“The suspect was described as a black male, about 6 feet 1 inch, 250 pounds,” is a common phrase heard by news anchors, police officials or witnesses.
This phrase must be banned from the news broadcast arena because of the ignorance that accompanies it.
Do you know how many black males fit this description? Too many to count.
It’s really a shame to see the mass media, the most powerful presence on this human plain, incorporate such ignorance into it’s midst.
Yet, I forget, ignorance is bliss.
This happens on WTXL channel 27, a local ABC affiliate, at least once a month. I’m not sure how often it happens in other cities, but I’ve seen it countless times on my home news channels, WJXT channel 4 and WCJB channel 20 cable three in Jacksonville.
The only time I’ve seen or heard a full description of a criminal or a suspect is on “America’s Most Wanted.”
A full description includes more than classifying all males of a race with a common weight and height.
But, instead a proper description would be: “The suspect was described as a white male, shaggy, blond hair, green eyes, long, dirty beard, with an untrimmed mustache, right ear piercing, approximately 5 feet 3 inches tall, 200 pounds, with a small scar below the left eye, two missing front teeth, left bottom canine rotted … .”
Do you get my drift?
You have probably seen or heard of a policeman stopping a male, young or old, because he “fit the description.”
Forget racism, this is just plain ignorance. The “lack of common sense” bug has hit the boys in blue as well as news anchors and journalists across the country.
Maybe one day the mass media and police will understand the amount of ignorance it has.
Because this stupidity doesn’t just stop at, “fitting the description.”
However, this is the most well-known mistake made by both the police and the mass media.
This problem needs to be addressed.
Many men are attacked and bombarded daily because they “fit the description.” Some of them even have a criminal record, because they “fit the description” and were placed in jail.
This cannot be erased and messes up a person’s status, and in this country, it’s not easy to get a job after you have a criminal record, even if it was caused only because you “fit the description.”
The police, mass media and all ignorant persons alike should get their act together, because in the end, no one looks more stupid than they.
Robyn K. Mizelle, 19, is a sophomore broadcast journalism student from Lake City, Fla. She is the assistant opinions editor for The Famuan. She can be reached at RKMiz@hotmail.com.