midst of discussion about degree of "gang involvement" by Nehemiah Steverson,
blog post by John Hoff
What We Do
This blog doesn't sugarcoat bloody, ugly facts. This blog doesn't nominate each semi-random victim who dies in the street of acute gunfire for automatic sainthood and then instinctively begin a public process of ignoring and whitewashing key facts while hyping up others.
Why does the mainstream media do this? Are they afraid of...
...offending an entire demographic who will then take it out on well-heeled advertisers? Are they so consumed with some kind of hysterical blindness brought on by the trauma of suburban guilt that they immediately kow-tow to any deity of untimely, youthful death placed upon an alter by MADDADS and so-called "leaders" in the community? (Sarcasm font in the course of a hypothetical prayer to the Almighty) OH, GOD, WHY? Why did you take this young man who was Facebook friends with so many known gang members? I, a mere mortal, cannot understand your sense of divine justice or even rational, secular cause-and-effect! Please, God, explain it to me how something so unpredictable and unexpected like this makes sense as part of your divine plan. (End font, and God have mercy on my soul)
Hang Your Head In Shame, Mass Media
No, really, I am truly mystified. And comments I see from readers both in a public and private context tell me the same thing. Members of the North Minneapolis community are literally being killed by kindness in the mass media and it makes no sense at all. Why lie? Why whitewash the truth? Why wallow in the sweet-smelling offal of political correctness instead of just doing what the media is supposedly supposed to do, and publish the truth and the relevant facts and let the chips fall where they may? Is covering up key facts about the appallingly bad lifestyle choices of murder victims and their dubious associates going to stop the NEXT all-too-predictable murder of a youth? LET THAT NEXT ONE BE ON YOUR HEAD, MASS MEDIA.
Star Tribune. I'm looking right at YOU. KSTP, you're not much better but being a television station I expect shallow coverage. The Star Tribune, a print media publication with a history going back forever, has no excuse. No, not even in the age of bare bones budgets because social media is killing "dead tree media."
Well, that kind of thing doesn't happen here. When somebody dies, this blog will fearlessly follow where the facts lead. In the case of a dead youth, examining the lives of the parents is usually a great place to start. In an article published today, ("Fight breaks out at slain teen's vigil") the Star Tribune named Randy Donnerson as the father of Nehemiah Steverson. Thank you, Star Tribune, for THAT much.
Let's see where that name leads...
Hardly A Career Criminal, But NOT An Upstanding Citizen
Donnerson's record would definitely raise eyebrows with any employer and makes anybody wonder what degree of support he could provide his 17-year-old son with this kind of rough life happening. Here is his rap sheet, as follows:
Red Lights On The Road Of Life
Well, that's an anti-climactic ending to this rap sheet, except that Donnerson still owes $128 on this charge and it appears "collections" has thrown its hands in the air, closing the referral. Rather than end upon an anti-climactic note, I present the following musical tribute.
"Red Light" by Jonny Lang. This song seems to be about taking a moment to ask if your life is on the right track, to ask (this line is in the song) "Am I drinking too much?"
I am sorry Randy Donnerson lost his son. And I'm sure plenty of people don't care for my hard-as-nails style of airing ugly, undeniable facts. (And then there are those diehard fans who tell me they LOVE it and I must never, never stop)
But to my way of thinking, this kind of "lacking the coating of sugar and substituting a coating of salt" bloggy media coverage is only halfway about the facts surrounding the shooting. The other half is a burning question...
HOW ARE WE GOING TO START PREVENTING THIS MURDER AND MAYHEM IN THE STREETS OF NORTH MINNEAPOLIS instead of sitting around arguing about what it all means and what facts should be aired, versus what facts should be...
White washed by the media in the name of political correctness? A literal "killing with kindness" of young men?