It is always concerning when The Bee prints inaccuracies. It is even more troubling, however, when those errors betray assumptions – whether cultural or personal.
In the July 14 piece about the Black Lives Matter action the previous evening, the Rev. Floyd Harris is described as wearing “traditional African clothing.” He was not. Rev. Harris’ gown was a doctoral robe, a distinction earned when he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Ecclesia University of Divinity, with clerical vestments, representing his place as clergy.
How a reader perceives Rev. Harris is shaped by the language of the article: for someone reluctant to embrace the underlying motive of Black Lives Matter as one of basic human rights, such a description might fuel division or feed stereotypes.
As with any issue that asks us to look past our own assumptions, to honestly examine our own actions and reactions, it is crucial that we begin with accurate and unbiased facts.
Ruth Jenkins, Fresno