By REYNALDO LEAÑOS JR.
Last November, Maria Hinojosa visited Howard University in Washington, D.C. to celebrate its inaugural Democracy Summit. The gathering was organized by the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which was founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of “The 1619 Project.”
“As journalists of color we can never pretend that our experiences don’t shape our journalism,” Nikole Hannah-Jones told Latino USA. “We can never pretend that democracy is a given because it never has been for any of us. So to me, what we’re trying to do is help our profession understand.”
Maria sat down with journalist Jodi Rave Spotted Bear, founder of the Indigenous Freedom Alliance, and historian Kathy Roberts Forde, author of Journalism and Jim Crow: White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America, for a panel discussion about the history of journalistic blind spots and how the mainstream media often fails to see the dangers of white nationalism.
“If you think about our overwhelming mainstream media today and forever has been run, some of them are my best friends, white cis male, presenting heterosexual, men of extreme means and privilege,” Maria Hinojosa said at the panel. “They may be our friends and all, but that doesn’t mean we all see the perspective through their eyes.”
It was one of many panel discussions that took place that day.
We bring you an edited version of the conversation, moderated by Dr. Jason Johnson, an associate professor of politics and journalism in the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University.