Is modern media implicitly affecting the black community?

by John Snow on October 22, 2015 - 12:37am

In Kirsten West Savali’s article (The root, June 2 2015), the author argues about the ambiguity that surrounds our social media and the touchy subject or racism. She starts off by quoting Malcom X from one of his speeches where he says that if you believe everything said in the media, you will end up despising the despised and supporting the oppressors. The author uses this example to depict the time when black people did not have the same rights than white people. As for today, she feels that the situation did improve, but that racism is still in people’s minds in a more implicit way. She uses today’s media to illustrate her idea that Medias still support white supremacist beliefs maybe not even intentionally. To prove her point, she mentions several studies that have been done regarding a certain racial bias in domains like health care or law, and many of them ended up with positive results. Namely, ‘’Project implicit’’ by students at Harvard university that concluded that 88 percent of Americans have implicit racial bias towards black people. She concludes by saying that there needs to be a change in the situation of racial bias in the Media if we want to have a totally equal society.

 

                  In my opinion, I agree with the author because I think that even if we are greatly improving in the field of racism, there is still work to be done in order to have a completely equal society. Even if explicit discrimination occurs less and less in our society, people still have a certain restraint to fully open themselves to black culture. A great example of this bias is in the field of modelling. Given that a mere 8 percent of all models are African American, it shows that it is really hard for them to make a name for themselves in the industry because white criteria of beauty are so engraved in our society that there is hardly any place left for other traits. Even models from a different ethnicity need to have white traits.

 

West Savali, K. (2015, June 2). Throw Away the Script: How Media Bias Is Killing Black America. Retrieved from http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2015/06/how_media_bias_is_killin...

Comments

I’ve chosen to respond to this summary because I do believe that black people do get judged by non-black human beings, even if its intentional or not, non-black people majority whites; are the group that demands for equality, yet will point out a different set of characteristics on a person just because of the color of their skin. I agree with what you have said and that sometimes black people get socially regarded differently because they might not have straight wavy blonde hair or blue eyes. However even in the short documentary we watched in class, a black model was deemed beautiful yet she was even more beautiful because she lacked her “black traits” and showed more “white traits”. I believe that we shouldn’t treat black people any different from anybody else and not say things and deem them okay because you have a black friend.

I absolutely agree with everything you have mentioned in your post. Racism through media is such an important topic to bring up, especially seeing as our generation (and, of course, generations to come) is so media and technology oriented. Media has become a constant part of our everyday lives, which means that we are persistently exposed to any type of influence. As you pointed out, racism these days is less present than in the past, though it manifests itself in a more subtle form through the media.
I would like to bring your attention to the fact that media does not only affect race, but also sex and gender. It is hard to escape sexism, but media emphasizes sex inequality and gender discrimination, just as it does with racism. It is important to recognize this, because if we don’t, generations to come are going to suffer from us turning a blind eye. Every day, women and men have to live up to the perfect image depicted by the media: thin, white, muscular, pretty, etc. Women have to be feminine and men have to emit an insane amount of masculinity. we have to realize that along with race, men and women have to conform to our society’s norms. If you are “different”, then you are pushed away, wether it is subconsciously or not. It is interesting to sit in the bus and watch if men will sit beside women or not. Advertising has a great influence on people’s behaviour in their every day lives, and if women or men in ads are depicted as perfect, than anyone who doesn’t fit into size 00 pants or doesn’t have perfect cheekbones is rejected by society. This impacts men in the sense that if they don’t portray masculinity through their muscles and perfect bodies, than they need to substitute another form of masculinity, such as violence.
We need to stop this unfairness by not only having one perfect image of beauty, but multiple that include race and gender.
I hope this helped you understand a different aspect of this issue! If you’re interested in the way media affects our population, I recommend that you watch the documentary Miss Representation by Jennifer Seibel Newsom.

This post really caught my attention. The way that society treats black people is really a big issue. I completely agree with your ideas. There are many stereotypes regarding black people in society. These stereotypes greatly influences black people's life. For example, black people tend to quit school earlier, and they also tend to have a lower education. Black people, especially black men, are marginalized. When we think about black men, we often think of them as athletes, criminals or rappers. Unlike traditional masculinity, black masculinity is associated with violence. This marginalization would only have negative effects; it would make the issue worse. In order to fix the issue regarding black community, it would be great if we reconsider this issue from different angles.

Masculinity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculinity