For the most part, I support the idea of a media. I mean, the point is to question events and hold power to account. Depending on the particular media outlet, these things are done to a greater or lesser degree.
But when the collective industry by and large choose to ignore the execution style killings of 3 Muslim college students by a white man, the outcry should be vast and vociferous.
We can be assured that if it were 3 white college students shot in the head, that it would be framed as a ‘national tragedy’. And you know what? It would be a national tragedy. But THIS IS a national tragedy – no matter what religious, political or other views or identities the victims held.
We may also be assured that if the shooter were a person of colour or a marginalised identity, that scorn would be scrawled across every media headline in breaking news.
The blanket of silence is in the context of an ongoing global effort to homogenise the diversity of Muslim communities in an attempt to demonise Islam as a terrorist faith. The political goal: hegemonic stability.
We already know the answer as to ‘who’ these media organisations are protecting and ‘why’. Another question is ‘what’ are they protecting and ‘how’?
One answer is their carefully crafted (but incredibly ghastly) message that dare not depict any Muslim deaths in a manner that might induce empathy from the public because this would interfere with their ability to continue to persecute all Muslim peoples.
We talk about Islamophobia too often in abstraction, but the reality is that the architects of Islamophobia are the same entities and organisations that bury the truth to muzzle white outrage when Muslim blood is spilt in hate. The rationale being that white outrage is a threat to hegemonic stability, because the mainstream system already invalidates non-white voices.
The response from major media outlets (if any) has been that the 3 Muslim lives stolen was not a particularly newsworthy event because the ‘shootings’ were the actions of a ‘mentally deranged’ (white) man angry about a car park. But minimisation of the crime that took place is an indirect mode of persecution. The mass persecution (direct and indirect) against all Muslim peoples practiced by a white dominated media is a manifestation of white terrorism. The executions carried out at Chapel Hill are the savage and soulless actions of a white terrorist.
Are we really going to ignore white terrorism?