On Tuesday night a black couple, Nikita and Ashley Whitlock, had their basement apartment in Moonachie, New Jersey broken into, items stolen and racial slurs scribbled all over their walls. The burglars wrote things like, “Go Back To Africa, “KKK,” and “Nigger Lover” according to a CBS report.
The reason this made the CBS evening news is Nikita Whitlock is a professional football player, a fullback (the big guy behind the quarterback who blocks) for the New York Giants. His fame, as slight as it is as a part-time player on injured reserve, is the only reason we know about the attack. Were he Nikita Whitlock who works at the local Quick Stop, no one would know about this.
And if you don’t watch the whole video very carefully, if you are only listening while you test or play a game on your phone, you would not know that the word “Trump” was also written on the Whitlock’s wall. It was a quick screen shot at 37 seconds in the linked video — on screen less than a second — you can clearly see the word Trump written on the wall.
CBS news reporter Valerie Castro, who had the “exclusive report,” didn’t mention the connection to the President-elect. The article didn’t mention Trump’s name or connection to the hate-crime. Were it not for a brief flicker that most people would miss no one would know that the violent, hateful racist criminals were emboldened by Donald Trump.
The media has a responsibility to show the connection between a recent spate of hate crimes, from burglary graffiti like this to “Build a Wall” chants in schools, to the public statements of the soon-to-be most powerful man in the world.