George Floyd vs. Cannon Hinnant: How the US media selectively reported on their deaths

By admin
4 Min Read

When in May, a White police officer inexplicably caused the death of a Black citizen, George Floyd, a wave of protests accompanied by violence and looting swept through the United States, eventually reaching London, Paris, Berlin and to a small extent even resulted in a minor protest at the U.S. embassy in Budapest.

The Black Lives Matter movement says the death of George Floyd can conveniently be part of a narrative that says Whites historically oppressed those of other skin colors, killing and enslaving them, forcing them into reservations, and into drug use.

The spirit of the times is so strong that presidential contender Joe Biden chose a running mate largely based on skin color and gender, swearing that he would pick a female candidate and then facing pressure to ensure she was not White. In the end, he went with the half-Black, half-Indian Kamala Harris.

More recently, in a case just as inexplicable, a man named Daruis Sessoms shot dead his neighbor’s five-year-old boy. The killer is Black, the victim, Cannon Hinnant, is White. Were it not for the outrage of right-wing Americans at the lack of press reports on the heinous murder, it would have made even fewer headlines than it did. Part of the mainstream media didn’t even bother to mention that Sessoms is Black.

Of course, this wouldn’t matter in a world where everyone is measured equally regardless of color. But while in Minneapolis it became crucial that the police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on George Floyd was White, in Wilson it made no difference that Cannon’s killer was Black. No one is organizing protests called White Kids Matter, no one is toppling Martin Luther King statues just because he also happened to be Black.

In the United States, 39 people die every day in shooting-related murders. Most of these cases rarely become more than a footnote.

The stories — or as educated people say, the narrative — does not justify it. And that narrative is defined by politics and the media.

One could mention countless cases when a passenger disregarded what the bus driver instructed — indeed, the author of this article is among them — but only Rosa Parks could rise to world fame on it. In 1955, in Alabama, the Black woman did not yield her place to a White passenger, giving a major boost to the civil rights movement. Parks may not have been the first Black person to do so, but became politically the most expedient.

Floyd, who served five years in prison for armed robbery in a woman’s home and not a particularly prominent figure while alive, has in his death become the hero of left. Many will remember him. After a while, Cannon will only be remembered by his relatives and neighbors. While all lives matter, the narratives chosen to be elevated by the media can be particularly cruel for those without a voice.  

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