Thursday, December 26, 2013

If Jahi McMath Were White You'd Be Hearing A Whole Lot More About This Tragic Story

 The Jahi McMath story is both sad and tragically compelling. No one denies that.
 
The case of the 13 year-old, (now certified brain-dead), has been hashed about in media circles but there's a significant subplot to this story; not just the subject matter and its host of medical ethics, human sensitivity, the family and its thirst of any kind of hope for their daughter.
 
This involves race.
 
Jahi's fate and the family's fight has been given a wide array of media coverage, including this segment on CNN with Piers Morgan. And here too with Dana Bash, as it should.
 
That's not the issue we're debating here. Jahi McMath is black. She doesn't have Caucasian skin, nor Goldilocks' looks. She wasn't raised in the suburbs and her parents and relatives; no matter how much agony they must be going through, don't come off particularly well on television. And that's just the point.
 
Think about it for a moment: if Jahi were white her story would be plastered all over the TV/Radio/Internet domain. It would have had a "60 Minutes" segment by now; it would have received heavy-duty play by Geraldo and Megyn Kelly. And it most certainly would be water-cooler topic material not just in the Bay Area but nationally too, but it really hasn't resonated.
 
Part of that has to do the coverage, or lack thereof. This is not a new phenomena. And by the way, this is certainly not meant in any manner whatsoever to diminish the awfulness of white kids that go missing out of the blue; are kidnapped and never to be seen. I can't imagine the anguish and personal hell all missing kids parents must deal with on a daily basis.
 
This is a media matter. And while the subject of Jahi McMath has nothing to do with missing or kidnapped kids, its lack of greater media attention than it has already received speaks volumes about how the media selectively chooses its topical discourse and time generated.
 
Of course some of you will call us out for injecting race into this very sad case and label us insensitive. Absolutely, although the irony is that is precisely why we brought this forward because as much coverage as this story has received it just seems that there hasn't been enough.
 
Call it media institutional racism. It's not an intentional route or some wild conspiracy on what looks good on TV; what generates an "IT" topic nor in anyway is plotted out in the back offices it just sort of happens and that's a sad statement on our media powers-that-be.
 
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70 comments:

  1. I think this story has gotten plenty of play. Kids do sometimes die in surgery, we rarely hear about it. These parents aren't willing to let the body go. Certainly brings up a debate on wasted dollars for medical care at the end of life or in this case, after death.

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    1. Yes its gotten plenty of play.. people on the left write these stories so they have something to point to and say "I'm on your side" when a black mob comes complaining about a racial incident.this however is not a racial issue its gotten plenty of play even on fox news they covered it alot.. this author is just trying to make it racial

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  2. BS. This article is the kind of thing people to when they want to let everyone know how "correct" they are by taking a shot at whitey. This story is everywhere, all the time, Rich. What they heck are you even talking about.

    Total BS.

    Rich, you need to understand that if you've got nothing to post, it's perfectly OK to just take a break for a day. Don't throw crap out here just to fill pages.

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    1. Hmmmmmm anon at 10:31a.....but wasn't that BatKid story a few weeks back just absolutely heartwarming???❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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    2. I've heard more about this girls story than I have about anything else the last 2 weeks.. these are the same people who turn to msnbc and reg nbc for ALL there news and get mad when they change the channel to FOX and they arent running 24hr live coverage of the spot where said story is happening like msnbc is when its a black person.but notice msnbc won't do all that coverage when its a white person (unless their a shooter of course).Its because in the leftist mindset white people get too much coverage(see story above)

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    3. Well stated. Applause!

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  3. Seems to me it is getting plenty of attention. I've seen it on CNN and MSNBC nationally.
    Once the story plays out expect it on 60 Minutes.
    Agree that if she were white it would be on Fox already. Maybe even another diagnosis via video from esteemed GOPer Senator Bill Frist.

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  4. Rich, you pandering to Stan now?
    Pull your head out of your ass, it is all over the media.

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  5. The Drudge Report has it on their website and has had it for days. Perhaps it is not a black/white issue but one of life and death. And a lot of media do not want to cover what is really a pro-life matter. There is a lot to consider with this issue, is someone brain dead alive or not. Is it worth the cost to keep her alive for how ever many years that would be and it could be a lot. These are issues that most in the media (and perhaps a certain political party) would simply not wish to address. Just my take.

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  6. Piers Morgan had it on his show last week.

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  7. I respectfully disagree, Rich. This story has gotten a lot of play, and I don't think if she were white there would (or could) be more coverage.

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  8. Rich,

    you are so far off on this story. If she were white or another race I don't think we'd see anything about it. Children die everyday in surgery. It's a sad part of the medical field, how many parents have had a Dr look at them and tell them all that can go wrong if they go through with the surgery? A lot more than you would think...

    It's pretty obvious from an educated eye there is/was a lot more to this story that cannot be released to the public due to federal law. Jahi looks to have had other medical issues that were part of the reason this surgery was performed.

    I find it ironic when her mother stands up and says "God has a plan for my daughter..." If that were true you'd let her go, sadly she is no longer "with us" and all that is keeping her breathing is a machine. "His plan" was for her to go and use her life in a positive matter to affect changes upon other's. Not to campaign and rail against a hospital that saves thousands of lives each year for children from throughout Nor Cal. It's a hospital with a great record that has taken care of many children whose parents could never afford the medical care their children received.

    the other thing that really bugs me/upsets me in regards this is the family and clergy members stand out and say all they want....but then have told Children's Hospital they cannot release any information about Jahi and her condition(s) and what lead up to the surgery.

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    1. Well put. You made all the points I was going to mention. Just want to add that I don't know what media you've been watching/listening to, Rich, but I can't turn on a radio or TV without running into another report on this story. How much does it have to be for you to consider it enough? I even heard one story that gave statistics about the number of deaths that happen from this surgery every year in the US. Do you ever hear about any of them?

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    2. Very well put!

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  9. Its gotten more airplay than it deserves because she IS black and the media is pandering to be politically correct lapdogs. Does Rich need to show whos lap he sits on also?

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  10. Like Mr. Triplett, I respectfully disagree; this story has been everywhere. What I get out of your post was, I think, if she was white, the Fox folks would use the case to stir up their audience; the same audience that would hear this in dog whistle mode i.e. lumped in with vague evangelical overtones, another simple caucasian family trying to hold on, etc. etc....no matter what color the people stories like this are extremely heart wrenching and I wonder how much would I go through if this happened to my daughter...would anyone in that spot care about anything else, let alone how they are perceived?

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    1. " . . . if she was white, the Fox folks . . ." This story has been on Fox and is being covered for the tragedy that it is: a simple operation that ended tragically. There's no black vs. white issue here. Rather than speculate, we'll have to wait until both sides are aired. We haven't heard the hospital's side.

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  11. There is no story here and Lieberman's claim is nothing more than a provocative allegation that cynically raises the specter of racism where none exists.

    The poor girl was brain dead, regardless of her race, and there was only course of action under the circumstances. I can't for the life of me imagine how the story might have been different had the girl been Caucasian.

    If Rich is suggesting that the girl received a different level of medical care because of her race, I'd like to know what evidence he has supporting that belief. Otherwise it's nothing more than unsubstantiated speculation.

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    1. Rich moderates a media blog. Just as talk show hosts must stir the pot to elicit reaction and participation, he needs to urge some responses, especially during a slow, post-holiday time. And, that's all fine. Everyone understands the rules. There is actually quite a bit of national coverage that maybe Rich hasn't read or seen. We have a tragic, heart-breaking local story, and we have no chance for the hospital to truly explain circumstances because of federal privacy restrictions. For anyone to draw conclusions at this time, is impossible. So, the subject is batted about. Also fair. But recognize the discussion for what it is. And, may God grant comfort to this family, and all involved.

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    2. Are you saying because Rich moderates a media blog and "must stir the pot to elicit reaction and participation," he isn't responsible for what he writes?

      Seems like you're saying since he's just "stirring the pot"and doesn't necessarily mean what he writes, then don't criticize him just because he's written something foolish.

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  12. This has already gotten way more air play than it deserves.
    With Lieberman it's always the same, criticize whatever the media does or doesn't do. The media is always wrong, Lieberman is always right.

    I can't imagine how the story would have been any different had the girl been Caucasian. Kind of pathetic gratuitously and self-righteously claiming racism without any factual basis.

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  13. If Rich were right, the name Carly Jane Liptak would have come to everybody's mind upon hearing of this latest tonsillectomy-related death, but it didn't, proving him wrong. The death of the young and white Ms. Liptak, who died three years ago in Florida, generated considerable local news, but I've yet to meet anyone outside of Florida familiar with the story.

    The McMath family has suffered a great tragedy, but their belief in the resurrective power of miracles and the compensatory value of publicity, representing the worst of both primitive and civilized realities, has only spread the suffering.

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  14. I have a niece who in 2007 went into a hospital in Pittsburgh PA for a routine operation and this same thing happened to her.

    The family didn't make a fuss. They were devastated but dealt with their loss like mature people.

    Google Joanna Brentwood and see how many hits you get. You'll get zero. And she was white, with goldilocks hair.

    This has nothing to do with race. Other than people like you stirring it up.

    (Oh, twice in the last two years white women with goldilocks hair have been shot on my block. By black gunmen. Don't see that all over the news either. Al Sharpton nver came to either funeral and Obama never said either of them reminded him of anyone he knew. Funny about that.)

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    1. I think the attraction of this non-story may be in the WASP versus non-WASP aspect, your "mature people" who "dealt with their loss" versus black people who one expects will also cry copiously & even dramatically at the eventual funeral.

      My WASP family would have pulled the plug themselves, then immediately planned a discreet cremation.

      The McMath's dramatic & very non-WASP behavior -- refusing scientific rationale, refusing to let go, expecting miracles -- is what drives the tabloid media interest.

      (BTW, the family is apparently not wealthy: they are seeking donations. Of course insurance won't cover this sad folly. This yields more dramatic potential: How long can they keep this dead body going? What sort of further horrors will emerge when the bottle-blonde former beautician in NY gets the body under her control in her "outpatient facility?" Who is going to get rich off this?

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  15. Of course all of you bashing Lieberman are probably white.

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    1. Yes, and your point is what? White people are all racists?

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    2. Ad hominem attack. Attack the man (or race, in this case) when you can't attack on facts.

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    3. Anon at 12:42.....the point being not all white people...just you.....you show below average logic skills.....

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    4. Anon @4:23...
      How do you know anything about Anon at 12:42's logic skills? Are you Anon @11:59 and upset that your comment was poorly received?

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    5. Anon at 7:55...no I'm not...and read the statement I was replying to....perhaps you could use a class in logic as well.

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    6. Anon@4:23 and 8:14:
      Apparently everyone, except for you, lack logic skills or need logic classes. Must be great to be so logical.

      Please explain your original comment "Of course all of you bashing Lieberman are probably white."

      I presume your logic will be impeccable.

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    7. Anon at 9:57...yes my logic is pretty good. I also did not post the quote you attribute to me. That logical error is fallacy of assuming the antecedent. Sigh....

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    8. Anon@9:57, What is the latinate word for douche bag?

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  16. I disagree Rich.

    This story has received a huge amount of print space, web electrons and TV and radio time.

    I do not mean to sound cruel, but this will. The family needs to get real and understand that the teenager is never coming home. There was a M*A*S*H episode 35 years ago about a brain dead soldier whose heart kept beating for several hours after his brain stopped functioning. From what I've seen and heard in the press, this is what is happening here.

    As reporters, we should demand that the family lift its gag order on the hospital. There is another side to this story, one we have yet to hear.

    And, if the family continues to gain restraining orders in court, who will be getting the bill for all this care?

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    1. Right because they are black and probably on welfare. Nobody black could possibly afford......fill in the blank. This is why this is a racial issue. You sound like the trolls on sfgate.com who want this fat, black, chick unplugged before she breaks the bank or touches your precious tax dollars. Screw you several times.

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    2. The family is dragging out the process, leveraging the hospital for a big pay out and using the media to do it. It's a sad situation for all and I'm sure the hospital takes no joy in delivering bad news, but she's beyond a miraculous recovery.

      Let her organs go to good causes...the only good that can come from this, grieve, then settle out of court. As things stand now, the family and the media are just milking the situation.

      On a side note, I wonder how the advertisers like Tri Valley tax and Beyond PIX feel about this particular blog. The reckless race angle gets the hit count up and increases their exposure but does the end justify the means?

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  17. SWING AND A MISS!

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  18. This story has flooded the airwaves and is on life support for "Media Overkill".... At this point the family disgusts me-playing the God Card; shoving their Pastor in front of the cameras. The girl deserves a respectful burial and a fair inquiry as to what went wrong post op but enough of this sobbing, miracle bent family...

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  19. Of course Rich becomes a tremendous hero by attacking the straw man of racism where it doesn't exist.

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  20. Instead of taking on non-existent racism, how about doing something about the rampant sexism that permeates Lieberman's blog.

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    1. Bravo. I wonder why he doesn't post about Jahi McMath's hooters.

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  21. "her parents and relatives; no matter how much agony they must be going through, don't come off particularly well on television" Really! Rich you owe them an apology.

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  22. If this little girl were not black, each news conference would contain a battery of attorneys (many of whom who are working for free just to get known) who would be ready to sue the hospital. Black or white I pray for the family.

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    1. Care to cite your evidence for this?

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    2. There will be an abundance of attorneys available to the family irrespective of their race.

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  23. “It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”

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  24. Lieberman is a true liberal...never let a dead child go to waste, especially a minority.

    The storyline I never saw was why the child was so obese at such a young age. How are the parents not culpable? The media and Rich are pulling punches.

    RIP little girl.

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    1. She didn't die from obesity. She was suffering from massive internal bleeding after a tonsillectomy, and the hospital clearly didn't know what to do, and just kept giving her transfusions, instead of finding and stopping the internal bleeding!

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    2. "She was suffering from massive internal bleeding after a tonsillectomy, and the hospital clearly didn't know what to do..."

      Yes, and you can always trust the expert opinion of some anonymous nobody lacking any medical qualifications or accurate knowledge of the case who comments on an internet blog.

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    3. 8:01, she didn't die from obesity, you're right about that. Smokers don't die from smoking, either. They die from from factors brought on by smoking.

      We have no idea what actually went wrong here, but 6:54 does mention a point that cannot be overlooked. The surgery was an attempt to cure sleep apnea, a condition quite often linked to obesity. In addition, obesity complicates any surgery and makes the procedure and recovery more risky. Fact is, there is certainly a chance that obesity played a part in placing this poor girl in the horrific situation in which she is now trapped.

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  25. I completely believe the hospital was horrible to them. Unfortunately, because of the focus on whether she is brain dead, it has distracted from what the hell did the surgeon do wrong? And why she was bleeding from her mouth and nose and needed 4 transfusions, why didn't they figure out that just giving her transfusions wasn't working, and why didn't they rush her into emergency surgery and find the source of the internal bleeding????? She went into cardiac arrest from blood loss, in a hospital! She was bleeding internally from a tonsillectomy, and they couldn't figure out what to do??????

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    1. No, dummy, they couldn't. Ever try to locate internal bleeding? It's very difficult even if you have lots of time. The way you talk, you'd think you're a surgeon instead of a fat slob sitting at a bar stool watching "The Game" on a TV.

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    2. May I suggest you do more research on a few things before blaming the hospital and believing a 10 sec sound bite? The hospital can't release any info because of federal patient confidentially laws and per the families request. People sadly die each day from surgery being it giving birth to having back surgery it happens. When you go in for surgery your family is told all the risks involved once they put you under anything can happen

      Maybe if Children's Hospital were allowed to say more then you could hear the rest of the story. All you're hearing from right now are clergy and family members. Each time they have talked with a Dr. the story gets a few seconds and they move on. The best thing for Children's right now is the family pushing the issue further in the courts because the true story about all that could/was possibly wrong with Jahi will come out. When I see her mother I feel for the Mom. But looking at the pictures of Jahi it looks to me that she had other issues and was probably taking heavy doses of steroids to help with those problems and that's what the surgery was also hoping to help alleviate.

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  26. This story was on every FoxNews new show I saw today and even on the crawler. Those racists!

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  27. Enough playing the Race Card!!

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  28. Who's kidding who, the family is maneuvering for a "Nice Payoff" and guess what, they'll get it.

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  29. Rich, please present your "Liberal Good Guy Card" at the next meeting to receive three times your "Leftie Points" for attempting to make a mountain out of this molehill. The story has been on EVERY local news cast and as others have pointed out on several national broadcasts as well. Sure, I know you have to beat on the man once in a while to remind everyone that you are a "good guy" but you're wrong on this one. If I took the time to do a search I'm sure I'd find tragic stories from places like Kansas City, Dallas, Miami, Boston, Cleveland and others that did not get two seconds on Bay Area air waves. I can't imagine the grief...actually I can as I've had friends and family pass away some in similar situations. It is beyond agonizing. At those times we all want to point fingers and assign blame however to use the life of a child as a media football is not the way to get people on your side. Like I said the pain and grief is overwhelming but there are proper ways - private ways- to resolve these issues. I'm sure there is at least one attorney in Oakland who would jump on board if the case had the tiniest shred of merit. Also, not allowing the hospital to speak and then raking them over the coals for their silence doesn't help especially when your media profile is antagonistic at best.

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  30. Trolling for dollars

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  31. Yes, this sad story has gotten a lot of play on the Local Media, and National Media also...But if Jahi was a little blonde haired girl, with blue eyes, you can bet your bottom dollar that Greta Van Susteren would be camped out in front of Children's Hospital of Oakland!

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    1. hadlee182, Your comment is just like Lieberman's, invokes the specter of racism, but makes no sense.

      What are you saying? Are you complaining that the story hasn't gotten sufficient media coverage or are you complaining that the family will be denied adequate legal representation because Jahi isn't a little blonde haired girl?

      As a attorney, I can assure you that there is no shortage of lawyers eager to represent clients of any color in potential big-dollar negligence cases.

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    2. 9:37
      hadlee182 was disagreeing with Rich's post re media coverage and suggesting that if she were white Van Susteren would be glomming on to the story.
      Don't get your panties in a wad.

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    3. If hadlee182 was disagreeing with Rich, why was he/she claiming that Greta Van Susteren - a member of the media - would have handled the story differently had Jahi been Caucasian?
      Seems like hadlee182 is agreeing with Rich about media racial bias.

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  32. I agree that the story has gotten sufficient media coverage. However, I realize there has not been any sympathy for the patient. If she were white, blue eyed, and blonde, the public outcry and sympathy would be enormous.

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  33. This story has less to do with race and is more about a family that is suffering from a unimaginable tragedy and can't seem to come to terms with it. It's that simple.

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  34. We can start to take sides when Gloria Allred shows up.

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  35. With all this said......the sun will rise again tomorrow, and that is what I will go with for now.

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  36. The story had received attention, but the media has portrayed the family as being ignorant and incompetent of sound judgement. Plus regardless if you are a Christian or not the faith that this family has? Has been scoffed at! I disagree with the claim of lack of coverage, but I must say that a lot of coverage includes reporter speaking to the family in a condescending slow demeaning way. Any mother regardless of their race should at least be given at month or so to decide. If you do your research you will find that this isn't the first time this hospital has performed a minor surgery and it has resulted in a brain dead child. But you dont think of it that way because your top distracted. Why did it take so long for them to respond when the child was bleeding? Seems to me that they are trying to cover something up. But if you operate under the privilege license of the white veil, and the white frame,you can't see the ever present racism that infects every aspect of America. If she were white I do suspect that this child would get attention but more sympathetic understanding attention, and more time.

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  37. I disagree too, this story is everywhere. And as for her looks, she is overweight but she's absolutely adorable. Look at that smile. That's a cute kid. And her parents, from what I hear, are coming off very well on radio and TV, much better than Travon Martin's parents did.

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