If there’s a real third rail in America today, it doesn’t have anything to do with politics or religion – those two taboo subjects you’re never supposed to bring up at Thanksgiving dinner – but rather with race. In particular, any white man in the media had better wrap himself in a thick sheet of bubble wrap and prepare for the worst if he wants to lay down some facts about the black community. The latest version of this tired story can be seen in Newark, New Jersey, where reporter Sean Bergin has been suspended from News 12 for comments he made following a story about a fatal police shooting.
The story, which aired Sunday, included Bergin’s interview with the widow of the cop killer, a degenerate named Angelique Campbell who said that her husband Lawrence Campbell should have killed more officers before being taken down by police. Did you get that? This woman decided that the murder of one rookie cop wasn’t enough, and told the TV news that she wished he had been able to shoot a few more. Yet it isn’t Campbell’s heartless remarks that made waves in the state but rather Bergin’s sensible and reasonable parting words.
“It’s important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities,” Bergin said. “The underlying cause of all of this, of course, is young black men growing up without fathers.”
Before suspending Bergin, the news channel made clear their position on the matter, stating, “It is News 12’s policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air.”
While I haven’t had the chance to watch any of Bergin’s prior reports to see if this interjection of personal opinion is a common trope, I can agree with the station that reporters would be better off keeping their personal opinions to themselves when reporting hard news. That said, there are levels of personal opinion. It’s doubtful that Bergin would have been suspended if he’d commented on the beautiful weather in the region, complimented the police on a job well done, or even condemned Campbell’s remarks about her husband.
No, he was suspended because he dared to utter one of those simple truths that Americans love to pretend don’t exist: the problems in the black community are overwhelmingly responsible for a myriad of larger nationwide crises in America. Failing schools, gun violence, overcrowded prisons, and even childhood obesity are problems that have somehow become whitewashed even when the statistics show that they are primarily black problems. By ignoring this fact, we are worse than racists; we are sticking our heads in the sand.
New Jersey’s anti-cop problem may or may not be attributable to the absence of black fathers, but it’s certainly not a stretch to think it. According to the latest census, 64% of black children grow up in a home missing a father. There is too much research on the benefits of having married parents to pretend like this doesn’t have a wide-ranging impact. Bergin may have been better off keeping his mouth shut, but this country is going to be in a heap of trouble if we don’t start addressing the real issue. Maybe President Obama, ostensibly black himself, will tackle these tough questions in the next year and a half.
Sorry, I like to end on a joke.