After the discussion held in class this week and last week I can clearly see that race relations is an idea and topic that many in this class are not too familiar with. Up until this current semester I was an African-American studies major and I have taken many classes across several disciplines that dissect race, its historical implications and the current effects that history has today. I believe that many students in our generation, specifically those who do not live in the South, have a harder time understanding what it is like to live in communities where race is such an important aspect of daily life. The film we watched in class gave a glimpse into the stereotypes we hold against each other. After the film the question was asked: “Is the media a reflection of our views or does it shape our views?” I feel that the answer is not as cut and dry. I believe that the stereotypes that we hold come from many different influences, family, peers, society at large (which includes the media) and our personal background. The racially slanted views many Americans hold, I believe are based on historically implications. The concepts that were used centuries ago to ensure that the blacks who were freed from slavery would not have equal rights were the root of many of these stereotypes that we still deal with today. One for example, would be the idea that black men are over-sexed and violent. This notion was created to demonize African-American men and often times convict them for crimes against white women that they never committed. The idea was to paint a picture of African-Americans as sub-human. The media continues to support these stereotypes but the stories they choose to air, the light in which they paint minorities, and the lack of coverage positive stories receive. One the flip side, the media is also guilty of omitting serious stories involving minorities that should be covered. For example, in early 2011 a 16-year old African-American girl went missing from Baltimore, Maryland while visiting family. This story never saw Good Morning America, The today show, or any other national media outlet. Instead the word was spread through the black community through local community newspapers throughout the country and African-American run blogs. This is a prime example of the media’s lack of concern for people of color.
September 2, 2011