Seriously?! A 90-pound shark left to die on an Overtown street gets national media attention?
By Rhetta Peoples
I’ve tackled some strange news stories before, but this headline won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
There was a body found in the streets of Overtown. Wipe the sweat from your brow. This time it wasn’t a human. It was a shark. Reporters flocked to get a glimpse of the South Florida chaos. Pictures were taken, stories were written and a manhunt is on for the two men who ended the life of this helpless fish. Good luck on finding the suspects. More importantly, if you find these men, I sure hope they are guilty of something that’s important so that our tax dollars are well spent.
I’m sure most of us can agree they were wrong for treating an animal this way but I’m not quite sure I would incite outrage and demand news coverage out of it. Why this story is cutting so deep among people is beyond me.
Headlines like “Fishy scheme suspected as shark found dumped on an Overtown street”, “A tale of the shark that rode Metromover” and “6-foot nurse shark dumped on an Overtown street” graced newspapers and websites all across the country.
The Taco Bell dog is probably rolling over in his grave. He or she died last week and his or her press coverage didn’t even come close mister “Overtown Jaws”.
This is a prime example of “Media Gone Wild”. If you look at the comments below most of the Internet stories on this, you’ll see how readers have immediately made the race of the suspects a primary factor.
The media doesn’t have to label the accused by their race, they are savvy enough to call out the area of town and leave the rest to your imagination. Instead of saying a “Miami ” street, reports came out as a street in “Overtown”. Isn’t Overtown still in Miami? So let me get this straight, there’s an Orlando, Florida, a Tampa, Florida, a West Palm Beach, Florida and an Overtown, Miami, Florida? Ah, don’t you just love new school media? Smart little cookies aren’t they? If you don’t believe me when I say they can just name a section of town to identify you by race, then just Google “Overtown” and take a look at the race of the people who appear on your screen. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
See, I told you.
The media doesn’t have to say, “Today a black male…”, or “A Hispanic female”…Now they can say, “Today, in Pine Hills (wink, wink), a man…”
To make a long story longer, the fish eventually died. This really is sad and unacceptable, but what’s more important to me is the fact that last year, while we were getting ready to go to the polls to put the first black president of the United States in office, a black man was intentionally dragged to death beneath his white “friend’s” truck until his body was torn apart. The victim’s mother even reported that pieces of his skull could still be found on the road three days later.
That’s an example of a story that should make national news and that’s an example of something that should demand coverage and outrage by people of all races.