The Press: Taboo

When a woman kidnaped a six-week-old infant from a baby sitter's apartment in Brooklyn a fortnight ago, the police alarm included a detail essential to the hunt for the baby: both the kidnaper and the child were Negroes. But except for the New York Daily News, no Manhattan daily so identified the missing baby. And most of the papers buried the kidnaper's race deep in their stories, while the New York Journal-American described the hunted woman closely from her missing upper teeth to her open-toed shoes, without anywhere mentioning the color of her skin.

The case dramatized the absurd extreme resulting from...

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