The Miami Herald and Local TV Stations Ignore Smart African-American Voices

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke wonders why there aren't more African-American voices in Miami's journalism scene?

When I scan the pages of the Miami Herald or watch WPLG 10's This Week in South Florida on Sundays, I can't help but notice the lack of outspoken, opinionated African-American columnists and commentators.

Miami's biggest media have a shameful record of not affording journalists of color an opportunity to blossom into columnists and opinion show hosts.

The Herald has 26 columnists on its roster, yet only three of them are African-American. Blogger Joy Ann Reid gets a guest column to write mostly about national politics. David J. Neal strictly covers sports. Then you have Leonard Pitts, the only African-American at the Herald to blossom into a national star. But Pitt's isn't from Miami, lives in Maryland and rarely touches on local issues.

In the television news business, you've only got one African-American holding the top anchor spot, Calvin Hughes of WPLG. But he is an out-of-town cornball who just reads whatever is on the teleprompter. He's no Dwight Lauderdale. Meanwhile, the two Sunday shows that focus on local politics and civic issues have long been anchored by a Cuban-American (Elliott Rodriguez, host of News & Views on CBS4) and a rich white guy (Michael Putney, host of This Week).

You only get their perspective, which is often negative toward the African American community. For example, last month on his program and in a Herald guest column, Putney blasted Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones for supporting $430,000 in federal grants to four businesses in Liberty City to fix up their facades, a routine boost Uncle Sam gives every year to dozens of small businesses in depressed neighborhoods throughout Miami-Dade.

Putney called the move "putting lipstick on a pig," and claimed if he was in charge, he'd use the money to provide training for jobs at the casino resort proposed by Genting, the Malaysian gambling giant that bought the Miami Herald property. In his mind, giving tax money to African-American small business owners was wrong, but awarding those same funds to a multi-billion dollar foreign conglomerate that doesn't need any government support would be A-OK. Sadly, most Hispanic and Anglo readers and viewers probably agree with Putney.

Miami's lack of African-American columnists and opinion-makers is a big reason I think some Anglo and Hispanic folks don't understand where I am coming from. I'm writing from the perspective of the average African-American in Miami. When I walk into Mamma Lucy's on NW 119 Street for lunch, I get nothing but praise for telling it like it is. But that doesn't mean I am playing the race card. It just means there are not enough African-Americans in Miami who get the opportunity to speak their minds like I do.

Follow Luke on Twitter @unclelukereal1.

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12 comments
Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

to luke  have you seen the news today? War, corruption... Tyler Perry movies! Why aren't you complaining?

Johnny J. Jones
Johnny J. Jones

Thanks for being courageous enough to be outspoken, Luke. As African Americans, we can no longer wait or have a need for acceptance from the outside, but instead I believe we need begin to work tirelessly to correct what hinders us from within as a collective race. We have to validate our own voices ourselves first and foremost. Sadly, I just hate this culture amongst us African Americans where we have this view of us each other not being worthy unless we are validated by mainstream America. I hope that we will change that and then not have a need for approval from others.

Blacks steal
Blacks steal

Blacks have this sense of entitlement that makes them think they can lie cheat and steal and that's OK. Look how many black politicians get arrested. Guess how many steal and escape indictment? Lots.

Charles
Charles

The problem with blacks in Miami is they are like 'crabs in a bucket'.  As soon as one almost reaches the top the others pull him/her back down.  They blame the Hispanics and whites but the problem is with blacks themselves. 

No smart blacks
No smart blacks

There are no smart African-American voices in Miami.

Uncle Tom's
Uncle Tom's

More racist rant from Luther Campbell.

There are a few smart blacks in Miami but they slick back their hair and take white people's money to push white people issues.

michael wind
michael wind

its true black people in miami dont have a fair deal....

DaGuerre
DaGuerre

"Putney called the move "putting lipstick on a pig," and claimed if he was in charge, he'd use the money to provide training for jobs at the casino resort proposed by Genting..."

To whoever wrote this column...I doubt if Luther did...That quote above is only part of what Putney said.

Here's what he actually said:

There are restrictions on how CDBG money can be spent, but if it were up to me I’d use that $428,000 to train Liberty City residents in job skills so they could go to work at the nearby UM Life Science and Technology Park.

Or for training to get a job at Resorts World Miami.

Or spend it on after-school tutoring and other programs for Liberty City school kids.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/201...

MSol
MSol

Dammit Luke.  You had EVERYONE on your side in your 2nd to last paragraph until you hit us with the last sentence. That kind of generalization is the same kind that members of minority groups like you and I strive to eliminate.  

ANON
ANON

 IGNORANT

ANON
ANON

 In part what you are saying is true.  However the issue comes from years and years of abuse and it's a recurring open wound that has not been properly tended to.  The Blacks in Miami must come together to deal with their issues and solve their problems without the influence of outsiders.  Once this is done, then and only then will they rise to the occasion.  We can't keep blaming others - stand up and do for ourselves!

Anon
Anon

 you're ignorant.

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