Victim-Shaming in Reporting

This morning there were reports of discriminatory actions taken on Yale University’s campus against a black graduate student by a fellow dormitory resident and the local police.

As I followed the story, I noticed something odd. The victim was clearly identified. Age, racial profile, name, gender, even area of study. However none of the aggressors of the story were being reported – just simply “a fellow resident” was how the initial caller was referred to. The police officers were not identified as well (although their actions were less clearly egregious. They made the victim wait an extra 15 minutes for confirmation of ID).

On a broader point, I would love to see news articles focus on the aggressor in these types of reports. The victim did very little wrong, so why profile them so much? Many people just want to move on and live their lives without the attention of the viral web. Instead, let’s focus on the offenders, they should be getting the higher level of scrutiny so that their actions are well known and recognized.

Edit: It looks like it took an extra day but the aggressor’s name is now being widely reported on news outlets like the Washington Post.