Appearing on her old network this Sunday, former CNN host Soledad O’Brien said that journalists have to be more careful when it comes to the words they use to describe protesters – specifically the moniker “thugs.”
“For journalists to have a debate back and forth about thugs or thuggery is naive and misplaced,” O’Brien said. “Journalists should strive to use words to describe accurately what’s happening.”
Guest-host Frank Sesno wondered if peaceful protesters would object to the word being used to describe those who just destroy property and loot.
“I think there’s violent protesters, there’s drunk protesters, angry protesters. When you look specifically about how the word riot is used, how the word thug is used, it’s always used around people of color, specifically in an inner city context…
Journalists should think about a word that actually doesn’t have a lot of nuance and isn’t specific, but somehow seems to be used a lot when talking about African-Americans.”
Watch, via CNN: