I do not watch the news.
I am not well-informed. Maybe mediocrely-informed.
Unfortunately, CNN is on constant blast in the break room at work, and while it’s marginally useful when something’s actually going on – perhaps you wanna catch the inauguration of the first black president or something – day-today news pretty much sucks. Because the news is depressing. It’s always bad.
Maybe not always. Sometimes it’s stupid. Or…not even news. But it’s mostly bad.
And I’m not saying that I don’t want to know what’s going on, but watching something like a news channel [bad news on a 30min loop for 24hrs a day] can make you wanna pluck your eyes out on a not-so-bad day.
Friday was a *bad* day.
There I was sitting at the table with my coworkers, when a story/video (reading the story is preferable to watching it) from Haiti came up. There were reporters talking about a police shooting they’d just witnessed. It sounded like they had British accents, but I didn’t hear where they were actually from. Anyway – they talked about how they’d been riding down the street in their van and seen two guys with bags of rice detained by some cops. There was yelling back and forth [cops saying that the dudes had stolen the rice, the dudes saying it’d been a gift]. And then, there were shots fired.
The news crew went over to film what was happening, and found one of the guys shot in the back, laying on the ground, gasping for breath. And filmed it. And CNN showed us this nameless man, accused of looting rice, bleeding, gasping for breath, and dying on the pavement of a street in Port-au-Prince.
I turned away, but it was too late. I still see him. Every time I think about it my eyes well up, and I think – that shouldn’t have been shown – should it? I mean, maybe I shouldn’t want to censor the news, maybe I shouldn’t be turning away because it’s upsetting…but it just feels wrong.
The story continued to say that a police supervisor came along and said that this was improper and would be looked into and that an ambulance would be called. Two hours later the young man’s mother was by his side, to mourn, as he still laid there on the pavement. The news crew further elaborated that they’d talked with shopowners along the street and found that a truck had gone by and ostensibly, some bags of rice fell off the truck. The shopowners said that there hadn’t been any looting there.
Obviously, Haiti has some serious issues with corruption, along with all of the destruction due to this horrific earthquake disaster. But is this the way to spotlight injustice? Should we really be watching the last breaths of a man shot on the street – innocent OR guilty?
I think not.