Deceptive Headline

25 10 2016

Middletown, New Jersey

Newark Star-Ledger:

Ceremony honoring police before HS game sends ‘frightening message,’ ACLU says

A ceremony honoring law enforcement, military and first responders before a high school football game Friday night drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey because of an underlying “frightening message.”

What’s deceptive about this headline?  “ACLU.”  If you read further down, you’ll find out that the ACLU was not the only complainant:

The letter was also signed by the Central Jersey Chapter of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Greater Long Branch NAACP.

Okay, it goes more like this:  Those were the groups that were really upset, those are the straws stirring the drink.  But, for propaganda and PR purposes, and to keep the heat off black people, the state chapter of the ACLU fronted the effort for the media, and of course the media were glad to bury the black angle deep down in the paragraph count.  To put it another way:  Letting the ACLU front what was really black anger at law enforcement implicitly peddles the imagery of civil liberties focused white or parenthetical lawyers trying to prevent a public abuse of civil liberties, and also implicitly peddles the incorrect notion that a public abuse of civil liberties is what actually took place, while letting the state chapter of NOBLE and the local chapter of the NAACP take the lead would focus people’s minds on the racial angle, and at least a majority of people will conclude that it’s just a matter of black people not liking cops for the usual mostly-their-fault reasons they don’t.

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