Yesterday, I was browsing tumblr when I came across a series of posts about the recent death of a white female dermatologist from suspected drug-related causes. The post was comically poking at the way in which her death was reported, implying that a person of color’s death would never have been reported in the same way. The original article did strike me as somewhat strange (a “cocaine apartment?” really?), but I hadn’t even thought of the potential racial implications until I saw this post. Obviously, some of the comments are meant to be read in a less than serious manner and are mostly just making fun of the absurdity of the whole thing, but I do think there is something legitimate to think about here. I am not intending in any way to trivialize this woman’s death, or view it as a joke, but to rather examine the media’s role in reporting what happened and consider how things might have been different if she was of a different demographic.

Link via “The Perks of Being Black”

Original article on The Daily Beast


2 responses »

  1. jivikar says:

    Agree with you – sometimes you don’t think an incident / issue has anything to do with race, until you realize that “wait a minute, actually, race is somehow present in everything?! Better look critically at what the world is telling me…” It feels good that you thought deeply about something, but actually pretty bad that you live in a world where you constantly have to. It’s so much easier to take things at face value, but that would imply that “face value” is where it begins and ends, and that is obviously not the case. My post on media bias is relevant here :

  2. meganf says:

    Oh my god…that is actually insane. A “cocaine apartment”?!?! This reminds me of how in class we were talking about the criminalization of crack vs. cocaine. And how the criminalization of crack was meant to imprison more of the black population, who had higher rates of crack usage vs. cocaine. I feel like the woman in this story could have easily been doing crack and they would have said it was cocaine anyway, because she is white and “beautiful”.

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