Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.
Though we cossetted, smug, self-satisfied whites of Portland will readily congratulate ourselves on our environmental consciousness and opposition to fluoride in the drinking water, we must admit, if we are honest with ourselves that the events that have transpired in Ferguson, MO do not represent an anomaly. We saw this during the Occupy Protests. If people of color massed in the streets of Portland, the response would be identical. In fact, what happened in Ferguson is pretty much what happened here, and is what would happen in almost every American city at this point. This is a deeply disturbing reality, and those in the press, while occasionally reporting on symptoms and episodes of injustice completely ignore the larger systemic failures and institutional injustices that point to deep rifts in American society that are not going to go away any time soon...rifts between rich and poor, the powerful and powerless, minorities and majorities, liberals and conservatives, etc.
What is needed is broader dialogue spurred, perhaps, by fearless reporting (not just the kind that panders to your advertisers). So far you have failed.
I just don't accept that local reporting has to be as crappy as it is. IF we simply accept that the Mercury is not ever to be taken seriously, that leaves us with only two other papers. But if we are to give the Mercury a pass, we would also have to give The Willamette Week a pass for the exact same reason. That leaves us with only the dreadful, execrable and foundering Oregonian. See my point? Aside from the laughable circus of local news, we are left without any forms of traditional media to cover the so-called news.
It is in this vacuum that I make my plea for the Mercury to step up because someone has to do it if no one else will. And contrary to the proffered advice of their editor/owner/accountant, I don't think appealing to prurient interests and providing more in depth coverage are mutually exclusive, financially speaking. If anything, I think it would actually improve matters.
At the very least, I take comfort from the fact that, even before his diversity training, Charlie was deeply and personally against the militarization of the police. Always said they could have the body armour, as long as it was pink.
Ultimately, it is a moral failure abetted by ignorance. The unwillingness of the local press to bring important, if subtle and obscure, issues before the public has disastrous consequences. Stop blaming the police. Blame yourself.