Monday, June 22, 2015
In my little town
What happened in Charleston last week is terrible. Innocent people gunned down in a place that should have been a safe haven. It's a tragedy.
And it made some bad memories come back, because a few years ago, it happened here.
I remember listening to the radio that day, and hearing the first confusing reports of something happening downtown, and hearing the sirens and seeing the police helicopters overhead from my office, across town from the Civic Association.
And I remember that it made the national news that night, and briefly the night after, and then my little town was left to pick up the pieces, and hold the church services, and plan the memorials.
So while I think the ongoing coverage in Charleston is certainly somberly appropriate to such a tragedy, I guess I just don't understand why the coverage is so overwhelming, in every branch of the media.
Is it because Charleston is a big city, as opposed to my little town?
Is it because the murderer is a white supremacist, and the victims are black, and it occurred in a place with a history of racism?
Is it because the murderer in my little town was Asian, and most of the victims were recent immigrants, and thus ... I don't even know ... somehow less "deserving" of media coverage?
I don't know. Personally, I'm glad that the media didn't converge on my little town back then, at least not for more than the first day. I think there's something to letting towns grieve on their own.
But as I leaf through page after page of coverage in the newspaper, and see story after story after story on TV and on line, and listen to continuing radio coverage, I have to wonder where all the media were back then.
Back in 2009. In my little town.