Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 82 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/14/15

PODER calls for a boycott of the Santa Barbara News Press

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kathy Swift
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

(Image by PODER/community photo)
  Details   DMCA

On a day commemorating slain civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., the Santa Barbara News-Press responded to The People Organized for the Defense of Equal Rights (PODER) in Santa Barbara's request for a retraction of the word "illegal" from its paper by instead encouraging anti-immigrant hate groups to lead a counter demonstration against PODER's planned day of civil-rights action.

A coalition of community organizers voiced concerns about the state of civil rights fifty years after Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech and called for a boycott of the Santa Barbara News-Press (SBNP) until it adheres to accepted AP standards for describing Latino immigrants. For their part, the Minutemen and other anti-immigrant hate groups exercised their first amendment rights by hurling racial epithets at PODER activists.

The News-Press has tried to paint itself the victim in this dispute by comparing itself to Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine where twelve journalists were killed last month in retaliation for derogatory cartoons of Muhammad. The SBNP compares the spray painting of pro-immigrant language on the front of its building as comparable to the murder of journalists at Charlie Hebdo and argues that its free speech is under attack.

Worldwide outrage over the Charlie Hebdo murders prompted much debate on the importance of free speech. But that didn't stop French authorities from arresting controversial comedian Dieudonne for making remarks sympathetic to the killers the day after nation-wide demonstrations for the protection of civil liberties.

It turns out the line between free speech and hate speech depends on the race/class standing of the speakers. Vive la France.

So what exactly is meant by "free speech" in the age of oligarchs?

According to media critic Bagdikian in The New Media Monopoly, five giant media conglomerates - Disney, Viacom, Bertelsmann, News Corporation, and TimeWarner - now own almost all of the world's communication outlets. These include everything from radio, television, movies, and Internet, to books, magazines, and newspapers.

News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch is notorious for using Fox News to advance his right-wing political agenda. The latest instance of Fox's overt racism came shortly after the Charlie Hebdo killings, in which Fox commentator Shanon Bream wondered aloud how police would be able to identify "bad guys" if they had ski masks and "couldn't even know what color," or what "the tone of their skin was?" (click here).

Unsurprisingly, a recent study by Politifact found that Fox misinformed its viewing audience 38% of the time (click here).

As might be expected in the age of oligarchs and the Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision, "free speech" is one favoring moneyed elites.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Kathy Swift Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kathy Swift holds a PhD in Education and is a local activist, organizer, and citizen journalist. Podcasts of her programs can be found at KCSB on SoundCloud. "If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth." - Julian (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Sheriff Brown strongly opposed to California's sanctuary state law

Gentrifying Santa Barbara's Eastside

Santa Barbara News Press threatens to sue PODER

The Downsizing of America

Its time for Sheriff Kirchmeier to be held accountable for human rights abuses

Occupying the Fourth Estate with Assange

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend