by William Skink
While the Missoula Current is taking a closer look at security being provided at the County Courthouse and City Hall, this online news journal has barely taken a FIRST LOOK at the shooting death of Jesse James Kale Brown on Saturday by Missoula police.
Why is that?
Last summer, when a young man was confronted in a downtown alleyway during protests against the police killing of George Floyd, the Missoula Current had no problem writing stories about what happened, and the subsequent charges against the armed vigilante that resulted.
If Jesse James Kale Brown had been a black man shot dead by police, would the Missoula Current be ignoring this unfortunate tragedy? I doubt it, considering all the reporting over the summer about defunding the police.
Maybe there are more important things happening in our community, like a cool study about how Grizzly bears use road-crossing structures. Is that the reason for not taking a closer look why two little girls don’t have a dad anymore?
Maybe I’m thinking about this all wrong.
Eran Pehan, director of the Office of Housing and Community Development, said the $100,000 funding request for the FY21 budget directly relates to the city’s commitment to address racial and social equity.
She said the city has already made a commitment to work with community partners to find disparities in local government and other social realms, and to identify solutions that advance the city’s goals around social, economic and racial equality.
That includes what Pehan described as a “pro-equity policy agenda” in areas that include economic development and jobs, the environment, housing, health, the justice system, and mobility. The process will unfold in two phases.
“In Phase 1, we’ll honor our commitment to work with community partners to define disparities in our community and to identify the most promising solutions toward advancing social, economic and racial justice,” she said. “We’ll also conduct an internal policy analysis and equity audit to ensure operations, policy creation and decision making reflect the city of Missoula’s goals to advance racial and social equity.”
Maybe a WHITE MAN being shot dead by police instead of a BLACK MAN is a form of racial equity.
While I’m sure killing white men is NOT an official policy position, I can only assume the Missoula Current’s lack of interest in delving deeper into this story is a result of the victim’s skin color.
I hope I’m wrong about that.