against him any less horrible which are still nowhere to be found. I am three paragraphs in this article and there has been zero information about the crime itself. So what exactly is this superstar honor athlete charged with?

Drum roll, please… “He faces charges of rape, breaking and entering, intent to commit burglary and indecent assault and battery.” Oh. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this criminal went on a rampage, broke into a dorm, raped a girl, yet has an article written on him where he is praised for being an honor student more times than being shamed for violating a girl.

I am sure that most of you remember the outrage a few weeks back when Brock Turner received only a three-month sentence for his heinous crime. Part of the reason people were so enraged was because of media’s referral to this criminal as the “Stanford swimmer” and using a possible yearbook picture instead of his mug shot. The media’s constant refusal to label these people as what they are and rather by their accomplishment is more than alarming. One would think that media does this to remind us all that these are people just like us who deserve fairness; however, there’s a caveat: these headlines are reserved only for privileged white criminals.

While it may sound harsh, it is true. According to multiple research studies by American Civil Liberties Union, Center for American Progress and Open Society Foundation Latino and African-American men receive much longer punishments than their white counterparts for the same crimes. And even before these men receive these verdicts, the media does not hesitate even a moment to portray them as uneducated thugs whose lives have no purpose but to spread chaos.

When Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American boy, was shot by a white police officer, the media only chose to show pictures of him throwing “gang signs” and flipping the camera while completely ignoring pictures of him in his graduation gown, hugging his mother. Instead of showing him the same undeserving respect they showed to those other criminals, the media purposely painted a picture of him that would quickly allow the audience to draw their own false conclusions. Brown wasn’t even at fault here, so let’s talk about someone that was.

Willie McDaniels, a 28-year-old African-American, was charged with statutory rape and his article was nothing close to the one examined in the beginning. The title was much smaller than the huge mug shot that was posted right underneath it. This is how the article began: “A man has been charged with the rape of a child after the victim, a teenage runaway, went to stay with him. Willie Earl McDaniels, 28, of 120 Albany St., Apt. 34, Graham, was arrested Monday and charged with felony first-degree statutory rape.”

Notice any differences? The readers have been given his name, his age, even his address, along with stating his charges perfectly clear all within the first two sentences. The article then goes on to talk about the victim and giving more background about her, while in the first article, the victim was only an afterthought. The same goes for criminals with different religion.

Whenever there’s a shooting involved where the criminal is Muslim, the headlines make sure to mention his faith in every headline regardless of him being born and raised in American. When Dylan Roof burned down a black church, there was no headline that talked about his faith.

On June 23rd, in Germany, a gunman opened fire at a movie theater and kept people hostage until he died during a struggle with the police. Over 25 civilians were injured, but the news media quickly brushed the story since there was obviously no connection to the shooter having an Islamic background. In fact, an article by USA Today, even went so far as to saying that the suspect “looked confused” and was a “small, black-haired and between 18 and 22 years old.”

Keep in mind that this individual went into a movie theater and emptied four rounds in his gun, but he was still portrayed as a tiny, aloof young adult who really didn’t know what he was doing. The headlines were all about a “German shooter” rather than a “Christian shooter” however, whenever it’s the other way around, the faith is mentioned and not the nationality.

When the media resorts to using these completely different descriptions for people of difference races and religion for the same crimes, they are only strengthening the discriminatory stereotypes that exist in our society. I am by no means advocating that minorities should also be given less severe punishments for their crimes or not be blamed for their actions; rather, I want them to report on all criminals using the same rhetoric regardless of their race or religion.

Despite all the attributes and differences between criminals, their crimes put them all on the exact same level. If they are to be judged by an equal and fair law based on what they did and not who they are, the media needs to reflect this and stop playing the judge and the jury.

It doesn’t matter if someone is black, white, Muslim, Christian, an athlete, an honor student, rich or poor -- when they commit a crime, they are only one thing: a criminal, and that’s the only way the media should address them.

Cover Image Credit: ABC News

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.


For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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