The New York Post Should Call Riley Marcus Schwarz A Rapist
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Dear New York Post, Riley Marcus Schwarz Is An Alleged Rapist, Don't Frame It Any Other Way

I hope that there haven't been any children that have read the headline of the New York Post article.

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Dear New York Post, Riley Marcus Schwarz Is An Alleged Rapist, Don't Frame It Any Other Way

Some journalists have made it a habit to refer to rape as sex when it involves a female minor. The New York Post recently published an article with the headline: "Florida trooper had sex with 14-year-old girl in the back of his car"

A 23-year-old man allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl should never be labeled as sex.

It should be called rape and child abuse.

The label matters because by calling it sex insinuates that both parties consented. A minor is incapable of consenting because they are being taken advantage of by the adult in the situation. There is a huge power imbalance between a minor and an adult, especially in the case of the girl in the New York Post article because the adult was a Florida state trooper.

By saying Riley Marcus Schwarz, the state trooper, had sex with the young girl, the severity of the crimes with which he is charged is diminished. Some of you may think I am overreacting, but words matter, especially in news articles. The word "sex" has a much less severe connotation than the word "rape."

Schwarz is an alleged rapist and pedophile and under no circumstances should he be made to seem like less of a monster by diminishing the severity of his crimes.

I do not think it is a coincidence that Schwarz is a white man and that the author of the article chose not to label him as an alleged rapist. Our society almost always minimizes the crimes of white males because we are taught from a young age that they are the pinnacle of law-abiding citizens. This is why many people criticize newspapers for using mugshots when referring to criminals that are people of color but then using smiling, family photos for criminals that are white.

I am honestly shocked that the New York Post actually used Schwarz' mugshot in the article, but this is a pretty low bar to reach. The bias is still extremely prevalent in the media and is just one of the ways we are conditioned to believe that people of color are more likely to be criminals than white people.

I hope that there haven't been any children that have read the headline of the New York Post article because it may distort their idea of what they believe sex is. Especially if it is read by a child that is being raped by an adult because they may try to excuse the adult's actions by seeing it as sex. It is not only a disservice to the child allegedly raped by Schwarz but a disservice to all children to call the crimes he's charged with anything but rape.

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