Does Race Have Anything to Do With the Media's Coverage of the Toddler Snatched by an Alligator?

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  An alligator as seen during a preview round for The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa - Champion Course on February 23, 2016 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Does Race Have Anything to Do With the Media's Coverage of the Toddler Snatched by an Alligator?

Some on Twitter are drawing comparisons to the Cincinnati Zoo incident.

Published June 16, 2016

(Photo: Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

It's hard not to draw parallels between the recent gorilla attack at the Cincinnati Zoo and this week's tragic alligator attack at a Disney resort, and the way the media has handled the two events has left some asking questions. 

Michelle Gregg
, the mother of 4-year-old Isaiah, was blamed by many for the incident, and the boy's father, Deonne Dickerson, was even questioned about his criminal past — as if that somehow would affect what happened on the day little Isaiah fell into the gorilla pit.

On the other side, the Graves have faced much less backlash following the death of 2-year-old Lane, from both the press and public opinion. Does race play a role in these differences? Some people seem to think so, while others claim the fact that one child died and the other lived has more to do with it.

The differences between the tweets regarding the two incidents are stark. While it is important to mention that Isaiah walked away from falling into the gorilla enclosure with just a few bruises and Lane was found dead from the alligator attack, and that may add to where the blame and harshness is being laid, it is hard to excuse some of these tweets.

Here are several following the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo.

On the flip side, others are having far more compassion for the Graves, despite the fact that they brought little Lane 10 feet offshore on a beach that warned vacationers not to swim.

Some even asserted that the Graves exhibited good parenting.

Some made the comparison on their own, realizing the hypocrisy amongst many of those commenting on the two incidents.

The two incidents are very different. One ended in the death of an animal, while the other ended in the death of a child, and that may be the main reason for the added sympathy for the Graves. However, whenever race is an issue, it is important to ask if it is playing a role. 


Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)


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