MSNBC’s report today on the “Ebony Magazine controversy” did clarify at least two things: first, that there is no Tea Party boycott of the magazine’s celebrity “hoodie” issue, and second, that Ebony editor Amy Barnett doesn’t seem to understand the criticism of the cover.
Not that there isn’t plenty of controversy over Travyon Martin’s shooting and George Zimmerman’s acquittal. Geraldo Rivera surmised that Martin’s hoodie was as much to blame for his death as Zimmerman was. CNN’s Don Lemon has been declared a “slave” and a “turncoat mofo” for suggesting that young black men pull up their pants and clean up their language. Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick have refused to perform in Florida, while other black celebrities have joined in an ongoing occupation of the capitol building demanding a repeal of the state’s stand your ground laws.
“We simply cannot allow the conversations on this issue to come to a standstill,” Barnett has said, and it doesn’t look like there’s any chance of that happening soon. But can we please clarify a couple of points? Three of Ebony’s four covers explicitly demand the repeal of stand your ground laws, which had nothing to do with the Zimmerman verdict. Nor did racial profiling, despite Barnett’s claim that it’s “the root of this whole case” and NBC’s deceptive editing of Zimmerman’s 911 call to make it appear that way.
Sadly, her claim that African-American boys are targets of violence is true, but conversations about gang violence in Chicago tend to be met with dismissive snark from liberals like MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, and the fact that Zimmerman was also a target of violence often goes unspoken.