Sunday, July 22, 2007

Am I Missing Somehing Here - Or Does This LA Times Headline Totally Contradict The Story? UPDATE!!

UPDATE at the bottom of this post! Now for the original post -

When I glanced at the below headline, I saw Castro and assumed it was something about Cuba. I then scanned the article and saw it was not. But in the seconds it took me to do that, I read the first paragraph - and then got down to update on the present the situation. First, the story's opening:

Outrage builds over attacks in Castro community
By John M. Glionna
Times Staff Writer

5:55 PM PDT, July 22, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Welsh chokes up as he describes his rape last fall and the word his two assailants kept repeating.

"They kept saying 'faggot' over and over again," whispers the 51-year-old owner of a video store in the Castro district. "It went on for what seemed like forever."

Welsh came forward about the attack to publicize sexual assaults against gay men in the Castro — which he says police have downplayed.

The article continues to say that two white men were raped by black men in 2006. Later, it details what happened this year, which is already now half-over:

So far this year, only two people have reported being sexually attacked in the Castro and none of the suspects appeared to be African American, police say.

OK - exactly two rapes all this year Castro - and zero of them by black men. And for this - there is 'growing outrage' about black rape in the Castro?"

Now I do not know much about San Francisco and even less about the gay community - much less the San Francisco gay community. But I have a hard time believing this is biggest story facing that community - much less that this is a front page worthy story in Los Angeles.

Particularly since the only outrage the article even seems to find is not about the rapes - as the headline says, but about the response to supposed over-response to the non-existent rapes.

So while there may be some kind of story in this article - some people being upset about other people being upset about nothing - it seems to have little to do with the headline.

UPDATE -- On today's website there is a new headline that actually describes what is in the story! Will wonders never cease...

Assault heightens tensions in S.F.
The rape of a man in the Castro district spotlights racial divisions in the area's gay community.
By John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer
July 23, 2007

Yes, what the story is really about is how a single rape last year spotlighted pre-existing racial divisions in the Castro gay community.


Anonymous said...

The Castro district is one of the main gay communities in San Francisco so knowing that I think the article makes more sense. The Castro community in SF would be like saying the Silver Lake community here. It's just another neighborhood. How is that confusing?

Brady Westwater said...

I know what the Castro District is, I just didn't process that in the first seconds I read the article.

What did not make sense if that if the number of sexual assaults in this particular area had dropped to only two this year and none of them were by blacks - why does the article headline say outrage is growing over the black on white attacks - if they have stopped happening?

Added to that, the main outrage expressed in the story is not about the attacks - but about the fact blacks feel scapegoated by the response to the attacks - which, again, is not at all what the headline states.

One point I have been making for some time is that the LA Times policy of having editors and not the writers of the story, writing the headlines, too often creates headlines that do not accurately reflect the story.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the Marina District in San Francisco and I understand what the concern is. San Francisco is so not LA. I could walk in the evening, even at night, in many areas and never feel afraid or be bothered. I don't recall ever haveing to deal with racial attitudes like here and its a very international city but people are more class bound and better educated and are into a host of self improvement projects. Just a very different mindset. Its an internatational city, but a rich one, built on what was formerly a working class predominantly white and asian town. There weren't many blacks living there and I can say they weren't angry like they are in LA so the vibes were good. If you ventured over to Oakland or Richmond, watch out! My biggest shock was to come down to LA and be immersed in so much anger and cynacism and boilerplate race talk. I never felt like I had to walk on eggshells talking to people of different races up there like here where your constantly being scanned for racism. Its nuts here! So the people of San Francisco liked their relatively safer town and being so expensive it maintained a certain moat around it. It wasn't based on a color code so much as a money and behavior code, but then the bohemians, beats, and hippies made it in with the gays, lesbians and other niche players. Now there is growing crime eminating from the project areas and recently I have been reading on blogs and the news that more violent black on white gang on civilians and youth crime is being reported so that in a number of areas its no longer safe to walk alone. What is disturbing is the increase of just plain violence separate from the usual crimes of robbery, burglery, etc. San Franciscans would see this is an outright theft and infringement of thier city. They wouldn't try to reframe this through some empathic or politically correct lense like here. I never even heard the code word "outrage" up there, till I got here. No offense LA, but my experience was things were not so angry up there then and no-one would be reinforced or pandered to act that way. There was no even pretended sympathy for people who would play that way. That's here. But now apparently its happening up there and it would be a big issue if the Castro story is true, even one or two episodes. Last Halloween's Long Beach assualt of the three young women by a group of 30 teens was quickly buried here and almost not covered by the media. Even the attackers parents were ready to beat up the town for arresting their kids. But up there they would have made a big deal of it. As I recall, San Franciscans are open minded about some things, but very traditionally conservative about others. I do feel people in LA are brainwashed almost thru a kind of Stolkholm syndrom to bond with the very people terrorizing their town. Well that just doesn't sell up there. Its unfortunate that these things paint a race when we know its just a few individuals, but when you couple the intense anger and lack of remorse it just leaves a really bad impression of that emissary.

Mark Welsh said...

I am Mark Welsh I was the one raped on 9/29/06 by 2 Black Men. Why not get the story straight. I am gay and proud to be that. It is not my fault that 2 Black men viciously attacted me. I didn't ask for it. Black is Black and white is white. The END.