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Reporting on Policing in Black and White, Letter Four
A six-part letter exchange between Nightly News, host & managing editor DaVante Goins, and Edie Driskill with Driskill Digest
For the third letter written by Edie, click below.
As I sit here crafting my response, I must confess something I’ve written and rewritten this letter at least four times. I have rewritten the letter multiple times because if I am honest something transpired on Saturday, December 3rd that forced me as a journalist and as a black man to become so enraged that in 2022 we are still experiencing things like that.
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What I’m referring to is that the KKK or what they go by now as “The Proud Boys” decided to make a stop in our city and rang down havoc on it. While no one was hurt physically by them. The very fact that they came from far and wide out of their hell hole from across this country not only frightens me but enrages me.
While I may only be just a couple years shy of 30, I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday and the images that were on tv for weeks on end. I also remember watching and being told countless stories about what happened Bloody Sunday. At this point, you may be wondering what connection that I am trying to make with bringing all of this up as to what we’ve been writing back-and-forth to each other about in these letters.
My point is: when you asked me to join you in this process of writing letters about our experiences of reporting on policing from myself being black and you being a white journalist, I knew the reflection point would be emotionally hard. But, what I didn’t realize is that while engaging in this we would see history repeat itself in some sense.
As far as the Columbus Division of Police are concerned in trying to uphold their oath to protect and serve. They managed to do just that on Saturday. Which is something we wouldn’t have seen just two years ago during the summer. One thing that 2020 forced CPD to do differently that proved effective this weekend was they brought out a new unit called, “the Dialogue Unit.” Their purpose is to mitigate conflict in a tense volatile situation. With that unit being deployed that allowed for what is called the riot police not to be utilized.
As I close, this letter Edie here is another Michael Jackson song reference for you to think about.
But, if you're thinking about my baby
It don't matter if you're black or white
To bring this forward as we say in talk radio being a journalist regardless of race when covering the police and just regular flat out racism is no easy task and takes a mental total on your health after a while.