Consumer Alert: English News is Already a World Apart

Sure if you want to read about guns and prisons at the border, English will work for you just fine. But if you want today’s news about peacemakers trying to cut a path of sanity through the provocations and racist hysteria, then sorry, that kind of news is Spanish only.

As I’m chatting these days with Jay Johnson-Castro about the caravan that he and Enrique Morones are bravely driving back and forth along the USA border with Mexico, it becomes a truth hotter than the Arizona desert. English speaking news audiences are being systematically taught to hate and fear the border.
A January 3 “standoff” along the Arizona border between unidentified gunmen and the Tennessee National Guard–during which no shots were fired–is getting rehashed this week in a story by Associated Press writer Alicia A. Caldwell.

But there are two problems with that report. First, Jay expresses doubt about the official story of the “standoff.” He cautions against believing the narrative as reported.

Second, the reader gets the impression from the dateline and opening paragraphs that the story is about something that recently happened in Del Rio. The reader has to dig at least ten paragraphs down to find that this is a rehash of an Arizona story from Jan. 3.

But why would a reporter file a story from Del Rio this week about a month-old incident in Arizona, when Del Rio’s favorite son, Jay Johnson-Castro is busy with widely announced plans for his border caravan?

Aside from what we do find in the English-speaking news world today, consider what we don’t find. Not a single story about Morones or Johnson-Castro. Not a single story about their visits to the walls or cemeteries of San Diego. Not a single story about this weekend’s national leadership convention in Phoenix involving such heavy-hitting Civil Rights organizers such as Peter Schey, Isabel Garcia, or Rosa Rosales.

Not a word about how the convention gave Morones a standing ovation.

English readers beware. If you’re not consuming Spanish language news, then the language of guns and prisons is what you know, and what you know is only part of the story that’s being reported.–gm

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