by Mark A. Thompson
First of all, I feel guilty and ashamed because I have assimilated into the culture of modern entertainment that romanticizes, if not glorifies, violence. Violence is everywhere.
Warner Bros. removal of gun scenes from the movieâ€™s trailers is an admission to the mediaâ€™s power to suggest violence. As a kid, Batman was my favorite superhero, but the comics and the TV show were not nearly as violent as todayâ€™s portrayal.
Violence sells, and ultimately pervades all media: television, movies and video games. And here I am taking my 10 year-old son to witness it on the big screen. In fact, during the movie there was one scene that was so brutal, I was shaken watching it.
But the other reason I feel guilty and ashamed is because in spite of my fierce opposition to the stereotyping of African Americans and all people of color, it crossed my mind that walking to a movie in Harlem at midnight and walking home after 3 a.m. might not be the safest thing to do.
On my radio show, I have railed against the myth of Black-on-Black violence. And here I was buying into it. My immediate focus on my own community that night, left me unprepared for the news I would here when I arrived home: In Aurora, CO, a man pretending to be Batmanâ€™s archenemy, the Joker, committed one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history in the same movie I went to see, at the same time I went to see it.