Racism and Media - Essay Example

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It presents the society as it is and thus serves as a mirror; it also presents the beliefs and norms of the society and presents the consequences of their defiance. Most…
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Racism and the Media As a vital element in society, the media’s role is very important in informing a people’s belief. It presents the society as it is and thus serves as a mirror; it also presents the beliefs and norms of the society and presents the consequences of their defiance. Most importantly, it plays the role of giving new ideas and influencing behavior in so subtle ways and perhaps even without intending and thus creates culture (Rooney, 2007). The media though, does not stand separate from the society in which it reports, such that it is like a mirror solely-in the aspect of not being living- rather, it is an integral part of it and therefore utilizes the pool of knowledge in society, or in other words, common sense.
The media’s role in informing how African Americans are viewed by white Americans has been very key. One does not need to look far to see the images of violence, drug use and substance abuse that have now come to be associated with African Americans. They are everywhere in the movies for instance. You need a villain who will be finally beaten and imprisoned to make the hero look good, find a black guy, give him a gang, and a number of guns, and you have your story (Rooney, 2007). Typical example in the movie ‘the second chance”.
African Americans too have come to be associated with poverty. They are portrayed as “these people who are doing everything to make the ends meet and yet whatever they do, regardless of their efforts is not nearly good enough”. For instance, in Tyler Perrys movie Good deeds, the lady cannot do anything to save her family which she cares about from poverty and is highly in need of a knight in shining armor, who shows up later in the film and fortunately for this film, happens to be an African American.
The media does not only perpetuate the inferior view of African Americans contrary to white Americans by use of negative roles ascribed to these people in films, journals and books, also, through giving their white counterparts a nearly infallible view, presenting them as educated, wealthy and focused people, while not saying anything of their counterparts. It is true that you do not just inform by the things u say but also those that you do not.
In conclusion, the media has and will continue to portray a negative view of African Americans. It communicates values, norms, beliefs and behaviors of members of the dominant society, which is the white American in this case (Rooney, 2007). As long as the small percentage that owns the business is of the dominant society, profits will continue to be made through harnessing of these factors. So, the battle is not yet won, it’s just no longer on streets and schools; it’s in the virtual world, hidden in plain sight.
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Rooney, Anne. Racism. North Mankato, Minn: Smart Apple Media, 2007. Print. Read More
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