Friday, September 28, 2007

Black, white -- and read all over

You have probably read the stories we've been running about a black teenager getting beat up by the two men on the north side of Elyria.
If not, here's the story: 17-year-old Travis Noble was walking on Metcalf Road last Friday night when some white kids called him a racial slur (yes, THE hate-filled racial slur). Travis ran toward the other teens but apparently thought better than to start a fight, turned to walk away and they smacked him on the head. He fought back -- and ended up with a broken jaw. His white adversaries, 21-year-old James Machovina of North Pasadena Avenue and Kenneth Tackett II of Grafton ended up with felony assault charges.
We ran the story Sept. 27.
Why did we run the story six days after it happened? Because that's when we found out about it. Every single day, sometimes twice a day, we check the police reports at the police station. This report was not in the pile. We found out about it because someone called to tell us about it. Then we looked into it. Then the police gave us the information. Then we ran the story.
We did not hold back the information because it was a white-on-black crime.
We did not run the photo of the charged guy small because he was white.
We would not have run the photo of the charged guy big if he would have been black.
Here's the deal: We are not racist. Seriously. We newspaper people live in a black and white world -- figuratively and literally.
Last I looked there were 19 comments on the first story we posted.
We heard from the kind and the hateful, the wise and the ignorant.
But this sentence written by one reader was my favorite: "I am appalled, sick to my stomach and my heart is aching. I have no answers. These are our children … Black, White and Brown!!!!"
If only that were the sentence we were all scrambling to write.


Anonymous said...

it defently wasnt a hate crime get your storys right

Anonymous said...

Anonymous should learn how to spell. If it wasn't a hate was still stupid and the two who did the beating should be dealt with harshly! And no I'm not black, I am white and these types of crimes are intolerable both ways!