After learning about modern racism in class a few weeks ago, I have been becoming more an more aware of racism in society. We have learned that modern racism is subtle and usually unconscious from our awareness. Therefore this type of racism is harder to see and become aware of compared to previous forms of overt racism. From what I have learned and observed I feel like a lot of modern racism tends to come not only from our unconscious actions but also from the stereotypes about minorities that are used in society today. I think that a lot of these stereotypes are used as primes and help to reinforce the stereotypes and therefore effect our beliefs and eventually our actions. Recently after talking and learning about all of this stuff, I have found myself watching TV and I cannot believe how prejudice some of the commercials are that are broadcasted.
A few that particularly stood out to me where the new State Farm commercials advertising their insurance business. For anyone who has not seen these, they are the commercials where a state farm “jingle” is said and then the agent magically appears and “saves the day.” After seeing a few of them i realized how prejudice some of them where. The Buffalo one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRS4shfH1Pw) shows two minorities in a car at a zoo, when a buffalo starts to attack the car. The two men sing the jingle and the agent appears (a White business man in a suit). Now instead of all the other versions of the commercial where the people decide how to fix the problem, in this once the agent saves the day and teleports them to his office. This commercial is problematic because it represents the two minorities as incapable of saving themselves and they only can be saved by the intelligence of the White successful business man.
I have seen this commercial many times but have not thought of it in a prejudiced way until now. After learning about how prejudice and racism can be represented in society I have a much easier time picking up on it. In fact many commercials, TV, and news shows all have the same problems. We need to stop using stereotypes for entertainment or consumption and start using positive images of all races, but this cannot happen until people become aware of the current problem!