Kelly Bates, the mother of Brandon Webber, who was shot and killed by U.S. Marshals in Memphis, Tennessee, in June 2019, has issued a heartfelt request to her supporters not to take out their anger on NBC 10, a news station in Philadelphia.
Bates became a prominent figure in the fight against police brutality after her son’s death, which sparked protests across the country. She has been using her platform to advocate for systemic change and to call attention to the injustices faced by Black people at the hands of law enforcement.
Recently, NBC 10 aired a segment about Bates’ activism, which included footage of her speaking out against police violence. However, some viewers took issue with the fact that the segment also showed footage of violent protests that had taken place in response to her son’s death.
In response, Bates took to social media to express her disappointment and to urge her supporters not to direct their anger towards NBC 10.
“I understand that emotions are high, but please do not let your anger towards NBC 10 distract from our goal of seeking justice for my son and all victims of police violence,” she wrote. “We need to stay focused on the bigger picture and continue fighting for change.”
Bates’ message is an important one, as it highlights the danger of allowing anger and frustration to cloud our judgment and derail our efforts towards creating meaningful change. It is understandable that her supporters are angry, and they have every right to be. But directing that anger towards the wrong targets only undermines their cause and makes it harder to achieve their goals.
One of the challenges facing activists today is the shifting landscape of media coverage. With the rise of social media, traditional news outlets like NBC 10 are no longer the sole source of information for the public. Instead, people are turning to a wide range of sources to get their news, including social media platforms, blogs, podcasts, and more.
This has created a new dynamic in which news outlets are not just reporting on events but also shaping the narrative around them. In many cases, this can lead to sensationalized or biased coverage that inflames tensions and distorts the truth.
In Bates’ case, it appears that NBC 10’s coverage was well-intentioned but fell short of accurately reflecting the complexity of the situation. By including footage of violent protests, the segment gave the impression that Bates’ activism was inciting violence, which is not the case.
However, rather than lashing out at NBC 10, Bates chose to use her platform to educate her supporters and to keep their focus on the larger goal of seeking justice for her son and others like him. This is an admirable approach that shows true leadership and a commitment to the cause.
It is important to remember that the fight against police brutality is a long-term struggle that requires sustained effort and collaboration. There will be setbacks and moments of frustration, but it is essential to stay focused on the bigger picture and to avoid getting sidetracked by distractions or misunderstandings.
Bates’ message is a powerful reminder of this fact, and her willingness to speak out and provide guidance to her supporters is an inspiration to all those who are fighting for justice.
As we move forward, it is important to continue seeking out diverse sources of information and to stay vigilant in holding media outlets accountable for their coverage. But it is equally important to avoid letting our anger or frustration get the better of us and to stay focused on the larger goal of creating a more just and equitable society.
We owe it to Bates, her son, and the countless other victims of police violence to remain steadfast in our commitment to change and to work together towards a brighter future.