Yesterday's Union Sun & Journal and Buffalo News both covered stories about a man from Lockport who is looking for a variance to build a private club.
The first paragraph of the Union Sun & Journal piece stated "Steve Huston will appeal to the Common Council to let him to operate a business on residential Michigan Street after the zoning board said “no” for the sixth time on Tuesday."
The Buffalo News story started with "It was a different proposal but the same old result Tuesday for Steve Huston, an African-American activist who has applied unsuccessfully several times since 1999 to open a business in a residential zone on Michigan Street."
The stories essentially say the same thing, with one exception. The writer of The Buffalo News story goes out of his way to point out the fact that the individual applying for the variance is African-American. Why is that? It is completely, unequivocally unrelated to the story.
Now, I'm not one to be wrapped up in the etiquette of being politically correct, but someone please help me to understand what on earth does the fact that this man is black have to do with anything related to the story. Is it to gain sympathy for Huston? Is it to make him out to be a victim, to insinuate that because he is black, he was denied the variance? Or is it to justify why his request was rejected?
If you read the stories, and I would encourage you to do so, there is completely legitimate rationale as to why his variance request was denied. If I was to apply for a variance and get denied, would the newspaper print that Caucasian-American blog writer David Klein was denied a variance? I don't think so. So why the double-standard? Why is it necessary for the media to repeatedly point out that someone is black?
If there is a legitimate reason, I'm all ears (or eyes in this case). I would welcome any insight to the logic associated with this. Otherwise, it seems blatantly racist to continuously refer to a group of people by the color of their skin.