Just Another Guy with Opinions

Cry Me A River

Posted by shadmia on June 21, 2007


Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally-syndicated columnist, respected journalist, 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, best-selling author, has his own column in the Miami Herald……..and is Black. He is also the target of White Supremacists.

Inmurder-suspects.jpgchannon_christian_and_christopher_newsom.jpg his column he writes extensively about race, politics and culture. In a recent column titled ‘Oppressed’ whites? Give me a break in which he referred to the case of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a young white couple who were brutally murdered. Although not considered to be a hate crime, five Blacks including a woman were arrested for the crime. The murders made headlines in Knoxville, where the incident happened, but was largely unnoticed in the national press; that is until bloggers jumped on the case as proof that “Black on White” crime is not given the same exposure in the media as “White on Black” crime as in the Duke Lacrosse case. Pitts took exception to this characterization and in his article cited sources that said:

African Americans and Latinos are underrepresented in news media as victims of crime and significantly overrepresented as perpetrators, based on crime statistics.

Newspaper articles about white homicide victims are longer and more frequent than those about black ones.

Interracial violent crime is more likely to be reported even though it is just about the rarest kind of violent crime.

He concluded his article with the following words:

I am likewise unkindly disposed toward the crackpots, incendiaries and flat-out racists who have chosen this tragedy upon which to take an obscene and ludicrous stand. I have four words for them and any other white Americans who feel themselves similarly victimized.

Cry me a river.

This article so angered the white supremacist website that it posted a video (wbill-white.jpghich can be seen to the right of this column) on its site featuring both Leonard Pitts and his wife and included his full address and phone number. The predictable happened. They received numerous threats. When Pitts’ boss, Dave Wilson, Miami Herald Managing Editor/News, sent an email to the owner of the website, Bill White, requesting that Pitts’ address and phone number be removed from the video, he got the following reply:

“We have no intention of removing Mr. Pitts’ personal information. Frankly, if some loony took the info and killed him, I wouldn’t shed a tear. That also goes for your whole newsroom.”

A copy of the correspondence and reply was also posted on the website, this led to hate mail also being directed at Dave Wilson as well, although the vast majority of the hate was reserved for Pitts. When asked, Wilson declined to confirm or deny that Pitts was under police protection and Pitts himself was unavailable for comment. Wilson did say that some the messages were “thoughtful” but others were “very unsettling” in nature. “We did refer some of them to our legal representatives,” added the Herald editor. “Our first concern is for Leonard, and we have been in close contact with him.”

Wilson said Pitts has the Herald’s full support.

“He’s a nationally known writer who’s not afraid to express his opinion and challenge perceptions. We have every expectation that his column will continue to do that for a long time.”


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