I remember when USA Today founder Al Neuharth pioneered diversity by insisting that graphs and charts in the newspaper that featured cartoon figures should have dark-skinned figures, too, because USA Today needed to reflect America. Here USA Today reporter Michele Chabin extends that tradition in her report on Obama’s speech in Jerusalem last week, and gets at the racism that characterizes all our politicians’ rhetoric on the Israel Palestine conflict:
While Randa Sharkiya, an Arab citizen of Israel studying at Al Qaesmi College in the north of the country, said she was gratified that Obama expressed his support for a Palestinian state, she was offended by the lack of any mention or outreach to Israel’s many minorities.
“The entire speech was Jewish country, Jewish, Jewish Jewish,” said Sharkiya, dressed like her classmates in Islamic headscarves. “All I kept thinking was, ‘What about us?’”
How often must we remind readers that a civil rights discourse that we had in this country in the 50s and 60s has not arrived in Israel, and that our politicians are doing nothing to enable such progress.
I see that the New York Times also reflected Sharkiya’s view of the speech, somewhat, in its coverage of student responses.