Two unusual stories about race ran last week. One of them was about white nationalists and got massive readership (which is what I'd call anything with 2,900 comments). The other, about a press conference of conservative black clergy and academics, got ignored.
Which leads us to questions about what kinds of news is popular, that people (in newsrooms, especially) want to hear about and what kind of news isn't so wanted.
The first article confirms most peoples' suspicions about white nationalists; the second features black speakers saying President Donald Trump isn't really a racist.
The first article, titled "The road to hate: For six young men, Charlottesville is only the beginning," came out in the Washington Post. It says in part:
Last weekend’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which ended with dozens injured, a woman struck dead by a car, a president again engulfed in scandal and another national bout of soul-searching over race in America, was a collection of virtually every kind of white nationalist the country has ever known. There were members of the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and neo-Nazis . But it was this group, the group of William Fears, that was not so familiar.
The torch-lit images of Friday night’s march revealed scores like him: clean-cut, unashamed and young -- very young. They almost looked as though they were students of the university they marched through.
Who were they? What in their relatively short lives had so aggrieved them that they felt compelled to drive across the country for a rally? How does this happen?
I am glad the Post is trying to unravel this puzzle, because many of the major players in Charlottesville -– for those of us who don’t track these groups -– seemed to come out of nowhere.