McWhorter to The Chattering Class: Why Give Noose-Bearers Attention?


Writer and Manhattan Institute Fellow John McWhorter was on NPR’s Talk of the Nation this afternoon speaking about the media response to the symbolism of the noose.

”The big brouhaha in the media every time someone does this … is not preventing it from happening,” said McWhorter. McWhorter last week gave a commentary on NPR that drew such a wide-ranging response that Talk of the Nation arranged today’s in-studio appearance as a follow up. McWhorter argues that the media ought to stop covering every noose attack with such bombast, as it only increases the incidences of copy-cat reactions from societal miscreants.

Regarding the Jena 6 incident, McWhorter said, ”I think (the DA) should lose his job.” McWhorter’s entire argument is grounded in the strategy of trying to do something to decrease the instances of noose hangings in the United States. From that point of view, a macroscopic media examination of every instance of nooses being hung is something to be entirely eschewed. McWhorter argues that such coverage emboldens the next noose-bearing misfit while over-sensitizes African-Americans. ”The nooses are not the prelude to The Birth of the Nation happening there.”

”This is not a black bourgeoisie discomfort at making noise,” McWhorter noted that he wrote a pivotal Wall Street Journal Op-Ed against Trent Lott continuing on as Senate Majority Leader in 2002. ”I think sometimes we have to pull the camera in instead of pulling the camera out … why give these people some (attention) … I certainly wouldn’t”

(image via edge)