Yesterday, my 20-year-old daughter picked up the most recent copy of the Independent (May 24) and showed the front cover to me. I remember grabbing the weekly and standing there stunned by the photograph of two elementary-age, African-American boys with a red substance on their hands. The caption below the photograph read “What’s so scary about Durham?”

Durham is not the scary problem. The problem lies within the mindset of editors, writers and photographers of publications–be they liberal, conservative or independent. In the veiled corners of their offices, media predators consciously photograph and script for print exploitative, sensationalist, unconscionable, racist, disrespectful, prejudiced, intolerable, degenerate material best used for fertilizer.

And a photograph of who my culture realizes as our most at-risk asset, the African-American male, is staged for castration.

By the way, I also have a son who is 8 years old. I asked him this morning what he thought of when he looked at the cover photograph. In contemplative thought, following two days of end-of-grade tests, he said, “Either they have paint on their hands but since the words below the picture read ‘scary’ then they have killed someone.”

Christine Clark