The Miami Herald ignores smart black voices

Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke wonders why there aren't more African-American voices in Miami journalism.

When I scan the pages of the Miami Herald or watch WPLG 10, I can't help but notice the lack of outspoken, opinionated African-American columnists and commentators.

Miami's biggest media have a shameful record of not affording journalists of color an opportunity to blossom into columnists and opinion show hosts. The Herald has 26 columnists on its roster, yet only three of them are African-American. Blogger Joy-Ann Reid gets a guest column to write mostly about national politics. David J. Neal strictly covers sports. Then you have Leonard Pitts, the only African-American at the Herald to blossom into a national star. But Pitts isn't from Miami, lives in Maryland, and rarely touches on local issues.

In the television news business, the two Sunday shows have long been anchored by a Cuban-American (Elliott Rodriguez, host of News & Views on CBS4) and a rich white guy (Michael Putney, host of Local10's This Week in South Florida).

You get only their perspective, which is often negative toward the African-American community. For example, last month Putney blasted Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones for supporting $430,000 in federal grants to four businesses in Liberty City, a routine boost Uncle Sam gives every year to dozens of small businesses in depressed neighborhoods.

Putney claimed if he was in charge, he'd use the money to provide training for jobs at the casino resort proposed by Genting, the Malaysian gambling giant that bought the Miami Herald property. In his mind, giving tax money to African-American small-business owners was wrong, but awarding those same funds to a multibillion-dollar foreign conglomerate would be A-OK. Sadly, most Hispanic and Anglo readers and viewers probably agree with Putney.

Miami's lack of African-American columnists is a big reason some Anglo and Hispanic folks don't understand where I am coming from. I'm writing from the perspective of the average African-American in Miami. When I walk into Mama Lucy's on NW 119th Street for lunch, I get nothing but praise for telling it like it is. But that doesn't mean I am playing the race card. It just means there are not enough African-Americans in Miami who get the opportunity to speak their minds like I do.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1

 
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23 comments
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y knot
y knot

"I'm writing from the perspective of the average African-American in Miami." ... ummm NO, NOT QUITE! Nothing average about a guy that that was 2 Live Crew "Me So Horny" ! Try another one Luther

manny
manny

Can somebody tell this guy there are other issues to write about? He is going to collapse under the weight of that huge chip on his shoulder. this guy is the epitome of racism.

runrandrand
runrandrand

WE COULD DIG UP OLD EDNA BUCHANAN AND---ERRR-ON SECOND THOUGHT-LEAVE HER AND HER HAPLESS CAREER STAY IN THE BOOKSTORES---!

let's dance
let's dance

They cann't handle the truth Luther. The Herald is owned by cubins and we needs to stop buying it.

Darrell
Darrell

Cubins!?!?! Really? We needs to stop buying it. Are you in the 1930s?

Arbiter
Arbiter

Shame on you for writing this garbage, Luke. Your freewheeling stance on blaming everyone but the black man is offensive and outdated. Your racist assumptions about Hispanics and Anglo-Saxons is outrageous, and being of both backgrounds I must iterate my surprise that you'd allow your journalistic integrity to go out the window faster than a cannon could fire it. When I first read your column I thought you were a champion of the downtrodden, but your continued attempts to push blame onto people of other backgrounds only goes to show how tenuous your stances are. Periodicals like the Miami Herald hire based on integrity, talent and dedication. Where is your research into the hiring policies of such an institution as you hypocritically announce their perceived wrong? And for that matter, where is the Op-Ed column written by an Anglo and the column written by a Hispanic in the New Times? Don't you find that unfair?

Kenphoto
Kenphoto

Smart black voices? I think you'd have an easier time finding a pile of rocking horse sh*t in Miami... Blacks are more focused as a group on music or athletic careers. Not exactly a rush on difficult to obtain and more 'cerebral' professions like being a lawyer or a physician. I'm sure there are some who are qualified, but only a few. The majority are just sitting back waiting for reparations so they can sit back again and maybe afford to buy a new sofa for their front porch.

Darrell
Darrell

As a black man, I have to admit and agree with this. I say all the time if our people wised up and realized their odds of becoming a lawyer or doctor are much greater than a superstar rapper then we'll collectively get over the hump.

cubanogm
cubanogm

The blacks in the USA are 13% of the population.By having 3 out of 26 commentators in its roster Channel 10 is right on cue.Maybe blacks can complain that the pushy number is 4 but by having 3 Channe 10 is complying to what they have to have.This clown of Luther Campbell obviosly doesn't know what he is talking about.If he would do the proper math he will shut his beak.As a black he has the inferiority complex common in blacks and tht makes him see offense on evertything and everybody.Hey Campbell,COOL OF.

Darrell
Darrell

Inferiority complex!?!? May you enlighten me on this ailment?

Mike
Mike

The Miami Herald ignores all non Cubans. I am trying to learn Spanish because, well, you have to in Miami. I'm white and feel like a minority. It's kind of sad when you are cursed out in Spanish for not knowing how to speak it in an English speaking country, and the same with getting a job here.

runrandrand
runrandrand

SOME OF THE CUBANS ARE REAL NICE---I LIVED, WORKED AND ATE AT THEIR RESTAURANTS FOR YEARS----EHHH-IT IS ALL PERCEPTIONS, I GUESS..

let's dance
let's dance

Thank you Luther, when I look around I see how Cubins elected to all of the important offices. Every sense the white took flight the cubins thought they were given Miami. Well you and I know better, they will lie cheat and steal what ever they think they want. It's time for a change Miami is in on better shape then it was 40 yrs. ago. Black people need to stop letting people dictate to them what they need to do and get up and look around and do what is needed they can see.

America First
America First

I feel you. A person should not have to learn a second language (spanish) to live in America. USA, USA, USA!!!!

Castaway305
Castaway305

Mike as a hispanic this gets me sooo ANGRY! You shouldn't need to learn Spanish my people need to get with the program and learn ENGLISH! Listen no joke when I day this ONLY HAPPENS HERE IN MIAMI! Thats why I can't wait to get out of here... !

Pumpsiegreen
Pumpsiegreen

Thank God more blacks dont speak their mind? like u do ...It would send race relations back to the pre-60's

denpaul1
denpaul1

Luther you gotta be kidding the Herald and ch.10 are left leaning institutions they kiss the ground you libs (blacks) walk on.you never hear a bad word said about king Obama.You've gotta be mistaking.

goober13
goober13

OMG! Racism again! How unusual!

Jarhead
Jarhead

Now Luther, Channel 10 keeping a low-racial profile is good for business. Racial Commentary can backfire, so walk softly keeps you out of trouble. Too many thin-skin folk in South Florida...

Caucasian in The Hood
Caucasian in The Hood

Spot on analysis again! /sarcasmHere's an idea - let those who are qualified for journalistic positions get them. If anyone really thought they were denied a job they were qualified for based on their race, they would sue and win. I haven't noticed any of that happening, so this is just another race-bating non issue fabricated by your neurotic ass. Believe it or not, South Florida is made up of more than just your dope-boys in "Model City" (yeah, model of a fucking disaster).

dancethefrug
dancethefrug

"They would sue and win." Yeah right. Our justice system is incredibly biased... minorities are significantly more likely to get harsher sentences or lose cases such as this. Dream on.

 
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