The question is simple, who decides which one of these is newsworthy? Who's pulling the strings and telling us which ones to be outraged about? Why aren't all of these receiving national attention? The media frenzy around Michael Brown has not been this fervent since the death of Trayvon Martin. Is there something we can learn from this?
Maybe it has to do with age. Garner was a 43-year-old father of six, Crawford was a 22-year-old father of two, Ford was 25 years old, and Parker was 36 years old. Did they not meet the criteria for garnering a public outcry?
Maybe it has to do with location. It has been well documented that although Ferguson's population is predominantly African American, their police force is predominantly white. Is it possible that this statistic lends itself to great copy.
Maybe it has to do with the residents of Ferguson and their grass roots campaign to bring this issue to national attention. If that is indeed the case what makes Ferguson different from New York, Los Angeles, Victorville, or Beavercreek? In all of these cases rallies and vigils were held but for some reason they did not garner the national attention that the Brown incident has received.
I am not a conspiracy theorist who believes this is part of some grand master plan (although it doesn't sound to far-fetched). I believe that we are strongly influenced by mass media and the media plays a major role in shaping public opinion. If in doubt just ask a politician.
So I ask again, what makes an African-American life (or death) newsworthy?
It starts now, let's get this thing done
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.