U.S. & World

Colleen Marshall: I am a 'crying white mother'

This editorial was written by NBC4's Colleen Marshall in response to a claim that journalists 'love mass shootings.'

I am appalled by the claim made by NRA spokeswoman and conservative radio host, Dana Loesch, that journalists revel in mass shootings because they are "ratings gold" and nothing is better for our broadcasts than "crying white mothers."

I am a mother, who sometimes fights tears on the set and too often cries in the car on the way home late at night after a day of talking about police officers gunned down in the line of duty, or children running for their lives with their hands up. I am distressed by the opiate epidemic. I am saddened when people are flooded from their homes. I am troubled by murder in any color. And, increasingly, I am angry that journalists are under attack anytime someone wants to deflect criticism or excuse their own misdeeds.

17 people are dead because a troubled teenager opened fire in a school hallway with an AR-15.  Some were shot in the back as they ran for cover. Some died leading others to safety.  Some were white, some Asian, some Hispanic. Nine died in the Charleston Church massacre.  All were black. 26 people died at Newtown. Some were white, some were black. They are all dead.

We need to grieve each senseless act of violence and mourn each life lost to murder, but it is impossible for the nation not to turn its attention to these mass acts of slaughter.

It would be heartless to not stop and pay attention to a group of parents who dropped their children off at school and picked them up at the morgue. It is not a story I relish, but it is a story I am compelled by human decency to share. And, Dana Loesch, excuse me if late at night, after spending the day looking at images of terrified teenagers running past fallen bodies, or talking through the funeral of two fathers who died in service to their community, I am not focusing on "ratings gold."

I'll be busy being a crying white mother.

-Colleen Marshall 

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