Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Friday, March 3, 2017
North Dakota Media: Racism and Protection of the White Supremacist Elite -- When the Media fails and becomes the MonsterBy Brenda Norrell
Photo Police violence at Standing Rock
Dutch translation at NAIS by Alice Holemans.
The North Dakota media has repeatedly published and broadcast the lies of Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, without making serious attempts to verify the facts.
The North Dakota media has altered public opinion and justified the excessive force by police, resulting in brutal police violence inflicted on unarmed Native American water protectors and their supporters.
The brutality, torture and murder during the Civil Rights years in the South were fueled by this same time of racism.
In newsrooms, racism and the protection of the white supremacist elite, fuels racism and violence in communities.
The media's protection of elite white supremacists includes the protection of governors, judges, police and politicians. It includes protection of the elite and their family members from the consequences of their crimes.
The media owners, publishers, producers and editors are responsible for master minding the direction of its news.
When racism, and a white supremacist agenda, dominates the newsrooms, the media becomes criminals.
This happened in Alabama and Mississippi, when civil rights freedom fighters were beaten, shot, tortured and murdered. It happened in the bordertowns of the Navajo Nation. Now it has happened in North Dakota, continuing a long history of media fueled violence toward Native Americans in the Dakotas, including the bordertowns surrounding Pine Ridge in South Dakota.
Farmington New Mexico: An unwanted monument to racial violence and media lies
The racism and protection of white supremacists was obvious in the newsroom of the Farmington, N.M., Daily Times when I was a staff reporter at the newspaper in 1992.
This culminated when Navajo teens were attacked by white youths and beaten with baseball bats, breaking the bones of Navajo youths in Kirkland.
The article I wrote was rewritten by the Daily Times editor in order to place blame on the Navajo teenagers. I demanded a retraction from the newspaper. I was fired.
I reported this to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, who was hearing testimony in Shiprock on the Navajo Nation, where I lived and worked.
The torture and murder of Navajos in Farmington by white supremacists was documented in the book, The Broken Circle, by Rodney Barker.
The repeated tortures and murders of Navajos and other Native Americans in Farmington, N.M., and Winslow and Flagstaff in Arizona, were seldom investigated or prosecuted.
In fact, one person who testified about the police violence in Farmington, to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, was stopped by police more than 20 times for minor traffic reasons after he testified.
The Farmington Daily Times was then sold to new owners.
This brings us back to the complacency and disregard for ethics by reporters, editors and media owners in North Dakota, who have made no attempt to provide fair and balanced coverage of the water protectors who camped at Standing Rock along the Cannon Ball River, to protect the Missouri River from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
It was only after Sheriff Kirchmeier carried out the militarized police assaults on the prayer camps -- and admitted that no weapons were found -- that the North Dakota media finally admitted this and parroted his words.
How much damage and violence resulted because the North Dakota media influenced public opinion and incited violence, resulting in serious injury to unarmed water protectors.
The failure of the North Dakota media to report in a fair and balanced manner, further endangered the water source of millions, including the water source for the reporters own families and future generations.
The collapse of the media and failure to uphold justice resulted in months of prolonged police violence with police firing rubber bullets. tear gas, and water cannons in freezing temperatures. Elderly and youths were beaten by police, attacked by vicious dogs and jailed without authentic charges.
An egregious violation of law and human rights took place when Morton County repeatedly arrested Native American elderly in ceremony, strip searched them, wrote numbers on their arms with black markers, as was done by the Nazis, and forced elderly to sleep on concrete floors in chain link fence "dog kennels" without proper medicine or food.
This should have been the headline news across America.
The national news media, including the New York Times and national television networks, failed all of us. They have the funds and resources to be present. They failed because Native American water protectors, and police violence against Native people, is not a priority.
Money, advertising, corporate and political bedfellows, backdoor deals and America's big oil agenda all play a role in what the media goes out and covers, and what the media actually reports.
Racism and the protection of the white supremacist elite dominates mainstream newsrooms in the Dakotas.
It is part of the dark secret of newsrooms in America that incite violence and protect white criminals.
The media is the same monster it pretends to be fighting.
Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 35 years. She began at Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She was a stringer for AP and USA Today.
After being fired by Farmington Daily Times, after objecting to its racist agenda, she was hired as a staff reporter by the new Indian Country Today in 1995. After Indian Country Today was sold, she was censored and then terminated in 2006. As a result, she created Censored News, now in its 11th year with no ads or revenues, and 16 million pageviews.
The coverage has been live in Bolivia, alongside the Zapatistas in Mexico, and throughout the West. She has been blacklisted by the mainstream media for a decade.