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Racism In American Mass Media

Ratings are the most important thing to media personnel whether or not they come at the expense of people’s lives or reputations. Sometimes, however, the actions don’t need to be as dramatic or life threatening to be invasive or insulting. Our societies today are made up of various races and religions, all with their unique flavor and beliefs. Mass media often uses stereotypes derived from these different groups to attract an audience and lately has started to come under fire from the different groups.

Racial Content

Many television series often make use of racial stereotypes to create humor, quite often portraying the race as stupid or less intellectual. This is quite obvious when relating to African cultures but Latino and European cultures are often utilized as well. This practice can paint a negative image of these races that can affect the life of an individual. African children in schools, for example, are given less attention because it is expected that they will fail at school and ultimately grow up to be like the ones portrayed on television.


When you turn on the news or read a newspaper, you are more likely to see people of African descent posted on the front page and the Caucasian convicts hidden somewhere in the middle. There are also many television programs that have portrayed black people as the thieves or common criminals to facilitate a plot. This constant negativity makes it much easier for the public to accept abuse of power by law enforcement officers against these individuals. All these factors combined make it more likely that a child of non-Caucasoid orientation will grow up to be a criminal since they are lead to believe that they have no other choice.

Personal pride

The standards of beauty are often set by famous people and in America, the majority of famous people are white. That withstanding, white Americans have had the authority over what’s popular and what’s not for centuries and as a result, many ideas and styles are fashioned around the features of Caucasians. People of color are encouraged to alter their bodies to be more “white” by bleaching their skins and changing their hair texture, activities which can have dire health consequences.

Racism in mass media has recently become less extensive over the years as more understanding and acceptance of different races is attained by the population. It still exists however, but at least some progress is being made.

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