By JR on Monday, October 05, 2015
The Umpqua shooting. The missing word
I have read several accounts of the shooting, including a very comprehensive one in the New York Times. The NYT even has a picture of the white father of Christopher Harper-Mercer. No picture of the mother? Why? She was quoted by various news outlets, so she should have been photographable.
The reason why goes back to the missing word: African. Christopher Harper-Mercer's mother is African American. It is true that some readers might have identified the killer's origins by his brown skin but he was pretty light-skinned and did not have distinctively African features. The irrepressible George Zimmerman did identify Harper-Mercer as "mixed race" and his African mother was noted in Britain's "Daily Mail" but silence about that was the rule in American newspapers.
White on black shootings get huge coverage as "racist", but for a black on white killings there is only silence about race.
Obama gave his usual speech blaming guns but this time refrained from saying that Christopher Harper-Mercer could have been his son
Harper-Mercer apparently targeted Christians for execution, but Obama did not mention that either.
I am not the first blogger to note the blackout (if I can use that word). A really comprehensive coverage by another blogger is here, including a picture of the black mother.
The media view above