This chapter addresses issues surrounding the media's portrayal of blacks in movies, television shows, books, newspapers, etc. One thing that became clear as I read was that, as far as general life experiences go, people tend to assume that those of the same color have had similar experiences. That members of the same race really "understand" one another, and those of other races who try to offer perspectives on their situations automatically lack credibility, because they don't know what it's like to be a member of that particular race. Director Charles Dutton was particularly wary of having too many whites working on the set of The Corner. Since most of them had not grown up in situations like the ones surrounding the characters of David Simon's book, he distrusted most of them and questioned their motives. He even questioned Simon's motive for writing such a book in the first place, stating he was using someone else's misery and profiting from it.
However, there were others within the Baltimore community who praised Simon's work. He won the support of many people in the area and even had the pastor at the largest African-American church in the area preaching sermons based on his writings. Over time, Dutton would also being to give Simon some credibility. But what made Simon different than any of the other whites working on the set, or anyone who chooses to write about races other than their own? It was the fact that he spent a year on the streets of Baltimore, getting to know the people and actively participating in their community. Even when he was unwelcome in the early stages of his visits, he went back every day until he was a regular part of their lives. Because he had lived in and experienced their situation, he was able to offer an emic account of the events in Baltimore, which is what truly gave him his credibility in the end. People were more likely to listen to him and respect his opinions because they knew he shared their experiences.
So although Simon was white, he was questioned very little about why he should be the one to tell this story. Generally, I think people are much more keen to the idea of their story being told from the point-of-view of someone else, as long as that person shares their experiences, regardless of race.