What’s the difference between these murder headlines:
And these ones:
All of these murders took place in the UK or the US. In the second group of headlines, all of the perps or accused perps are white, cisgendered US/UK citizens.
So why do editors decide not to mention the race, religion or trans status of white murders in headlines? Why do they deliberately include that information only for people with some sort of minority status (immigrant, black or brown, trans, Muslim, etc.)? Does it make the story more “sensational”? If so, why? If not, than for what other possible reason would they include that information?
The effect of emphasizing what makes minority murderers different, not like us, while declining to emphasize the identities of white, Christian, straight, non-immigrant murderers, (who are more like “us” i.e. the majority), is to make it appear to the general media-consuming public that these minorities are more likely to commit crime, and/or that their minority status has something to do with the murder.
What would happen if every time a white person murdered, their race, religion, citizenship status, and trans-status were included in the headlines? Let’s try it out.
Straight White Man Murders Wife
Christian Citizen Murders Woman
Cisgendered White Woman Murders Husband
White Christian Man Murdered Wife
Straight Citizen Murdered Young Actor
Cisgendered Christian Woman Arrested in Murder of Area Woman
Interesting effect, isn’t it?