In Mar. 2006 Durham Police sought a “fishing expedition” court order directing 46 white males to submit to police DNA testing in connection with a black woman’s charge she was gang-raped by three white man at a party the police knew some of the 46 men had not even attended.
Attorneys not connected with the case immediately questioned the order's constitutionality. Thoughtful citizens asked why police were seeking DNA from citizens they knew weren’t at the party and why, 10 days after the alleged crime, the only description of the alleged attackers the police could provide was “white male lacrosse team members.”
Notwithstanding any of that, the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald Sun reversed and tossed aside their traditional opposition to “fishing expedition” DNA orders and “racial profiling.” They applauded what the police were doing.
N&O editorial page editor Steve Ford and H-S editor Bob Ashley, who heads both the news and editorial sides of the paper, were then and remained for many months cheerleaders of what fair-minded people quickly recognized was an elaborate frame-up attempt led by a white DA seeking black votes in tight primary and election campaigns.
Today both papers abandon another position they frequently tout to readers: “keep race out of politics.”
The H-S, which just four days ago castigated Geraldine Ferraro for what is said wanting “to inject race into the campaign,” today tells readers [excerpt]:
In the most important speech of his historic presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama stared into television cameras on Tuesday and spoke from the heart about race. …Like the H-S, the N&O’s editorial gushes approval of Obama’s speech as the leads make obvious:
The son of an African man and white American woman, Obama talked candidly about this nation's past and present racial sins. There has never been a presidential candidate better equipped to discuss the complex racial dynamics of America.
Still, it was strange to hear such talk about race from a candidate whom veterans of the civil rights movement have criticized for dodging the issue.
Obama has tried to keep the focus off race and on issues he believes are of concern to all people. This week, he learned that just wasn't realistic.
The race dialogueFolks, I’m all for having as open and as honest a discussion of race during this campaign and afterwards.
Barack Obama’s response to inflammatory comments by his minister could open an unprecedented discussion on race
That’s one of the reason’s I’ve spoken up for Ferraro in a number of posts including Ferraro's truth & the H-S's race pandering.
But I sure don’t like the hypocrisy and race pandering of newspaper editors like the N&O’s Steve Ford and the H-S’s Bob Ashley who condemn those who, as Ashley put it, were injecting “race into the campaign,” but now praise Obama when he does it. And does it, by the way, in a speech in which he avoided the questions he needed to answer about himself.
The N&O editorial's here and the H-S editorial's here.