By HDN Editorial Board
A reader called with a very good question the other day. Why did we rerun the photograph that depicted the arrest of the suspect in a homicide, she asked. The man in the photograph is a relative, she said, and seeing the photo again brought pain to her family.
We reran the photograph for several reasons, none of which sounded very legitimate to her. It accompanied a story about awards the Daily News had won at a state press convention. The photograph had taken third place in a photo competition and we wanted to show the photo again. Another reason was a design consideration. Photographs make newspaper pages look better.
Again, such reasons wouldn't amount to reasonable justification to her and her family and in fact would appear to be heartless. The man was found not guilty of murder. Her point of view is understandable.
Then she raised an additional point. The Daily News, she said, discriminates against some people. We're out to make some people look bad, she said. Her reference, though unstated, was clearly to the people of Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
What she said isn't true. But she was alluding to a truth. We all know people who choose to generalize about groups of people and find it convenient to attribute the isolated flaws of individuals to entire groups of people. That's what racism is.
It's regrettable that she attributed such motives to the Daily News. But until we all as individuals are more honest about our assessments of each other and confront those who won't be, her point of view is also understandable.