Since kicking off his campaign for president, Donald Trump has frequently provided entertainment as he criticized the media. He’s jabbed with reporters who dared to question him — sometimes connecting with uppercuts and knockout blows.
Now, just over one month since becoming our 45th president, he’s continued to use his favorite form of communication, Twitter, to launch an all-out assault on mainline media including the New York Times, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS. He recently tweeted that while they aren’t his enemy, they are “the enemy of the American people.”
We wonder, while we weren’t on his posted list, if the Black Press is guilty as well, if for no other reason than by “association.” Before your affirmative response goes viral, we must say we were only posing a rhetorical question to generate discussion. Since the founding of America, the role of the press, no matter what the ethnicity, philosophy, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or economic status of its owners or audience, has been to uncover and then share the truth with other citizens.
The Black Press was founded in 1827, however, because “truth” often existed along a slippery slope, primarily influenced and shaped by race. Still, the media, in all its forms, has continued to exist, if for no other reason, as John McCain recently said, “to preserve democracy — even if that means assuming an “adversarial position” which pits the media against the president.
As members of the media, specifically the Black Press, we understand our role and have carried it out in exemplary fashion since the very first edition of “Freedman’s Journal,” published by its editors so African Americans would have a voice and could “plead our own cause.”
McCain is correct. Censoring the freedoms given to the press opens the door for dictators.
The press may not agree with everyone on everything and we may even have interests to which we are particularly attracted. But we, and certainly not the Black Press, are not the enemy of America.