Spell It B I A S

Sunday’s CA showed a tremendous bias against black people. Racist, even, and an exercise in stereotypes.

It had to do with the front of the Local section in an article about the National Spelling Bee. The headline read “MUS STUDENT PAUL HEADING TO NATIONALS.” I did not add the caps, they did. It talked about the dramatic finish that had the winner correctly spell pentalogy and cinephile. Except his picture was not the one featured in color on the page. His was a 2″ by 2 3/4″ black and white on Page 2. From all appearances, he appeared to be Indian or of Asian background.

The color photo on the front page was 7 3/4″ by 5 1/2″. Pictured was a young black girl “comforted by her teacher after misspelling the word opossum during the Greater Memphis Spelling Bee.

I think it was unfair to minimize the winner’s picture and bury it in the spillover of the story. The winner deserved top spot. Was this some kind of bias against Asian Americans? One could deduce that.

And what of the young girl on the front page? The CA likes to highlight minorities, but does advertising her failure just reinforce stereotypes racists have? Did they even consider that angle?

It’s fine to want to show minority achievement, but should they emphasize it when they don’t? Perhaps the young girl didn’t want a picture of her crying when she lost broadcast across the city.

When you play the game of calling others racist no matter what, perhaps you ought to be careful of your own actions.

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