Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here's hoping Tennessean's Issues section tomorrow joins 21st Century with its diversity

Besides Tennessean editor Mark Silverman's commentary that newspapers are alive and well, the most disturbing aspect of The Tennessean's Issues section LAST SUNDAY was the lack of a writer of color with picture.

Consider that America now has an African-American president.

Consider that Nashville is 25 percent African-American.

Consider the growing immigrant population in the Midstate.

Consider that nearby Vanderbilt University -- a shining city on a hill -- has a global student body and faculty.

Yet The Tennessean could not find or did not try and find a perspective on the issues of the day from someone who was not white.

Incredible. And despicable. Lazy.

A lot of people complain about people identifying themselves as people of color, or as minorities, or as hyphenated Americans. I can see their point. But when we -- in the year 2009 -- can still be excluded from the political dialogue, then the fault does not belong with us.

It belongs with institutions such as The Tennessean, still led by all white folks, to who diversity of voices really means nothing because they have few if any relationships with such people.

And their readers are the poorer for it.

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