Argument on Racism and Bias against Ethnic Group in the Media Is or Is Not the Problem

In today`s society, the media has a huge impact on what we as consumers acquire. Competing companies constantly persuade us to like, promote, or buy what grasps our attention. The media are egotistic attention-seekers eager to push out any illustrations to get what they want. The media does not ever stop to think of the stereotypical illustration portrayed. This issue resulted in miscommunication by the reader who assumes that the images and facts portrayed are representations of racial group as a whole. The media can portray the effects of racial and ethnical biasness in a positive or negative manner.
Racism and ethnic bias in the media negatively affects how people perceive one another. Ethnic individuality of a group is based on the stereotypical character formed and developed through a variety of the bias media. In American society, the media idea of the dominant white culture leads to inequalities in class and race relations. In the media today and in the past African-Americans and Latinos has been put-down as minorities. African-Americans and Latinos have faced discrimination for years in newspapers and television. A journalist Lena-Snomeka Gomes in the Mass Media textbook states that,
“There are still fewer colored people who have jobs in newsroom today because too many employers are prejudiced. Too many minorities are still being hired under a doubt. I don`t think many minorities are hires with the notion that they will be star reporters” (Gomes, 50)
Lena-Snomeka Gomes explains her own discriminatory viewpoints as a journalist. This illustrates that in today`s society there still are racial stereotypes and bias. Racism and Ethnic bias is an inconspicuous aspect of the media.
The media portrays blacks as uneducated and financially poor individuals influencing black prejudice towards their own race and belittling their communities. Mixed-race people are socially placed below whites, but ahead of dark-skin blacks. An aspect created year ago, when a relationship between slave master and a female slaves would have mulatto children. The master would often favor his child doing work inside the house out of the hot sun. His child of course ate better, could be taught to read and write. Blacks perceived that has a light (mulatto) child, you enjoyed many privileges of un-slaved person. Therefore, the lighter the better, the more respected you were by whites and blacks. In the media today light skin people are publicized more in rapper video, as a super model, and successful black people. A selection of black rappers exaggerates what its like living in the ghetto with over materialized lifestyle, and crime-bound and violent streets. African-American and Latino look toward these rap videos and began to take pride in the lifestyle they lives. Some of these video portray that the only way out of the ghetto in worst of situation being a worker of service or drug dealer. According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications,
The first nationally broadcast weekly television series starring an African-American in the leading role ran on ABC from 1950 to 1953. The program revolved around the whimsical antics of a middle-aged black domestic, Beulah, the so-called “queen of the kitchen,” and the white family whom she worked for.
A history of African-Americans on television began with a show based around a white family who hired a black, overweight female as a housekeeper and cook. The show was a comedy that illustrated an all-black world as developmental stereotypical view. The media started this negative overview of Black people in American society, which represented African-Americans as a domestic group. Too white this is what they expected, however African- American it down-graded them and give them racial loss of hope. Later The Beulah show was cancelled because the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of color people) boycotted about the show being negative demeanor to black communities.
The media that positively portrays racially and ethically biased contents in its broadcast encourages social disintegration. There are films like “The Great Debaters”, which illustrate the survival of black colleagues, their brilliance and charisma. Others examples like, The Cosby Show, A Different World, Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air eliminated many stereotypical views about black people for white-American audience. These TV shows illustrate educated African-American with proceeding successful careers. Perhaps, racism and bias against ethnic group in the media is not the problem. The media is not the problem, however we as an American society are in denial, the root of the problem lies within the supremacist ideas and racist beliefs that were indoctrinated. Every now and then, there are new editions of new magazines, newspaper articles, and TV shows that display black people in a positive or negative manner. Conversely, the media presents to the American society contents that influence our buying behaviors based on what they perceive right, but not on what the buyer desires. In relation to the textbook Mass Media, the author proposes that hate crimes have been fabricated and major news outlets malign journalists and expects others to criticize black failings and culture. Ultimately, Jobling believes the liberalism in news coverage downplays anti-white prejudices among ethnic groups, further fueling the belief that white racism is the root of minorities` problems and shortcomings (Jobling, 51)
Jobling however argues that unlike the common believes among most Americans, the media does not make direct racial biasness against the whites, however, they cover-up all anti-white racial comments emanating from the minority groups. In the event that minority failures are addressed, the media draws all its attention to such information in order to make it seem as if it is the whites who are always racially discriminative. He believes that the media generally cover ups or softens anti-white discrimination to keep white-Americans to make it seem as if white-American are much superior and the only racist. According to this myth, hatred and fear of people of color is huge among white Americans and causes whites to subject people of color to discrimination and abuse. The media seek out incidents that show white racism to feed the myth (Racialists, NY times). Therefore, racist groups played the role of victims for more widespread and structural racism.
Within this argument, it can be seen that the minority groups have been very active in spreading racist comments against their white counterparts, and due to the pre-existing historical and social facts on racism, the media has been taking advantage of the situation in selecting what to offer to the citizens. The media has succeeded in creating a myth that only whites can be racists and that the minority groups can never engage in racially discriminative actions or utterances. Most of the television programs try to juggle between expanding the myth, and downplaying the reality on the ground. Due to the longstanding campaigns against racism, a reverse culture has been created, mainly due to the participation of the media to broadcast biased contents. The more individuals are fed with racially and ethnically biased contents, the greater the rift among communities, and the more reverse racism is practiced.
Since the media understands that the American society cannot easily believe the existence of anti-white racism, and knowing that such content would not sell, they maintain the traditional biasness, while covering up the discrimination against whites in many places. In the event that an all-black program is broadcast, the media try to show resistance by exaggerating the roles of the blacks and their actions against racially discriminative practices. According to Eastman and Billings, media establishes stereotyped perceptions relating to specific ethnic community and maintains its stand, therefore creating a universal acceptance of the myth`s existence (187). In football for example, the blacks are portrayed as physically gifted, but not intellectually, a clear contrast between their white counterparts. Such stereotyping generates disparities and expands the rifts across different communities, since the information presented does not reflect the facts on the ground.
When racially biased contents are aired with aims of reverting the social perspectives, the society is left divided. Similarly, the majority and minority groups are also affected irrespective of which side was supported by the media. Reverse racial and ethnical clashes become eminent, as both groups try either to justify or to repulse the broadcast myth. In order for society to change, it should be the responsibility of the media to evaluate the implications of their contents to avoid reverting social conflicts and engaging the society into unnecessary misunderstandings.
Work Cited
Eastman, S. Tyler and Billings, A.C. “Biased voices of sports: racial and gender stereotyping in college basketball announcing.” The Howard Journal of Communications 12 (2001): 183-201. Print.