Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

NRA Was Influenced by Black Panthers

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Updated Dec. 27

Returning Dec. 28 except for breaking news

Oakland Group of 1960s Brandished Guns in Public

Editors Grade Newtown Coverage in Light of Inaccuracies

Terry Glover, Ebony Managing Editor, Dies at 57

N.Y. Times Urges Pardon for Wilmington 10

Navarrette Knocked for Comparing Dreamers to 'Spoiled Brats'

Rights Coverage Recalled as Newsweek Ends Print Edition


ESPN Announcer Sorry for "Puerto Rican Temper" Comment

Short Takes

Author Adam Winkler says the National Rifle Association was inspired by the phil

Oakland Group of 1960s Brandished Guns in Public

The National Rifle Association was influenced by the Black Panthers?

Yes, according to Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA School of Law and author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America."

Winkler said over the weekend on NPR's "On the Media":

"One of the surprising things I discovered in writing 'Gunfight' was that when the Black Panthers started carrying their guns around in Oakland, Calif., in the late 1960s, it inspired a new wave of gun control laws (audio). It was these laws that ironically sparked a backlash among rural white conservatives, who were concerned that the government was coming to get their guns next.

"The NRA mimicked many of the policy positions of the Black Panthers, who viewed guns not just as a matter of protection for the home, but something you should be able to have out on the street, and also protection against a hostile government that was tyrannical and disrespectful of people's rights. . . . "

Winkler wrote about the connection more expansively in "The Secret History of Guns," a September 2011 article in the Atlantic that preceded the book's publication.

"The eighth-grade students gathering on the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento were planning to lunch on fried chicken with California’s new governor, Ronald Reagan, and then tour the granite building constructed a century earlier to resemble the nation's Capitol," the article began. "But the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of 30 young black men and women carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols.

"The 24 men and six women climbed the capitol steps, and one man, Bobby Seale, began to read from a prepared statement. 'The American people in general and the black people in particular,' he announced, must

" 'take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless. Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated, and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetuated against black people. The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.'

"Seale then turned to the others. 'All right, brothers, come on. We're going inside.' He opened the door, and the radicals walked straight into the state's most important government building, loaded guns in hand. No metal detectors stood in their way.

"It was May 2, 1967, and the Black Panthers' invasion of the California statehouse launched the modern gun-rights movement.

". . . The new NRA was not only responding to the wave of gun-control laws enacted to disarm black radicals; it also shared some of the Panthers' views about firearms. Both groups valued guns primarily as a means of self-defense. Both thought people had a right to carry guns in public places, where a person was easily victimized, and not just in the privacy of the home.

"They also shared a profound mistrust of law enforcement. (For years, the NRA has demonized government agents, like those in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal agency that enforces gun laws, as 'jack-booted government thugs.' Wayne LaPierre, the current executive vice president, warned members in 1995 that anyone who wears a badge has 'the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.') For both the Panthers in 1967 and the new NRA after 1977, law-enforcement officers were too often representatives of an uncaring government bent on disarming ordinary citizens. . . ."

Despite the Black Panther Party posture in the 1960s, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has found that today's African Americans support gun control.

As reported last week, when asked whether gun ownership does more to protect people from crime or puts people's safety at risk, 54 percent of whites said gun ownership protects people from crime, but only 29 percent of blacks did. Fifty-three percent of blacks said it puts people's safety at risk. Only 33 percent of whites did.

Note: For clarity, the original headline, "NRA Was Inspired by Black Panthers," has been changed to "NRA Was Influenced by Black Panthers."

Editors Grade Newtown Coverage in Light of Inaccuracies

Public editors evaluated their news outlets' coverage of the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy, with the New York Times' Margaret Sullivan declaring over the weekend that the Times must be a counterweight to the often-inaccurate information proliferating on social media.

(c) 2012 Lalo Alcaraz / Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate

"The Times can't get pulled into the maelstrom of Twitter-era news," Sullivan wrote.

"It has to stand apart from those news sources that are getting information out in a fast, piecemeal and frequently inaccurate way. That process has its own appeal and its own valuable purpose. But The Times should be its authoritative and accurate counterbalance."

Others came at the issue of misinformation supplied by authorities — and in most cases passed on to news consumers — in other ways.

"While I have found that coordination of news information and language use sometimes falls between the cracks among NPR's many news teams and shows, the pitfalls were avoided this time," ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote for NPR. He shared internal messages. "The memos are a virtual classroom lesson. Note the specificity, the caution and the instructions on what cannot be reported. Note also further down the concern for ethics and grieving families."

At the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, reader representative Ted Diadiun noted the regional focus of his organization. "When the news is hundreds of miles away . . . the only thing the paper can do is repeat what trusted organizations report, seek corroboration when possible — and correct it if it's wrong," Diadiun wrote Sunday.

Terry Eberle, executive editor of the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., reminded readers that journalists are human beings with emotions.

"Do the media spend too much time on the story? Maybe," Eberle wrote. "Do the media invade people's privacy at this very private time? Maybe. Did the media report bad information? Definitely. Should they have confirmed the information before reporting it? Without question.

"Do viewers and readers want every detail? Yes. To some, it may be part of their grieving process. To others, they just want to know everything.

"I get discouraged watching the herd of journalists run to press conferences, make mistakes and stick microphones in the face of shocked people.

"This time, however, I saw some subtle differences. There were no cameras in the faces of the parents as they gathered to listen to President Obama on Sunday.

"There were no journalists asking questions and pushing cameras in the faces of people as the first young children were laid to rest. They shot from a distance with a long lens respecting the privacy of a breaking news event.

"I don't know how much is too much. I don't know that magic moment when we must move on to something else.

"I do know that showing a little emotion is not necessarily a bad thing for a journalist. I do know that we can show some feelings and still be objective reporters. . . ."

Terry Glover, Ebony Managing Editor, Dies at 57

Terry Glover, managing editor of Ebony magazine and graduate of Uptown magazine, the old Savoy magazine and Playboy.com, died in Chicago on Christmas Eve.

Terry Glover Her Ebony colleague Adrienne Samuels Gibbs said she turned 57 on Nov. 1 and succumbed after a long illness. The official Ebony announcement Wednesday did not address the cause of death. [Quoting her husband, Kendall, on Dec. 28, the Chicago Tribune's identified the illness as colon cancer.]

"A valued friend and a key member of the Johnson Publishing family, Ms. Glover joined the company in 2006," the announcement said. "She was appointed Managing Editor of EBONY in 2009 and was a senior editor for the website for three years prior."

The news release quoted Editor in Chief Amy DuBois Barnett: "Terry was the heart and soul of the Ebony team. She was one of the best editors I've ever worked with, and had a lovely kind demeanor and a fabulous sense of humor. The Ebony team will feel her absence every single day."

Gibbs, an Ebony senior editor, told Journal-isms by email, ". . . she had a wonderful sense of humor. Last year for Christmas she gave us all 'bad grammar makes me (sic)' t-shirts. I wore mine today. . . . (She'd recently shaved off her beautiful locs and was rocking a very chic mohawk!)"

Commentator and TV One host Roland S. Martin, who said he got to know Glover from his days as editor of the Chicago Defender, told Journal-isms, "I last saw Terry's beautiful smile at the DNC [Democratic National Convention] in Charlotte. She was in good spirits, but I could tell that she was sick and had been sick for some time. She really was a sweet sister who was unapologetically Black," he said by email.

Monroe Anderson, who as editor of Savoy hired Glover as photo editor, said by email, "Terry was the complete package. Intelligent. Charming. Witty. Beautiful. A great mother and wife. And she had a wicked sense of humor."

Glover was also a Journal-isms subscriber.

Ebony said when Glover was named managing editor in 2009: "Glover, who most recently held the post as EbonyJet.com's senior online editor, has more than 15 years of experience in the publishing industry and has a B.A. in Communications from Northwestern University and a M.S. in Journalism from Roosevelt University. During her career, she has held numerous roles including managing editor at Savoy magazine, Chicago editor for Uptown magazine and digital editor for Playboy.com."

There was no word on funeral services. (Added Dec. 27)

The Wilmington 10 at a 1976 news conference. Front row, from left: the Rev. Benj

N.Y. Times Urges Pardon for Wilmington 10

The New York Times called Sunday for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue to pardon the Wilmington 10, "a group of civil rights activists who were falsely convicted and imprisoned in connection with a racial disturbance in the city of Wilmington more than 40 years ago.

"The convictions, based on flimsy evidence and perjured testimony, were overturned by a federal court in 1980. But by then, the lives of the convicted had been broken on the wheel of Jim Crow justice," the editorial said.

" . . . Newly discovered notes attributed to the prosecutor paint an even more sordid picture of how the case was pursued. The notes suggest, for example, that the prosecutor used racial profiling and other unethical tactics to disqualify black jurors, while searching out racist jurors who would endorse the case against the defendants without question. In some instances, for example, he appears to have written 'KKK' (for Ku Klux Klan) next to names of prospective jurors, occasionally commenting that this was 'OK' or 'Good.' Taken together, the notes and court documents offer a window into a time when many Southern prosecutors and courts saw it as their mission, not to administer justice, but to preserve the racial status quo. . . .

"Anger over this case has continued to fester in the black community. At a 40th anniversary commemoration last year in Wilmington, civil rights leaders rightly decided that the wrongly convicted warranted a pardon from Ms. Perdue. By providing it, she can finally bring a close to one of the more shameful episodes in North Carolina history."

Navarrette Knocked for Comparing Dreamers to 'Spoiled Brats'

"CNN commentator Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s recent column chastising Dreamers who he says sometimes act like 'spoiled brats' who are 'drunk on entitlement' has sparked angry reactions from the movement's supporters," Roque Planas wrote Friday for Huffington Post.

Ruben Navarrette Jr.

"Arguing that aggressive protests may undermine comprehensive immigration reform, Navarrette criticized undocumented activists for demanding citizenship and likened their protests to 'public tantrums' in a piece published Wednesday.

" 'I know what a lot of those so-called DREAMers deserve to get for Christmas: a scolding,' Navarrette writes.

"That opinion didn't sit well with DREAMers or Latino bloggers and journalists who sympathize with their movement.

"Univision reporter Jaime Zea pounced on Navarrette, with this tweet:

"The blog Latino Rebels slammed Navarrette on its Facebook, saying 'Dreamers don't care what you think. And they shouldn't.' . . . "

"Dreamers" illegally entered the country as children with older relatives. The name is taken from the DREAM Act, legislation stalled in Congress that would put them on a path to U.S. citizenship. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.

President Obama said last summer that immigrants up to age 31 who entered as children would not face deportation under certain conditions and can work and go to school.

Newsweek in 1967 . . . and 2012

Rights Coverage Recalled as Newsweek Ends Print Edition

For the last print issue of Newsweek, Andrew Romano compiled an oral history of the newsmagazine. The issue includes a remembrance by Mark Whitaker, now executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, who in 1998 became the first African American to edit a major newsmagazine.

In the words of the headline writer, the former Newsweek editor wrote about, "How a band of idealistic journalists changed the civil-rights movement."

That band included correspondents Karl Fleming, Peter Goldman and Joe Cumming and editor Osborn Elliott. In 1967, these white journalists produced "a groundbreaking cover called 'The Negro in America: What Must Be Done' that won Newsweek its first National Magazine Award.

". . . A lawsuit filed by female staffers unable to advance beyond secretarial and research jobs had exposed its inconsistent zeal for equal rights," Whitaker wrote of the newsmagazine.

"But an African-American news editor, John Dotson, and his boss, Rod Gander, had finally gotten serious about integrating the magazine's ranks, and I was soon working with a rising generation of talented black journalists like Vern Smith, Sylvester Monroe, and Dennis Williams. They schooled me in Newsweek's ways, but also warned about limits to advancement. After two successful summer stints, Dotson predicted that I might become a section head some day if I accepted a full-time job. 'What about editor?' I asked. 'Newsweek isn't ready for a black editor,' he replied somberly.

As editor, Whitaker said he ". . . championed fresh, provocative black voices like Ellis Cose, Allison Samuels, Veronica Chambers, Lynette Clemetson, and Marcus Mabry. Together with our white colleagues we did covers on the hidden rage of successful blacks, the rise of black women, the future of affirmative action, the complexities of multiracial identity, and the relationship between African-Americans and Hispanics. We even dared to publish an issue called 'The Good News About Black America' . . ."

ESPN Announcer Sorry for "Puerto Rican Temper" Comment

"Apparently making sweeping generalizations about athletes using ethnic stereotypes is still something people do when covering sporting events," Adrian Carrasquillo wrote Sunday for NBCLatino.

"During a game between Kansas State and Florida, ESPN announcer Mitch Holthus blamed a foul by Angel Rodriguez of Kansas State on the fact that he has a 'Puerto Rican temper.'

". . . Humor and culture site, Latino Rebels reached out to Holthus on Twitter asking for an apology for his comments and he quickly followed through. . . . "

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists Monday denounced Holthus' comment.

NAHJ President Hugo Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, wrote to members, "One executive vice president told me that both Holthus and a producer accepted accountability for their actions and that they will be disciplined. . . . In the last 24 hours I have spoken to several ESPN managers about how to prevent future incidents."

Short Takes

Merry Christmas!

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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