Scott Henry of Creative Loafing can call us haters for not sympathizing with Communists occupying a downtown Atlanta park but he should also recognize that we did a better job on Friday than his publication and a majority of the major media outlets in the Atlanta market.
Scott Henry wrote:
It’s fascinating how a bunch of folks camping out in a protest against Wall Street profiteering has brought such swift, negative response from conservative bloggers and right-wing pundits from across the country, ranging from mere sneering to crazy, hyperbolic vilification.
But more important than what Scott wrote is what he didn’t write. Scott didn’t write anything about Congressman Lewis being rebuffed by Occupy Atlanta until today, three days later, and then mostly to take cheap shots and suggest that right-wing bloggers don’t “give a rat’s ass about Lewis or any other civil rights hero, living or dead.”
Well, Scott, you’re wrong on that last point. I do care about John Lewis. Deeply. Because if it weren’t for the American civil rights movement, I might not be alive.
When my father, in the uniform of his country, took my mother to apply for a marriage license, the clerk snidely told him, “a year ago, we wouldn’t have had to give you that license.” My mother is Japanese-American and until the United States Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia, the Commonwealth’s “Racial Integrity Act of 1924,” not only outlawed, but criminalized, any marriage between a white person and a non-white.
John Lewis may not have played any role at all in the Loving case, but its outcome is inextricably linked with the civil rights movement in which Lewis had two years earlier led marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Several years later, when my father’s ship was homeported at Corpus Christi, Texas, I was born at the Methodist Medical Center in Houston, a natural-born citizen of the Republic of Texas and a child of the Civil Rights Movement.
My parents marriage isn’t the only reason I feel kinship to the civil rights movement. My mother’s father, Joe Yamamoto, was part of the 120,000 American forced into the largest forced relocation in our country’s history, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Under the terms of Executive Order 9066 my mother and I would have been relocated if we’d been living then. My grandmother is a bleeding heart liberal, largely because of the civil rights movement, who has lived the finest Christian example anyone could as of her and she taught me about the heroes of the movement.
So I take the civil rights movement seriously, Scott, and I have a deep, lifelong, abiding respect for those who risked their lives in it, including John Lewis. Your statement that right-wingers don’t care about the civil rights movement or its leaders was cheap and probably based on an assumption that right-wing bloggers are all white. You’re wrong.
And Scott, where do you get off lecturing two people of color, a Japanese-American and a Philippine-American, about sensitivity to racial issues? Have you read what the lefties in the country have been saying about Malkin on Twitter?
Winners and Losers in the coverage of Occupy Atlanta
As long as we’re talking yet again about Occupy Atlanta, let’s score the winners and losers in the media.
SpaceyG got it right throughout the night, as did many others on Twitter. In fact, without Twitter, the Lewis thing probably wouldn’t have come out as widely as it has. Stacey Hopkins on Twitter did a great job getting the word out.
Atlanta Progressive News got it right with a detailed story on Friday night.
The AJC’s Friday coverage made no mention of OccupyAtlanta’s rebuff of Congressman John Lewis. They appear to have figured it out sometime between 9:34 PM Saturday and 9:38 that evening.
Creative Loafing missed the story on Friday also but figured it out Saturday morning. Scott Henry didn’t address it until today. Thomas Wheatley gets partial credit for retweeting one of Stacey Hopkins’s excellent tweets about it Friday night.
On Friday, WXIA, 11Alive, covered the story, including a quote from Lewis saying:
“Occupy Wall Street is saying, ‘We will not take it anymore,'” Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said in a statement Friday. “They are saying we must not forget about those in need, about those who work for starvation wages, those who bear their burden in the heat of the day and in the darkness of the night. These people are important too, and they make a massive contribution to our society. Their voices must be heard.”
but not a word about his treatment by the Party in the Park. Of course, that statement came from an online press release, not from actually talking to Lewis.
Today 11Alive is linking to video from ConservARTive.com rather than to their own video. Come to think of it, I don’t recall seeing them in the Park.
So, let me tote this up:
WINNERS: CBS Atlanta 46, Fox5 Atlanta, yours truly, ConservARTive.com, Stacey Hopkins, Twitter in general, and AtlantaProgressiveNews.com.
LOSERS: AJC, Creative Loafing, 11Alive, WSB-TV Channel 2.
Don’t call us haters because we did a better job than you did.