I was reading the editorial page of The Augusta Chronicle on Aug. 27 and the editorial “One Tuff cookie” – about the front-office worker in Decatur who encouraged a potential school shootee to surrender peacefully – when I came across this sentence: “There can be no doubt that her calm compassion and empathy extinguished a blaze that could have raged out of control.”
For some reason, that brought me to past reporting by The Chronicle on the Augusta Commission. And I wondered how the term “voted along racial lines” inflamed a blaze in Augusta. Does The Chronicle inflame Augusta using terminology, be it true or not, such as “voted along racial lines”?
My challenge to The Chronicle, and all other printed media in Richmond and Columbia counties, is not to report voting based upon race. My challenge is to report numbers only – “six yes vs. four no,” for example – without mention of race. Also, do not report which commissioner voted yes or no because readers will associate race by name. Just report numbers yes/no. I know commissioners will not like that reporting system because it does nothing for their re-election vote. But we the people make those decisions.
I believe The Chronicle’s calm compassion and empathy might reduce the blaze and embers that burn in Augusta.