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Thursday, July 30, 2009

CNN Headline Writers Apparently Confused

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 6:35 PM

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In the ongoing and heated debate about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home, many people have weighed in on the issues of racial prejudice, racial profiling, police procedure and civil liberties. Gates, arresting officer James Crowley and President Obama are discussing the incident over beer this evening at the White House.


One of the people who weighed in on the matter is a Boston police officer, who in a mass email used the term “jungle monkey” four times – three times referring to Gates and one time referring to a Boston Globe columnist’s opinions about the issue. The officer, Justin Barrett, says he is not racist. (He also said in the email that he would have used pepper spray on Gates if her were in Crowley’s situation. He also attacks Gates, saying the academic has done nothing for Barrett's family or for military veterans.)


It’s disappointing that a police officer could repeatedly use the term “jungle monkey” and not see it as racially biased. But one has to wonder how the journalists at CNN can - in the theoretical interest of what? Fairness? Balance? Accuracy? – find any use of the term in reference to a black man that is not racist. 

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