Media fixates on “quiet riot,” ignores Obama’s urban agenda

by guest contributor rikyrah, originally published at Jack and Jill Politics

Senator Obama was in Hampton, VA last week at the Hampton University’s Annual Minister’s Conference.

Barack Obama gave a MAJOR POLICY speech …did you know that? If you don’t know, I’m not surprised, because of how the ‘Mainstream’ Media did NOT report on the substance of the speech – AT ALL.

Now, for all you folks who don’t think that Obama’s running TWO campaigns out there……

This the Mainstream Media’s Account of Obama’s speech.

Obama Warns of ‘Quiet Riot’ Among Blacks
HAMPTON, Va. (June 5) – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse a “quiet riot” among blacks that threatens to erupt just as riots in Los Angeles did 15 years ago.

The first-term Illinois senator said that with black people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast still displaced 20 months after Hurricane Katrina , frustration and resentments are building explosively as they did before the 1992 riots.

“This administration was colorblind in its incompetence,” Obama said at a conference of black clergy, “but the poverty and the hopelessness was there long before the hurricane .

“All the hurricane did was to pull the curtain back for all the world to see,” he said.

Obama’s attack on Bush got ovation after ovation from the nearly 8,000 people gathered in Hampton University’s Convocation Center, particularly when he denounced the Iraq war and noted that he had opposed it from the outset.

Repeatedly, he referred to the riots that erupted in Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four police officers of assault charges in the 1991 beating of Rodney King, a black motorist, after a high speed chase. Fifty-five people died and 2,000 were injured in several days of riots in the city’s black neighborhoods.

“Those ‘quiet riots’ that take place every day are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths,” Obama said. “They happen when a sense of disconnect settles in and hope dissipates. Despair takes hold and young people all across this country look at the way the world is and believe that things are never going to get any better.”

He argued that once a hurricane hits or a jury renders a not guilty verdict, “the frustration is there for all to see.”

Obama, who is bidding to become the first black president, took the stage after a succession of ministers repeatedly brought the crowd to its feet, singing, praying and swaying to music.

They just love to put RIOT with the Black man, don’t they?

The thinkonthings blogger has a different POV.

Obama Warns of Black ‘Quiet Riots’? How the Media Misleads Americans

The media should be ashamed of themselves for putting out headlines that this speech was about “Barack Obama Warning of Blacks’ ‘Quiet Riots.’” It was absolutely nothing close. While the speech emphasizes faith, hope, miracles, progress, and unity, the mainstream media is spinning it as being about division, unrest, and impending turmoil. Shame on the mainstream media for working against the unity and progress of the American people. The full speech of what Obama actually said is below…..

I agree with the thinkonthings…this is a blatant distortion of the speech. In fact, the reporter misses just how important this speech IS.

If you READ the ACTUAL SPEECH, you will see that it is about hope. It is about, no matter how bleak things get, somehow, in the most unexpected places, you can find a glimmer of hope. It’s almost bizarre how life works out that way.

Obama’s speech wasn’t about violence. It was about how we, as a society, need to fix the problems that lead to the Riots of 1992. That when you ignore wholesale parts of the society, how can you be surprised, after being beaten day after day, the ‘broken’ can’t take it anymore, and react in the only way that they believe will get them the attention that had been refused for years upon years.

The beginning of his speech is about a baby born during the L.A. Riots, that had been shot – in the womb, but miraculously, wasn’t seriously hurt, and the only marker of it would be a permanent scar to the arm.

In this speech, Obama talks about:
1. SUPPORTING parents with young children
2. A nurse/parent program for low-income mothers to give them pre-natal health care that too many lack
3. Creating a Youth Service Corps
4. Supporting EX-Offenders with a ‘ Second Chance Act’
5. A Prison-to-work program
6. Investing in transitional jobs to help the homeless and disaffected veterans
7. Investing in transportation to help the low income bridge the ‘transportation gap’ that too many poor workers have, with regards to getting to the jobs outside of urban areas
8. Helping minority owned business
9. Affordable health care

Simply put, it was THE speech that many of Obama’s Black critics have been waiting for from him. For all those who have been asking, ‘What about an Urban agenda?’


THIS is one of the major speeches of Obama. As important as his speech in Detroit. As important as his speech on Foreign Relations.

THIS is going to be the core of Barack Obama’s ‘ Urban Agenda.’

And, THE ONLY THING that the ‘mainstream’ media can pick up about it, is ‘ QUIET RIOT’?

I will not say that I am surprised, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not angry.

After all, Obama putting out substance about an Urban Agenda would be too much for them to handle.

Of course, the only thing that they can do is attach, and DISTORT the entire context of the phrase ‘ Quiet Riot’, instead of dealing with what Obama felt were the beginning of the SOLUTIONS to these problems.

So, don’t tell me that race isn’t involved with the coverage of Obama. Don’t tell me that if ANY other candidate had given the speech that Obama gave, the Mainstream Media wouldn’t be talking about the URBAN AGENDA put forth in the meat of the speech, and that the ‘quiet riot’ phrase would have been but a component of the speech – NOT THE FRIGGING HEADLINE.

The headline for OTHER candidates would be ” SoandSo Presents Plan for Urban America”.

Today, we would be debating the MERITS of Said Candidate’s proposals….which is what SHOULD be happening with Senator Obama.

Instead, I’m here writing to try and get out the word that there WERE proposals of an Urban Agenda.

What’s wrong with this picture?

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