Another pet peeve: Gail Collins edition

Collins, who is, I believe, the Editorial Page Editor of The New York Times, needs to stand back and read her own stuff:

It’s thanks to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law that a crime-watch volunteer was not arrested after he shot an African-American teenager . . .

Do you see it? That brief sentence is the only reference to that recent crime, the only reference to its victim, in the entire column. So how does describing him as ‘African-American’ advance her point at all? It doesn’t. It’s habit, and one that journalists everywhere need to break.

Her column was about the NRA and its endless lobbying for irrational laws. It wasn’t about racism, it wasn’t about bigotry, it was entirely about the NRA and our gun laws. Linguistic categorization adds nothing to a discussion of gun laws.

And that’s what’s wrong with Collins’ column.

(Here in Florida the gun lobby was enormously influential in writing and passing the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, under which self-appointed neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman, acted legally in shooting – to death –  an unarmed kid.)


8 responses to “Another pet peeve: Gail Collins edition

  1. I’m with you on this one. This is about sanctioned gratuitous violence. Race? Well that’s a different issue, and one that needs to be addressed, too. But the message gets lost when the two are conflated.


  2. Pingback: This is not the first time that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law has caused unnecessary death.. « Under The LobsterScope

  3. Love the last paragraph – beautifully written and original. Which makes one wake up and think and view it with fresh eyes.

    Collins clip is just regurgitating std. phrases.


  4. And it would have been different if the kid was, say, green? The adjective is in her journalistic DNA.


  5. Pingback: Dear newsmedia: George Zimmerman is not charged with killing a black teenager; he is charged with killing a teenager | Whatever Works

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