Monday 18 January 2010

News: MLK Day

It's Martin Luther King day, and as The Caucus blog sagely notes, "For the first time, a black president will observe the holiday [...] President Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, will participate in a community service event in Washington. They will attend the annual “Let Freedom Ring!” concert at the Kennedy Center." Plenty of media outlets - like Salon - are using the event to meditate on Obama's first year as President, and to comment on the upcoming Senate race in Massachusetts.

Fox, on the other hand, leads with news of a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
70 percent of white Americans and 60 percent of black Americans “believe values held by blacks and white have become more similar in the past decade.” Those numbers are unprecedented. Clear majorities of black and white Americans are saying that the divide born or racial, cultural and educational divisions is closing fast.
They also complain that "the New York Times and Washington Post did not find space in their news columns to tell this uplifting story." In the Guardian, however, Lola Adesioye responds:
A more revealing place to look, certainly more so than polls or media firestorms, is at the fact and figures of minority life in America. There is the 16% African-American unemployment rate, which is expected to soon reach a 25-year high. There is the fact that while the president works on passing a healthcare reform bill, people of colour continue to die at disproportionate rates from diseases such as cancer and heart disease. There is a US education system which continues to fail minority children. While the picture is not all doom and gloom it is clear that the issues which most negatively affect the quality of life of a large number of minority citizens still persist in spite of an African-American president.

No comments: