August 28, 2007
The iron fist of diversity
Retired CNN anchor Bernard Shaw made some peculiar remarks addressing National Association of Black Journalists at their convention in Las Vegas, accepting a lifetime achievement award from the group. David Paulin of the site The Big Carnival, who actually used to work at CNN, calls it a "Don Imus moment." From his report:
Addressing the group, Shaw issued a warning to the main villain of the post-modern left: white males. He declared, "Beyond this ballroom tonight, white males - wake up. Globally, you are an island speck in an ocean of color. The reins of power will weaken and so will your grip - if you do not faithfully support our nation's greatest strength, diversity."
Paulin avers that Shaw seemed like a very decent man:
Not long before he retired as one of CNN's star anchors, Bernard Shaw used to pass me in the hallways of CNN in Atlanta. I was a writer at CNN.com in 2000: I was a nobody. Yet the affable Shaw always made eye contact and murmured a friendly "hello." In the television world of big egos, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
I am not certain that Imus is the proper comparison. For one thing, nobody ever accused him of being a genuinely nice guy. But more importantly, Imus was just doing his job: cruelly mocking people in the news. His mistake was in applying his methods to everyone on an equal opportunity basis.
In contrast, Shaw appears to have let the mask slip, revealing genuine animus, a sense that white males collectively have great crimes to answer for, and an expectation that all other groups are owed some sort compensation. Get with the program or else....
Shaw is now out the newsroom, retired at a comparatively young age. Perhaps he thinks that is because he is black, while others like Dan Rather or Mike Wallace were able to work well into their senior years. If he thinks this, he should say so, rather than threaten white males.