My email inbox is a many-splendored adventure most days, bursting with missives full of interesting ideas, perspectives and the occasional unintentionally funny press release.
Then there are messages like this one, which arrived Friday morning. I share it, verbatim:
My wife, who is a staunch republican, commented on today’s Star and it’s high school graduation pictures. Not one “gringo” in the paper. Well, there was one in a picture, but he wasn’t identified. White have now officially become “persona non grata.” I know the Star is partial to minorities, but in the last few weeks, hardly a White student has been name in graduation pictures. Are White kids not graduating these days?
It’s too bad that the PC game has gone so far to the left. The Star is should be printed without passion or prejudice for any group. The pictures definitely do not depict the racial balance in our society, nor it’s demographics. Please be far to all races.
This is coming from a person who has 80% minorities in his family.
Oh yes, let us take a moment of silence for the photographically oppressed white people, left off the front page on occasion.
The solipsism necessary to look at photographs of young people celebrating their graduation from high school or college and notice their apparent ethnicity, not their achievement — and then somehow make it all about you — is pretty major league.
The photos the emailer complained about were of graduation at Tucson Magnet and Palo Verde high schools.
Both were filled with joy, a sense of accomplishment and emotion bubbling over into hugs and giant smiles. The photos capture the scenes and tell the story of graduation.
And yes, those happy young adults pictured launching into the world appear to be Latino and Latina. Most of their classmates at Tucson Magnet and Palo Verde are, too. I checked the enrollment numbers.
Should that matter? Yes, and no. The usual, and unfortunately well-deserved, complaint about news media is that it’s too white, both in coverage and in newsrooms.
Taken as a whole, journalism and the entertainment media have traditionally done a grossly inadequate job of reporting on people who aren’t white, male and middle class.
People of color, people with disabilities, people without wealth, people who are LGBTQ, people who aren’t Christian — they have been too absent in news coverage, television and movies for far too long.
People from all walks — and wheelchair rolls — of life must be in our reporting. Accuracy requires inclusion. That can be a frightening thought, to some.
The Friday message to me wasn’t the first Mr. Emailer sent to the Star, complaining about what he saw as a dearth of white people in the paper. Two weeks ago, he sent this note to the news department:
I was reading the Star yesterday and this morning, nothing new. in every section of the paper, on the front page,is a picture/story about Hispanic people. Saturday’s front page, UA grad, Hispanic. Aren’t any White kids graduating this year? Not to mention, the anti-White column by [Editorial Writer Luis] Carrasco about how minorities are always, “suspect.”
I don’t believe the Star represents our diversity equally. The Hispanic in the community is certainly not 90% of our population, yet. I realize the Star is on the left, but there’s a center and right side also. I’ts almost like White people are supposed to be ashamed of being White. It’s like today’s generation is being blamed for everything our forefathers did. I believe, “The sins of the father shouldn’t be placed on the son.” I’m innocent until proven guilty.
Wow, that is a lot of white privilege baggage tacked onto a few graduation photos.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt have to say it again, but the Star’s news and editorial departments are separate.
We don’t tell the news reporters or editors what to cover, and they don’t tell us what opinions to have. They report, we analyze and opine.
And, for the record, not all non-white people are “left” politically and not all white people are “center and right.”
So, Mr. Emailer, if you’d like to see a photo of a white person in the Star, just look a bit up and to the left.
Yep, that’s me.